A stop by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters in Oklahoma City can give sportsmen a glimpse of the John Deere Gator utility vehicle that will be given away at the 2011 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo Sept. 24-25. Even better, they can attend the Expo and register to win it. They also can get behind the wheel of a Gator at the Expo and drive it down an off-road trail as part of a weekend of hands-on outdoor learning opportunities.

The Gator that will be given away as well as the free off-road test driving course is being provided by P&K Equipment, a major Expo sponsor who has partnered with the Wildlife Department on the Expo for seven years running. Offered as the grand prize at the Wildlife Expo, visitors need only sign up for the drawing at the prize registration booth at the event, held at the Lazy E Arena just north of Oklahoma City.

The Wildlife Expo is a weekend event designed to draw interest in the state’s wildlife and outdoors. Along with test driving and winning a Gator, visitors also can win a lifetime hunting or fishing license or even a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license. Other giveaways include a kayak from OKC Kayaks, four kids’ bows from Heartland Outdoors, and much more. A full listing of giveaway at the Expo can be viewed online at wildlifedepartment.com.

In addition to numerous giveaways visitors can try over 100 hands-on outdoor activities like shooting a shotgun or bow and arrow, catching a fish in a stocked pond, riding a mountain bike or even kayaking. Events and seminars are scheduled throughout the weekend to give visitors a glimpse of everything Oklahoma’s outdoors have to offer, from hunting dog training and mule packing to wildlife identification, wild game meat sampling and camp cooking.

“The entire event is free, but the experiences visitors can take home are priceless,” said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “It’s not every day you can try more than 100 hands-on outdoor activities in one trip. There’s something for everyone at the Expo, regardless of age or skill level.”

The Expo is hosted by the Wildlife Department in partnership with a wide range of other state agencies, private individuals and outdoor-related companies to promote and perpetuate appreciation of Oklahoma’s wildlife and natural resources.

Expo hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 24-25. Admission and parking are free. For more information about the Wildlife Expo or the Wildlife Department, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

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