Kentucky Expo Rocks the House
By Bill Carman, Kentucky Regional Director
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park was rockin’ early this fall during the Kentucky Elk Expo and Hunting Show.
Co-sponsored by RMEF’s Kentucky State Chapter, the Expo featured hunting and outdoor vendors, seminars, an elk antler scoring contest, live music and youth archery, ending with a big game banquet on Saturday night. Seminars included “Blood Trailing,” “Traditional Archery,” “I Just Shot an Elk….Now What?” and “Wildlife Diseases in Kentucky.”
The highlight of the banquet was the drawing of the lucky winner of the Kentucky Forestland Progressive Sweepstakes, chosen from past winners of rifle drawings at 18 big game banquets in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. The prize? A completely outfitted 2013 Kentucky elk hunt, including the tag. JoAnn Overton of LaFollette, Tennessee, won the hunt after doubling her chances by winning rifles at the both the Clarksville and Cookeville banquets.
JoAnn, a teacher, hunted for three days in November without killing an elk before she had to return to work. The tag was transferrable, however, and she passed it to her husband Tommy, who harvested a bull.
“I can’t believe that I had the opportunity to hunt elk right in my own backyard that are here as a direct result of the work of RMEF,” JoAnn says.
The Kentucky Forestland Progressive Sweepstakes grossed over $45,000 for RMEF chapters, and netted more than $32,000 after taking out the cost of the rifles, tag, tickets and posters.
The Expo was held on the opening day of Kentucky whitetail archery season, which thinned the crowd a bit, but not the excitement. All of the elk hunters drawn in the Kentucky hunt lottery received invitations to the event, and several hundred attended the Expo. More than 150 packed the banquet room.
Tony Johnson, a vendor and local taxidermist spoke highly of the event, saying that he secured promises on 16 elk shoulder mounts, making the show well worth the effort. Trinity Shepherd, of TLC Outfitters, said that he experienced similar results by booking several elk hunters for the upcoming season.
The kids in attendance had a rousing good time shooting at flying foam discs with bows and arrows. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources set up a LaPorte archery machine that throws foam targets into the air, making a challenging but fun activity. An RMEF grant partially funded the LaPorte machine.
“As of Now,” a local bluegrass and country group, provided the music and kept the crowd hopping!
Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for August 23-24, 2014, and folks are already asking for reservations. The Park is also hoping to secure a well-known outdoor personality to liven things up even more. Hope to see you there!