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Oklahomam Wildlife Expo offers educational fun

The 2012 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo offers Oklahomans an introduction to sports and nature. The event continues through Sunday in Guthrie.
BY NASREEN IQBAL Modified: September 29, 2012 at 1:07 am •  Published: September 29, 2012

This year, members of Heartland of the Prairie Dutch Oven Society are giving out fresh cinnamon rolls.

Hunting, fishing

Also present at this year's expo is the Oklahoma Predator Hunters Association.

Club Chairman Jeffrey Holly said the organization aims to bring awareness to hunting and Oklahoma's wildlife population.

“Some people automatically think hunting is a bad thing. But we don't hunt just to kill,” Holly said.

Holly said that some of the hunting that the organization engages in helps to even out the population of threatening species.

The hunted animals' remains are often given to museums that use them as teaching tools.

In addition, Holly said, the Oklahoma Wildlife Department is funded predominately by hunters.

“This isn't just about hunting. We want to bring people who usually stay inside outside,” Holly said.

“Some of these kids have never been able to shoot a bow and arrow or catch a fish. Exposing them to these activities at such a young age is important; it could spark an interest that will last them a lifetime.”

Joseph Douglas, 10, from All Saints Catholic School in Broken Arrow caught his first fish at the expo.

“It was fun and amazing, and I couldn't believe it,” Douglas said.

Natalie Barton, 9, who asked her stepmother to accompany her to the expo for her school's field trip, said her favorite part of the expo was necklace making and learning how to hook a bait fish.

Natalie's stepmother, Angie Barton, said the expo has brought the two closer together.

“It's a good bonding opportunity. We have been talking about it all week,” Barton said.

Taste of the Wild

One popular attraction at the expo is the Taste of the Wild booth sponsored by the Oklahoma Wildlife Department.

Volunteer Chef, Bob Wichers said he's been making his legendary fried catfish since he can remember.

The fried catfish and buffalo chili seemed to be favorites among participants.

“All of this can be made right here in Oklahoma,” said Mark Hannah, Wildlife Department game warden and Taste of the Wild volunteer.

“In just about every county in Oklahoma, you can fish for catfish.”