The doors closed on the 2014 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo (WHCE) on Sunday February 16 after four days of a busy expo hall, happy consumers and millions of dollars raised for conservation. This was the eighth year of the show and it was the biggest yet with nearly 150 new exhibitors representing over 30 countries, and welcoming more than 30,000 hunters and their families to the Salt Palace Convention Center. According to Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the show has a $10 million impact on the local economy. In addition, the event’s silent and evening auctions raised over $5 million for the Mule Deer Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and a number of other outdoor charities.
“The response to this year’s Western Hunting & Conservation Expo was overwhelming. The Expo has been growing every year and it is impressive to see how valuable it is the to western sportsmen – this is their best opportunity to find all the latest gear and to book hunts for the coming year,” said Miles Moretti, President of the Mule Deer Foundation. “But more importantly, it is vital to MDF’s mission to spotlight the critical conservation work we do all year long, and to raise funds for those efforts.”
“Former Vice President Dick Cheney said it best during his keynote address at the Saturday night event sponsored by Remington: sportsmen are the true leaders on conservation in this country and the WHCE is the best venue to showcase all the hard work that our organizations do throughout the year,” commented Byron Bateman, President of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife.
“We want to thank MidwayUSA for once again stepping up to be the Official Sponsor of the Expo. We also want to thank our Platinum sponsors, Cabela’s, Utah Toyota Dealers, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah Office of Tourism. We appreciate the support of all our sponsors,” said Miles Moretti.
The event opened officially on Thursday February 13 with a ribbon cutting by WHCE Silver Sponsor Hoyt Archery. That day the venue was overtaken by nearly 500 children from Salt Lake area schools who participated in the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience. Throughout the weekend, families could be found on the show floor proving the value of the event for bringing up the next generation of hunters. Exhibitors acknowledge the show is a “must-attend” event because of the volume of people coming to the show looking to buy quality products and book their next season’s hunts.
“This is the greatest consumer show in the West,” commented Easton’s Media Assets/Promotions Coordinator, Shawn Monsen. “The WHCE is the place to be if you want your company and products to be seen by avid hunters.”
Logo courtesy Mule Deer Foundation