Expo offers first-hand look at latest outdoor gear

News from the region
Saint Louis
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ST. CHARLES - A bewildering array of sporting equipment can be a mixed blessing for novice and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike. Choosing gear from catalog descriptions or the Internet is sometimes difficult without seeing equipment first-hand.

The 2010 Outdoor Adventures Expo on Saturday, July 24, answers this need by bringing the newest sporting gear to the St. Louis area for outdoor lovers to see up close. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the August A. Busch Memorial Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center, 2360 Highway D in St. Charles.

The Expo is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and is free of charge. Both beginning and veteran outdoor adventurers are welcome at this family event, which also gives attendees the opportunity to shoot a variety of firearms for free.

“We started the Expo seven years ago for folks to be able to come out and just see what new toys and everything else there is on the market for outdoor activities from hunting and fishing to hiking and bicycling,” said MDC Outdoor Education Center Supervisor Eric Edwards.

Those interested in outdoor recreation will have the chance to see and try products ranging from firearms and shooting accessories to archery equipment, duck decoys, hunting blinds and rods and reels. Camping gear such as backpacks, tents and cook stoves will also be on display.

There will be no commercial sales during the Expo, but Edwards added that the event is an excellent opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to see and try gear so they can make more informed decisions when they are ready to purchase.

A highlight of the Outdoor Adventures Expo will be free shooting. Both adults and kids can test their shooting skills with air guns, 22s, rifles, shotguns, bows and arrows and even flintlock muzzleloaders. The Conservation Department will provide all firearms and ammunition free of charge. Participants may not bring personal firearms to the event.

Exhibitors will include: World Bird Sanctuary, Gemmer Muzzle Loading Gun Club, National Muzzleloader Association, Safari Club International, Delta Waterfowl, St. Louis Area Geocachers Association, Tri-State Hunting, Outdoor Connections, Wil-Nor Outdoors, Turkey Tracs, Bass Pro, Adventure Shooting Sports and many more.

Turkey Tracks will bring live turkeys. An authentic chuck wagon will also make an appearance.

Those who attend the Expo can get answers to other outdoors and conservation-related questions at educational booths and displays.

“It’s going to be a great place to gain knowledge on any kind of outdoor activity,” said Edwards.

The Conservation Department’s August A. Busch Memorial Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is located on Highway D, 5-miles west of Highway 94 in St. Charles.

For more information about the 2010 Outdoor Adventures Expo, call the MDC at 636-441-4554.