RALEIGH – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s State Fair exhibit in Raleigh is now open with displays highlighting the many diverse outdoor opportunities it offers the public, from hunting and fishing to boating and wildlife watching.
The exhibit, located downhill from the Village of Yesteryear, is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 27.
Visitors can check out a 12-foot wall map that displays all the places they can hunt, fish, trap, boat and watch wildlife in North Carolina. They can test their wildlife knowledge by identifying bird mounts scattered throughout the tent and by visiting the Sensory Safari, a 24-foot, hands-on exhibit of animal pelts, mounts and bones.
They can also test their fish identification skills at the mobile aquarium — twin 300-gallon fish tanks on wheels that showcase some of the popular game fishes found in North Carolina’s fresh waters.
They can spot a red-tailed hawk through a telescope, peek inside an American kestrel nest box, and learn the tell-tale signs deer, turkey and bears leave behind, such as scat, tracks and rubs.
Younger visitors can test their fishing skills in a replica pond featuring magnetic fish and can practice their trailering skills using a model boat ramp, motorboat and truck. Visitors of all ages and abilities can show off their shooting skills at the Commission’s perennially popular air rifle range, staffed by Wildlife Commission enforcement officers and hunter education specialists.
At the N.C. WILD Store, visitors can purchase wildlife-related publications, such as the birding trail books, guides to the snakes, frogs and toads of North Carolina and the Trout Fishing Maps book, as well as the agency’s 2014 wildlife calendar. They also can pick up a free copy of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine and subscribe to the award-winning magazine. Visitors who purchase or renew a magazine subscription will get a free Wildlife in North Carolina cap.
This year’s Wildlife in North Carolina magazine button — a free, traditional State Fair keepsake — depicts an American kestrel, North America’s smallest and most colorful falcon. To complement the button, the Wildlife Commission developed a kestrel T-shirt for sale featuring the beautiful falcon flying across the agency’s wildlife logo on the front, while the back has all 33 previous State Fair buttons dating back to the original squirrel button in 1981.
T-shirts, which cost $12 for youth and $15 for adults, were donated by Neuse Sport Shop of Kinston, with all proceeds benefitting the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program.
The fairgrounds are located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. State fair staff can be contacted at 919-821-7400. General information can be obtained from the N.C. State Fair Web site, www.ncstatefair.org.