If you visit a Dixie Deer Classic booth and notice teens, preteens and even younger kids displaying exceptional interest in the booth, there’s a good chance you’re seeing a hunt in progress.
Hundreds of young scavenger hunt participants will be among more than 20,000 visitors at the 33rd annual outdoors exhibition Friday through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Many of the more than 300 vendors and exhibitors will share outdoors knowledge for the scavenger hunt.
N.C. State University’s Leopold Wildlife Club runs the scavenger hunt to assist the Wake County Wildlife Club’s volunteer crew that organizes the huge show in the Jim Graham Building, Exposition Center and Dorton Arena.
“Young, knowledgeable people teaching younger people with a thirst for knowledge is a great match,” said Allen Basala, the WCWC Wildlife Conservation Through Education Committee chairman who works with the college club. “My wife and I have five grandchildren at the elementary or preschool level. The Wildlife Scavenger Hunt will be the first stop on their Dixie Deer Classic bucket list.”
Participants answer questions with information from selected booths to become eligible to win prizes including a lifetime inland fishing or hunting license. The questions this year come from Leopold vice president Michael Biggerstaff, who works with Dr. Chris Moorman and club president Charlie Sanders in the Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology program at N.C. State.
“I helped out last year, but I didn’t realize how much work and communication was required,” Biggerstaff said. “I have had a blast doing it, though. I have learned a lot about how to communicate with others that are interested in my field but are not all necessarily professionals.”
The scavenger hunt takes place all three days. Friday is Wildlife Youth Day, with nearly 300 youths registered for classes that meet N.C. educational standards. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the N.C. Wild Turkey Federation and Friends of the NRA also help plan the day’s many activities.
Rachel Ahtila, a Canadian videographer and bear hunting guide, will be the youth motivational speaker and will make Becoming an Outdoors Woman presentations all three days.
Other TV personalities will appear. Haley Heath, host of “Family Traditions with Haley Heath” and spokeswoman for Remington Arms Co. of Madison, will be at the company’s booth noon-2 Friday and 10-noon Saturday.
Also scheduled are Pat Reeve and Nicole Jones of “Driven TV,” Tom Miranda of “Territories Wild,” Steven Rinella of “Meateater,” country music artist Colton James, and stars from Wake County’s own “Lizard Lick Towing” and other shows.
Roanoke striper season opens: Spring will have the Roanoke River Management Area crowded with boats and fishermen casting for striped bass. The area will open to striper harvest from Friday through April 30, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said in a news release.
The area includes the Roanoke River and tributaries from Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam downstream to Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle and Eastmost rivers.
The daily limit will be two stripers per angler, and the minimum length is 18 inches. No striper 22 to 27 inches can be kept, and only one fish longer than 27 inches can be included in the daily limit.
Complete regulations, along with fishing reports each Thursday afternoon, can be found at www.ncwildlife.org.
Trout waters close Friday: Approximately 1,000 miles of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters will close to fishing one-half hour after sunset today, the Wildlife Resources Commission said. The waters will be stocked and will reopen at 7 a.m. April 6.
Stocking of approximately 900,000 trout will continue during the spring and early summer. Learn more at www.ncwildlife.org/fishing/trout.
Chimney Rock hosts new climbing event: Rock climbers can get a rare view of Hickory Nut Gorge on Saturday when Chimney Rock State Park near Asheville hosts the inaugural Climbin’ the Chimney event, according to a park news release.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School will conduct climbs up beginners on Vista Rock and rappels off a rock slab. Experienced climbers may try two routes up the Chimney.
The cost will be $20 plus park admission for two to four climbs and rappels. For $100, experienced rappellers can rappel down the Chimney like Santa Claus does each December. Equipment is provided.
Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson County. Details are at www.chimneyrockpark.com.