Photos courtesy of AZGFD
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AZGFD Outdoor Expo this weekend


PHOENIX –The largest hands-on outdoor recreation expo in Arizona is coming soon!

Dates are set for the Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo presented by Shikar Safari Club International. Come out Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.

Admission and parking are free! One big change this year is we’re expanding the size of our amazing wildlife tent, which has been a huge attraction the past couple of years.

You’ll have the opportunity to see live “ambassador animals” from the department’s Wildlife Center and learn fun facts. As always, there will be plenty of hands-on fun for all ages like kids fishing tanks, target archery and other shooting sports in a safe, supervised, controlled environment on the range.

Get a feel for specialty shooting disciplines like clay target, cowboy action, practical pistol, black powder, and air gun. Check out the many firearms manufacturers, including some new brands this year.

Don’t miss the always popular cowboy mounted shooting competition. See OHV and ATV exhibits. Give kayaking a try at the “Lake Paddlemore” kayaking pond. Hike a field course and learn cool camping tips. Learn about boating and how to stay safe on the water.

Talk to experts about Arizona’s wildlife, fishing, hunting and more. Visit with more than 100 exhibitors, including outdoor recreation and conservation groups, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services.

The Family Fishing Area at the Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo, presented by Shikar Safari Club International, is one of the event’s most popular booths. Two bubbling tanks will be lined with equally bubbly kids – and all ages will have an opportunity to try their hands at fishing.

Be sure to swing by the Outdoor Presentations Tent where a different expert will share his outdoor “specialty” every hour, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s the lineup – and bring your questions!
•             10 a.m. – Flexible Fly Fishing. No need to spend big bucks on a fancy fly rod, reel and specialized weighted line. AZGFD volunteer Bill Larson shares how much fun fly fishing can be with any rod and reel.
•             11 a.m. – Wilderness Survival. Would you know what to do in an outdoor survival situation? AZGFD’s Jeff Sorensen will offer basic skills that could come in handy if you ever become lost or stranded.
•             Noon – Jaguars and Ocelots. AZGFD’s Mark Hart will talk about recent sightings of these endangered species in southeastern Arizona and how their presence poses challenges for wildlife and land managers.
•             1 p.m. – Venomous Reptiles. Spring is here, and desert critters like rattlesnakes and Gila monsters are out and about. AZGFD’s Randy Babb will bring them and share some fun facts.
•             3 p.m. – What Bones Tell Us. All animals have a life cycle, and AZGFD’s Jeff Meyers will share how much can be learned from examining the skeletal remains they leave behind
•             10 a.m. – Bass Fishing on a Budget. It’s spring, and that means bass fishing! AZGFD volunteer Mike Koepnick will show you how to get started without breaking the bank.   
•             11 a.m. – What Bones Tell Us.
•             Noon – Jaguars and Ocelots.
•             1 p.m. – Venomous Reptiles.

The department will auction off its annual collection of wildlife assets at the Expo. Sets of antlers, hides, skulls and head mounts, as well as wildlife artwork and taxidermy – all seized during law enforcement investigations, obtained from animals killed in vehicle collisions, or acquired through donations – will be put on the auction block both days. Funds generated from the auction are used to purchase equipment and technology used in the investigation of wildlife crimes and to protect the state’s wildlife resources.

Concessionaires will have food and beverages available for purchase, and many accept only cash -- ATMs will be on site. There is a nominal charge for ammunition at some of the target shooting venues.

Expo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. The Outdoor Expo is easy to find, located on Carefree Highway, about 1/2 mile west of I-17 in Phoenix.

For more information about the AZGFD Expo visit