Have you ever wanted to try your hand at shooting a muzzleloader, shotgun, pistol or bow and arrow? Maybe you’d like to take a crack at catching a lunker catfish, tying a fishing fly, paddling a kayak or driving an off-highway vehicle.
People of all ages can learn or practice those skills for free – safely and with expert instruction – Saturday and Sunday at the 12th annual New Mexico Outdoor Expo at Albuquerque Shooting Range Park. The family friendly event will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Visitors are encouraged to bring children, hats and sunscreen – and be prepared to have a blast.
“We’re always excited to help families learn new ways to enjoy the outdoors or renew family traditions that allow grandparents, parents and kids to enjoy hunting and fishing in New Mexico,” said Jennifer Morgan, the department’s hunter education coordinator. “It’s also an opportunity for participants to get to know the Department of Game and Fish and learn about the many ways sportsmen and sportswomen contribute to fish and wildlife conservation.”
Certified instructors will provide one-on-one instruction in how to safely shoot .22 rifles and pistols, shotguns and muzzleloaders. Expert archers will provide hands-on guidance with bows and arrows, and experienced anglers will teach fly and spin casting, and show how to tie fishing flies that really catch fish. Participants with a hankering to throw an atlatl can try the ancient skill with the help of archaeologists. And of course, the always popular fishing pool will be filled with large catfish for visitors to catch and release.
Other activities include a kayak pool, climbing wall and fishing demonstrations featuring live game fish in a huge aquarium. Visitors also can learn the rules of the off-road and how to safely operate an off-highway vehicle on the department’s OHV simulator. Dozens of organizations, sporting clubs and other groups will be on hand to promote outdoor recreation and conservation.
To get to the Albuquerque Shooting Range Park from Albuquerque, take Interstate 40 west to the top of nine-mile hill and exit on Atrisco Vista. Go north on Atrisco Vista 4.2 miles to the park sign, and then go west 2.6 miles to the range. For more information, please call (505) 222-4731 or visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
Logo courtesy New Mexico Department of Game & Fish