By Lisa Byers
This small town in western Crawford County is pretty much recognized nationwide. It is after all, the home of the Spillway, one of the state’s most visited landmarks, where the ducks walk on the fishes’ backs.
But Rich Guiney believes Linesville has so much more to offer, particularly to those who enjoy hunting and fishing, and the annual Ducks Unlimited Pymatuning Waterfowl & Outdoor Expo is one way to show it off. It’s also a way to help boost key waterfowl habitat like Pymatuning. All proceeds are used by Ducks Unlimited in its mission to preserve wetlands.
“I think it’s very important,” said Guiney, the expo chairman. “Linesville is a great place. It’s a well hidden secret, a hidden gem.”
Linesville is on display this weekend for the 32nd annual Pymatuning Waterfowl & Outdoor Expo. The event runs Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Conneaut Area Senior High School. Admission is $5 for adults and is free for children 5 and under.
Saturday’s events include the Expo Decoy Carving contest and the Pennsylvania Duck Stamp Contest as well as the Ducks Unlimited Sportsmen’s Night Out, which features raffles, a live auction, silent auction and games. Guiney said the Expo Decoy Carving contest is one of the more unique events.
“The carving contest is the hardest part,” Guiney said. “Sometimes there are up to 100 entries. You set a decoy in the water and get back 20 to 30 feet. Does it set up right? Does it come back right? It’s something a lot of people like to see.”
The Expo Duck & Goose Calling Competition highlights Sunday’s events.
Also throughout the weekend is a seminar series featuring topics such as duck and goose hunting secrets, decoy tactics, predator calling and dog demonstrations. A number of vendors will also be on hand and a number of local and nationally renowned artists and waterfowl carvers will have items on display.
Guiney said close to 100 vendors are signed up, an increase of about 15 to 20 from a year ago.
“What I’m most impressed with is how far they are coming from,” Guiney said. “Some are coming from Indiana. We have a call guy who comes from Tennessee. We have some from Maryland, Ohio and New York, and a guy coming in from Michigan.”
Guiney was also excited to announce a new event for this year’s agenda, the two-man calling contest. The event is Sunday. Registration is at 10:45 a.m. Calling starts at 11 a.m.
“We’ve never done that before,” Guiney said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
There really is something for everyone at the expo.
“People who have never been here and then come for the first time, they can’t wait to come back,” Guiney said. “It really is a great event. It’s all about raising the bucks for the ducks.”
Schedule of events
10 a.m. — Goose blind drawings
10 — Parade through downtown Linesville
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Dog-proof trapping seminars
11:30 — Duck banding and release program by the State Game Commission at Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center, Spillway Road
Noon — Open carving contest
1 p.m. — Pennsylvania Duck Stamp judging
2 — Duck hunting seminar
5 — Doors to the Ducks Unlimited auction open
11 a.m. — Pymatuning Regional Duck/Goose Calling contests