To kick off this year’s Western Hunting & Conservation Expo, I was asked to unceremoniously cut the ribbon. It was fun for me to climb into a tree stand, in front of 400 school children, media and the general public, shooting my Easton Axis arrow into the center of a clay pigeon. The little girls in the crowd went especially crazy with excitement; it was fun to hear them talk about they were going to “shooting their bows”. After the ribbon cutting, the kids all attended the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience.
The WHCE expo features 300 exhibitors from around the globe with hunting and outdoor items available for purchase, outfitters and seminars including mine “Scouting Elk on Public Land”. There was even live entertainment to be found on in the exhibit hall from rising superstar Chase Black.
Easton Archery sponsored in part the National Archery Schools Program (NASP) archery tournament. There were 671 youth archers participating in the tournament. Each school program promotes international style target archery as part of the in-school curriculum. Each one of these young boys and girls participating in shooting are helping to ensure the continuation our time honored traditions.
NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre was the keynote speaker of the weekend.
The Mule Deer Foundation is one of the key conservation groups in North America working to restore, improve and protect mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. With a focus on science and program efficiency, MDF has raised millions of dollars and put countless hours on the ground for mission-critical projects. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation.