The fifth edition of the Chambers County Outdoor and Wild Game Expo will be held this Saturday, October 5, in the fields surrounding the LaFayette Heights Baptist Church Family Life Center. There is no admission charge.
The Expo has grown significantly over the past five years with the number of guests increasing each year. After evaluating comments by exhibitors and guests, the organizing committee decided to add an additional hour to the event. This year, the Expo will open one hour earlier at 9:00 AM CDT and will continue until 2:00 PM.
Joe Higgins, this year’s Expo Chairman, said that this is a great opportunity for sportsmen and outdoor lovers to share their appreciation of God’s great outdoors and to hone their skills and increase their knowledge of the sporting activities they love. Higgins said that this year’s Expo will be the biggest ever with most of the old exhibitors returning along with a large number of first time exhibitors.
Numerous local and national vendors will be on hand offering a wide assortment of outdoor items and services. They will be available at their booths to answer questions, teach and give demonstrations of their products.
One big change this year is that for the first time the Expo will be open to gun exhibitors and dealers. State and federal firearm laws will govern the sale of any guns and ammunition, so change of gun ownership may not be able to take place on site. There will be no gun trading, and only exhibitors at the Expo with Federal Firearms Licenses can bring guns onto the premises.
Of all the attractions at the Expo every year, the big subject of interest is the variety of wild game that the cook teams prepare. From year to year, the variety is different, but in past years the Expo has had wild pheasant, quail, alligator tail, rattlesnake, catfish, wild turkey, frog legs, stew, elk and lots of deer meat. This year, one of the big attractions will be the whole hog that Jeff Hadaway and Woody Harmon are cooking intact over a pit. Visitors to the Expo can check out all of the cooks and sample their recipes. Food prepared by the cook teams is offered in sample size servings, and all of it is free, so you can graze from tent to tent and enjoy something from all of the cook teams.
This year we will also include a Children’s Area, which will be set up with inflatables to entertain the younger set.
Among the speakers at the Expo will be John Davidson, Game Warden for Chambers County. He will be talking about new hunting regulations that go into effect in Alabama this hunting season. Hunters will want to hear Davidson explain these changes so they will be ready to go on the first day of the new season. Other speakers will be Jason Bussey from Southland Calls, and Hayden Crowe, from Woodhaven Custom Calls. They will be performing demonstrations of their wild game calls and instructing people on their use. Ventriloquist Curtis Jones and some of his puppet friends will entertain on stage, and also on site throughout the day.
Steve Lucas from Buckmasters will be here to score and certify your antler racks at no cost to you. People who bring their mounts to be scored will be eligible to win a top of the line Cuddeback Digital game camera. The camera will be awarded to the deer with the highest score. Only deer taken during the 2012-13 Alabama season will qualify for the prize.
The keynote speaker this year will be Jimmy Whatley, an avid outdoorsman, from Valdosta, Georgia. Whatley grew up in the Beauregard area of Lee County and graduated from Auburn University with a degree in agronomy and soils. He was the Director of Research and Development and Vice-President of the Griffin Corporation for 28 years. Whatley was for many years a Pro Staff member for Cabela. He is an elder at Christ Fellowship Church in Valdosta and is active in the Kairos Prison Ministry. Whatley is scheduled to speak at 1:00 PM. During the keynote address, all exhibits will be closed so that there will be no distractions during this important time.
Local musician, Chris Trammell, will be on stage throughout the day with live Country and Contemporary Christian music. Jonathan Cullum will sing just prior to the Keynote Speaker.
Many door prizes will be given away during the day with the large prizes being given away at the conclusion of the day’s activities. The grand prize this year is a Savage .270 cal. camo-clad hunting rifle with a 3x9x.40 Bushnell scope. Only registrants 18 years old and above will be eligible to win the gun. Winners of hunting knives, which will be given away during the day, must be 16 years old and above. For all prizes given away during the day, the winner must be present at the time of the drawing.
Parking will be available in the LaFayette Heights main marking lot, and in the five-acre field north of the church. Fun Carts of Opelika is providing carts to transport guests from the field to the Expo.