The Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo is well known for offering an array of hands-on outdoor activities, but visitors will also have a variety of demonstrations and presentations to choose from. The Expo will be held this Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.
The Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association will once again conduct their popular and exciting competition at the Royce W. Anderson Family Arena. Contestants dressed in Old West/cowboy attire will navigate a course on horseback while shooting balloon targets using single-action revolvers loaded with specially prepared blank ammunition. Both horse handling ability and raw speed are showcased in this fast-action timed event. Competition starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the grand entry at 11 a.m. both days.
Want to learn about wildlife and outdoor recreation? The Expo offers fun and informative presentations by experts at the Outdoor Presentations Tent. Topics on Saturday include Urban Fishing, Bow Tuning Tips, Raptors of Arizona, All About Reptiles, and Turkey Hunting. Sunday topics include Wilderness Survival, Setting up the Perfect Hunting Bow, Urban Fishing, All About Reptiles, and Raptors of Arizona.
Anglers can see demonstrations of different types of fishing techniques, including drop shot, shakeyhead and split shotting, at the Fishing Demonstration Tank sponsored by Sportsman’s Warehouse. Learn the different ways to fish jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits, or learn how to fish Texas and Carolina rigs, or get tips on summertime bass techniques.
Exhibition shooter Tim Bradley of Team Benelli will be conducting two amazing demonstrations of target shooting skill at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day at the Shotgun Shooting Area. Tim always puts on an entertaining show as he vaporizes multiple clay targets thrown simultaneously, or takes aim at thrown targets such as golf balls and playing cards.
Off-highway vehicle enthusiasts will enjoy exciting rock crawler demonstrations at the OHV area. Visitors are also encouraged to see demonstrations of the Arizona Game and Fish Department ATV simulator and learn about safe, responsible riding.
Go to the Cabela’s Outdoor Experience and take part in an interactive bowhunting scenario with pop-up archery blinds and decoys, or get your photo taken with life-size cutouts depicting scenes of hunting, fishing, camping or backpacking. Cabela’s is the Gold Sponsor of this year’s Outdoor Expo.
You can also see hunting dog demonstrations in the Hunting/Sporting Dog Area, or check out quick-draw demonstrations by the Arizona Cowboy Shooters Association at the Main Area.
The demonstrations and presentations complement the many hands-on Expo activities, such as the opportunity to try out shooting sports on the range, or learn target archery, or navigate a field course, or take the kids to the two huge catch-and-release fishing tanks (sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), or view boating and RV exhibits. Attendees will also have the chance to view a variety of live wildlife (hawks, owls, snakes, more) and visit with more than 150 exhibitors, including outdoor organizations, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services.
Expo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 24.
Admission and parking are free, although some of the shooting venues charge a nominal fee for ammunition. Visitors might also want to bring some money for the food concessionaires and the commercial vendors.
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located on Carefree Highway just west of I-17.
To view an event map and program, visithttp://www.azgfd.gov/outdoor_recreation/expo/13_Expo_Prog.pdf. For more information about the Expo, visit www.azgfd.gov/expo.
Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department