Meadville Tribune

September 15, 2012

Waterfowl Expo benefits waterfowl conservation

By Konstantine Fekos
Meadville Tribune

LINESVILLE — “It’s all about bucks for ducks,” said Expo Chairman Rich Guiney, referring to the event’s proceeds for the 31st annual Pymatuning Waterfowl & Outdoor Expo this weekend.

The event is held by wetland conservationist group Ducks Unlimited and will feature hunting and outdoor presentations as well as demonstrations and prizes.

“I’m very excited for it; we’re getting great feedback,” said Guiney.

Having seen the event grow considerably over the past decade, Guiney expects upwards of 4,500 people as compared to last year’s 3,500-plus.

The event runs today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Conneaut Area Senior High School, formerly Linesville High School, 302 W. School Drive, Linesville. Admission is $5 and is free for children 5 and under.

“We encourage all ages to attend,” said Guiney.

A wide variety of events and drawings will be held at the school and surrounding buildings, including a duck banding-and-release program led by Kevin Jacobs, biologist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“Every year he gets more and more people,” said Guiney. “He’s even had kids release ducks; and there’s no greater joy than seeing a smiling child release a duck.”

The program will be held today at 11:30 a.m. in the Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center, Spillway Road.

At 5 p.m., doors will open to the Ducks Unlimited auction, and those attending will have the chance to win a Jon-Boat with more than $5,000 in prizes.

Another highlight of the expo is today’s open carving contest, entered and judged in past years by Ohio ornithologist Norm Kanieski.

“Dr. Norm is one of the top bird carvers in the world,” said Guiney. “For him to come to our expo is great. It just shows some of the unique people you can find at our event.”

Entries will be accepted until noon and judged at 12:30. Winners will receive cash prizes.

“The biggest highlight on Sunday is definitely the calling contest,” said Guiney.

The Pymatuning Regional Duck and Goose Calling Contest will feature divisions open to competitors above and below the age of 16.

Registration for the contest will begin at noon, with the event starting at 12:30.

This year’s expo has attracted 15 new vendors, a record number of additions for the expo.

“We’ve never advertised as much as we did this year,” said Guiney. “We appreciate all of the attention and positive feedback.”



A special anniversary

The 2012 waterfowl celebration doesn’t stop with the expo, however.

“This year’s also the 75th anniversary for Ducks Unlimited,” said Guiney.

Proceeds from the weekend are put to good use by Ducks Unlimited, including for major local conservation efforts. DU, partnered with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, has enhanced and restored more than 600 acres of wetlands at the Pymatuning Wildlife Management area, according to website figures.

- More information: Visit pymatuningexpo.com.



Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kfekos@meadvilletribune.com.



Here are key events for this year’s Pymatuning Waterfowl & Outdoor Expo.

Today

10 a.m. — Goose blind drawings

10 — Parade through downtown Linesville

11 to 11:30 — “Early Season Honker Secrets” by Callin’ The Shots TV

11:30 — Duck banding and release program by the State Game Commission at Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center, Spillway Road

11 to noon — Retriever demonstration by Shenango Ridge Labradors (east lawn)

Noon — Open carving contest

12:30 to 2 — Retriever demonstrations by High Flyers Hunting Retriever Club (east lawn)

1 — Pennsylvania Duck Stamp judging

1:30 to 2 — Duck hunting seminar by Southern Tier Outfitters

2:30 to 3:30 — Retriever demonstrations by Shenango Ridge Labradors (east lawn)

5 — Doors to the Ducks Unlimited auction open



Sunday

10 to 11 a.m. — “Predator Techniques” by Jim Murphy of Pennsylvania Trappers Association (front lawn)

10 to 11 — Retriever demonstrations by High Flyers Hunting Retriever Club (east lawn)

11 to 12:30 — Retriever demonstrations by Shenango Ridge Labradors

12:30 p.m. — Pymatuning Regional Duck/Goose Calling contests