by Karen Mehall Phillips - Thursday, February 8, 2018
If you want to take part in celebrating America’s hunting traditions, venture over to Salt Lake City, Utah, as the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife kick off their 12th annual Western Hunting and Conservation Expo (WHCE) at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Feb. 8-11. There is what’s in store for you and your family.
Up first is an exhibit hall packed with some of America’s leading gun manufacturers and makers of clothing, accessories and outdoor gear. Companies from Browning, Weatherby and Winchester to Sitka Gear and Kenetrek Boots—not to mention worldwide outfitters and world-class taxidermists—are here to talk with you firsthand about their products. Then check out the WHCE’s array of free hunting seminars and, just for kids, the WHCE is offering its popular Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience where young people are immersed in multiple wildlife, hunting and conservation experiences from introductions to wildlife biology to archery and firearm safety.
In sharing his enthusiasm for the 12th annual expo, “The buzz nationwide [regarding the show] has been phenomenal to the point we’re already sold out for some of our banquets,” Said MDF CEO Miles Moretti. “We’ve expanded the exhibitor hall to 500,000 square-feet, but the demand for booth space is so high that we’ve still got more than 100 companies on a waiting list so we’ve got expand and be even bigger and better next year.”
WHCE Manager Ray Crow added, “We’re expecting in excess of 50,000 attendees over the four-day period. I believe this show is growing exponentially from year to year because we’re catering to the entire family and all demographics. The blend of attendees and activities makes for even more fun.”
The WHCE offers an opportunity to participate in live and silent auctions offering some of the best hunts, permits and outdoor related merchandise. The icing on the cake: the opportunity to apply for 200 Limited Entry Permits that are only available at the WHCE at a cost of a mere $5 per tag entry. The deadline to apply for any or all tags is the end of the show on Sunday at 4 p.m. You must apply in person and show a photo ID.
Meet U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
The WHCE draws a crowd for good reason, but tomorrow there will be quite the special guest here as U.S. Secretary of The Interior Ryan Zinke walks the show floor and makes a special announcement. Zinke will once again underscore his staunch commitment to wildlife and its habitat and to America’s hunters and shooters, who remain the backbone of wildlife conservation. Stay tuned!
The WHCE is widely called the “mule deer” show for good reason: Muleys are an iconic symbol of the West, conjuring images of sweeping beams and forking antlers. More than part of the Western landscape, they are part of the American story. That and, of course, the Mule Deer Foundation is the expo’s co-sponsor!
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