Do you have the urge to really let out your wild side? If so, don’t go swinging from tree branches or trying to fly off a high perch – just check out Discover WILD New Hampshire Day at Fish and Game headquarters on Hazen Drive this Saturday.
This is the department’s biggest community event of the year, and we do mean big – last year saw more than 10,000 people turn out, said advertising and promotions coordinator Mark Beauchesne.
It’s basically just a big day of fun for the whole family, in which people come out to explore the state’s wildlife resources and legacy of outdoor traditions.
The day will feature educational exhibits, lots of live animal displays, retriever dog demonstrations and workshops where you can try some archery, casting, fly-tying and BB gun shooting, among other things.
As for those educational exhibits, there will be a whole slew of them, Beauchesne said.
“Most are tabletop display exhibits are in the tent,” he said. “A lot of things are hands-on interactive.”
Kids can learn about New Hampshire fur bears from the New Hampshire Trappers Association – that’s a hands-on thing where they’ll get to feel the different types of fur. There will also be a couple different fish exhibits, providing the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the fish that live around here. There will even be a touch tank, if anyone wants to give that a go.
The New Hampshire Falconers will be there talking about raptors (the birds of prey, not the awesome dinosaurs) and what they do and how they interact with the ecosystem. The Merrimack County Soil Conservation will talk about how important soils are to us and what lives in the soils.
“They have a walk-through exhibit that’s really fun,” Beauchesne said.
And the Appalachian Mountain Club will be on site talking about recreational activities you can do outdoors.
There will also be a craft activity associated with a non-game program designed to teach kids to be kind to snakes.
On top of all the exhibits and activities, there will also be sort of a sporting expo rolled into the day.
“There will be local manufacturers, guides, other organizations akin to outdoor recreation,” Beauchesne said. “Fly-tiers will be there, the New Hampshire Guides Association, one firearm manufacturer will be there. Also New England’s Wild Chef, who specializes in wild game culinary. He’s big-time.”
Beauchesne wanted to stress that this is still a free event and people will not be expected to buy things there, but they certainly can if they want.
The only thing you might want to buy, he said, is a raffle ticket. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, which sponsors the event, puts on a raffle to offset some of their costs, and prizes can range from a kayak to a firearm, so you never know.
One thing to note: Leave Fido at home. Anyone who shows up with a dog will be turned away, Beauchesne said, so don’t risk it.
One other thing to note: There will be food. Puppy Love Hot Dogs and Arnie’s Place will be there the whole day, slingin’ dogs and ice cream and other treats for all to enjoy.
The free rain-or-shine event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive.
For more, call 271-3421 or go to wildlife.state. nh.us/events/dwnh.html.