Expo showcases joys of the great outdoors

September 25, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

More than 1,000 local hunters, vendors, anglers and others came together Saturday at an event raising money for an organization teaching children about outdoor sports.

The Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Sports Expo at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center was sponsored by the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. The federation is comprised of 20 local organizations.

One of the event's goals is to get children away from the television and show them the pleasures and opportunities of outdoor sports, including fishing and hunting, said Federation President Steve Palmer.

The event continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Admission is $3.

More than 1,000 people attended the event by mid-afternoon Saturday and Palmer was hoping for a weekend attendance of 5,000.

Profits from the expo go to the federation's Summer Youth Fishing & Hunting Program.

The program grew from seven families when it was formed June 1998 to 260 families today, Palmer said. The program also teaches safety classes to children, he said.


Expo attractions ranged from taxidermy to paintings to gun carrying cases to barbecue food.

Lois McCoy of Sharpsburg said her favorite part of the expo was a petting zoo which included rabbits.

Her granddaughter, Kristen McCoy, especially liked the rabbits, which she said were cute and soft.

"I think it's pretty good," Lois McCoy said of the event.

One of the event's highlights Saturday was a National Wild Turkey Federation-Sanctioned Turkey Calling Championship, which drew 15 contestants from the Tri-State area.

The winner was Sam Wertz of Clinton County, Pa. who smiled when asked about his hobby. He has been a turkey caller since 1994 but has always been a hunter, he said.

He did not place in competitions during the first year, but has improved sufficiently since and now places in every competition he enters, some as far away as New Jersey and Ohio, he said.

He can tell when he is having a good performance during a competition and will realize "I called good," he said.

He tries to get a good rhythm and sound and then will stick with that winning combination from competition to competition, he said. He has been using his current combination for almost three years, he said.

He thought the expo was well organized and he will return next year, he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles