Noted NC wildlife artist will demonstrate his work Sunday at Garner Cabela’s

After all the honors wildlife artist Duane Raver has received over the decades, he’s delighted by recognition he’s receiving just a few minutes’ drive from home.

Raver will demonstrate his painting skills 1-5 p.m. Sunday as a guest artist as Cabela’s outdoors store in Garner celebrates its grand opening, which begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

“I like to be doing something,” the artist, who stays busy with commissioned work, said Tuesday from his home in the Cleveland community. “I have another boat paddle sketched out, and I’ll go ahead and [paint] that. And I have a pencil remark for a sketch in our fish book.”

He’ll also talk about his creations and techniques.

“I had to learn to talk to folks while I work, and the State Fair taught me that,” said Raver, who was a longtime fixture in the fair’s Village of Yesteryear and will turn turn 88 next month.

At Cabela’s where U.S. 70 meets Interstate 40 in the White Oak area, the retired N.C. Wildlife Commission fisheries biologist will be near the deli, where his framed limited-edition prints hang on the walls. He toured the 105,000-square-foot store a few days ago.

“I was absolutely blown away,” said Raver, who was a 2003 N.C. Wildlife Federation Hall of Fame inductee and joined the state’s Order of the Longleaf Pine in 2009.

Customers can learn from other experts as well. Among the people expected to entertain the waiting crowd this morning will be “Son of the South” Joshua Carney, who hunts from a wheelchair and has amazing wildlife calling ability with his natural voice.

Nonprofit organizations such as the N.C. Bowhunters Association and Shoot Like A Girl and manufacturers such as Remington and Parker Bows will have displays and hands-on interactive exhibits 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 18-19. Several Cabela’s ambassadors including TV personalities Scott and Tiffany Haugen will attend. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s mobile aquarium will be on display Saturday.

Find grand opening details at www.cabelas.com.

Shotgunning: The 16th Southern Side-by-Side Championship and Exhibition Spring Classic, a competition with side-by-side shotguns, takes place April 24-26 at Deep River Sporting Clays near Sanford, just off U.S. 1 south of Raleigh. Spectators get in free. Call 919-774-7080 or visit www.deepriver.net and www.southernsidebyside.com.

CCA banquet: The Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina’s Triangle chapter banquet is April 23 in the Kerr Scott Building at the State Fairgrounds. Contact Keith Johnson at 919-412-5692, or visit www.ccanc.org.

Turkey legs needed: District 3 biologist Greg Batts of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission asks hunters to donate legs from harvested turkeys to help with monitoring of lymphoproliferative disease virus. He requests a whole leg from the “knee joint” down and asks that legs be frozen until pickup. Hunters may keep the spurs. Call Batts at 919-269-9731.

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