National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday celebrates those pursuits, but it also provides the opportunity to learn about more activities.
Kimberly Burge of Cary helped families do just that for most of a decade as a wildlife educator. Now, as a busy mom, she’s making sure her children get to do the same.
She’s planning to take Sarah, 5, and Rebecca, 2, to Lake Wheeler Park on Saturday, when the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission teams with Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources for the park’s third Wildlife Expo 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
“It’s called National Hunting and Fishing Day, but the commission has worked over the years to be more inclusive of people who just enjoy the outdoors,” Burge said. “… It’s just a good day to get out and learn about the critters.”
A breeder of green tree pythons, she’s partial to the N.C. Herpetological Society and N.C. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation exhibits.
“And (the event is) a great introduction to fishing, too,” she said. “They’ve got the biologists and wildlife educators out there to bait the hooks, and it’s just a way to test the waters without getting your hands dirty.”
The free event, which in 2013 moved from the Centennial Campus for Wildlife Education and Lake Raleigh, includes a treestand safety exhibit by the Wake County Wildlife Club. Raleigh and eight other events Saturday offer activities that may include cooking, lure making, retrievers and live birds of prey.
“There’s usually a different variety – enough for kids to keep it interesting,” Burge said. “From one year to the next, they may not remember what it’s like. But my daughter (Sarah) always remembers the fishing and being able to shoot the pellet gun.”
Trappers gather: The 500-member N.C. Trappers Association will hold its convention Friday and Saturday in Smithfield in the Smithfield Livestock Auction Arena, 526 Country Home Road.
More than 400 people are expected to attend 11 seminars and shop more than 30 vendors from as far away as New York, Nebraska and Texas, said David Denton of Edenton, a retired commission hunter education instructor and operator of Denton Wildlife Services.
“It’s a good place to talk with a lot of experienced people,” Denton said.
The free event includes a new exhibit to help trappers learn to make “sets” designed to prevent trapping roaming dogs, Denton said. “If people are trapping near houses, … they could set these and not trap any dogs,” he said.
Competitions include trap-setting, tomahawk throwing and watermelon seed spitting.
Learn more at www.nctrapper.org.
Meeting: The Quality Deer Management Association Triangle Branch will demonstrate treestand safety during its 7 p.m. Sept. 28 meeting at the Cabela’s store in Garner, organizer Sid Adkins said. Go to www.facebook.com/QDMA-Triangle-Branch-450720618420375.
Nominations: Oct. 1 is the deadline for nominations for the Piedmont Wildlife Center’s Environmental Leadership Awards. Go to www.piedmontwildlifecenter.org.
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