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Outdoors: Free hunting, fishing events on Sept. 26

RALEIGH ó On Sept. 26, kids and their families can learn about fishing, hunting and wildlife conservation in North Carolina by attending any of six free events supported by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
The events, held in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day (www.nhfday.org), provide participants with opportunities to connect with nature, test their outdoor skills and learn about the important roles that hunting and fishing play in wildlife conservation through exhibits and demonstrations, many of which are interactive and hands on.
Each of the agency’s four education centers will host an event; times and activities vary for each event.
During National Hunting & Fishing Day at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education , which runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., participants can hone their shooting skills with a computerized laser-shot hunting simulator, learn proper casting techniques and view one of the state’s largest collections of duck decoys, many dating back to the late 1800s. For more information, contact Sharon Meade at sharon.meade@ ncwildlife.org, 252-453-0221, ext. 8.
The 2009 Wildlife Expo at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. When participants aren’t fishing, testing their archery skills or shooting an air rifle, they can get see native raptors, touch live snakes and learn about honeybees. For more information, contact Kristopher Smith, 910-868-5003, ext. 14.
At Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education in Raleigh , the National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration will feature more than 15 exhibits and demonstrations, including an archery range, pellet rifle range, laser-shot hunting simulation, outdoor cooking, outdoor survival skills, falconry and fishing at Lake Raleigh. The event will run from noon until 5 p.m. For additional information, contact Beth Gunn at beth.gunn@ ncwildlife.org , 919-707-0205.
Attendees to the National Hunting and Fishing Day Expo at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in Brevard can practice their shooting skills on an archery and pellet rifle range, learn more about fly-fishing through tying and casting demonstrations, practice tree stand safety, sample simple outdoor cooking recipes, and celebrate North Carolina’s hunting heritage with a visit to the kids’ interactive hunter camp. The event will run from 10a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information, contact Lee Sherrill at lee.sherrill@ ncwildlife.org, 828-877-4423.
The Wildlife Commission is supporting two other events, the Cade Bullins Memorial Youth Conservation Day in Dobson and the Roanoke-Chowan Hunting and Fishing Day in Winton, by stocking fish, conducting electrofishing demonstrations, assisting with a fishing derby and pellet range and providing bags of fishing-related prizes to participants.
A seventh event supported by the Commission, the Greenwing National Hunting and Fishing Day , will be held at the Mackay Wildlife Refuge in Currituck. Participants can fish for largemouth bass, sunfish and crappie anywhere on the refuge from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. A $20 registration fee includes a rod and reel combo, tackle, a T-shirt, Fish-For-Fun bags and a Greenwing membership. For more information, contact Sharon Meade at sharon.meade@ ncwildlife.org or 252-453-0221, ext. 8.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to celebrate conservation successes of hunters and anglers. From shopping center exhibits to statewide expos, millions of citizens learned to appreciate America’s sportsman-based system of conservation funding. That system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year, benefiting all who appreciate wildlife and wild places. For more information, visit www.nhfd.org.
For more information on each event , visit www.ncwildlife.org/ NHFD.

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