Archives: SFW News
SALT LAKE CITY, February 2012 — The recently completed 6th Annual Western Hunting & Conservation Expo (Hunting Expo) in Salt Lake City was a four-day long wildlife conservation event that brought together more than 30,000 hunting enthusiasts from all parts of North America and other parts of the world.
Hunters and sportsmen from all walks of life joined exhibitors and conservation organizations as they converged on downtown Salt Lake City between February 8th and 12th in what has become the premier hunting exposition in the western United States. One of the main attractions of the Hunting Expo is 200 Limited Entry Premium Utah hunting permits offered to any sportsman for just $5 each in an application drawing. Sportsmen and exhibitors from six continents, 20 different countries, seven Canadian Provinces, several Mexican states and almost every state attended. Over a dozen free seminars were attended by thousands of sportsmen over the four-day event. The seminars were provided by world-renowned hunting experts and allowed average hunters to get face-to-face with and ask questions of pros like Rusty Hall of Trophy Hunter Magazine and Shawn Michaels & Keith Mark of The Outdoor Channel’s MacMillan River Adventures.
The Hunting Expo not only attracted tens of thousands of hunters and several hundred exhibitors and manufacturers, it also welcomed all-star entertainers like Jeff Foxworthy and Country Music’s Craig Morgan and Daniel Lee Martin. Banquets, free seminars, concerts, auctions, ladies only events, autograph signing and other activities meant a constant line-up of exciting events for everyone who attended.
“We could not be more pleased with the progress made in wildlife conservation because of the expo,” said SFW President Byron Bateman. “SFW continues to pledge that fulfillment of our mission is more fully realized because of the success of the Hunting Expo. Utah and other states are seeing improvement in deer, elk, moose and other big game herds as a direct result of this success.”
More than 2,500 youth and children participated in a youth archery training and demonstration event sponsored by SFW and Hoyt Archery. An equal number of youth participated in a similar air rifle shooting event sponsored by the Mule Deer Foundation. Over $3 million was raised in auctions held as part of special banquet and celebration events at the Hunting Expo. Ninety percent of the money raised at auction is dedicated to wildlife conservation and habitat projects run by SFW volunteers working with state fish and game agencies. The Utah Taxidermy Association held its annual taxidermy competition and had over 200 entries – a record for the association.
Jeff Foxworthy summed it up best by commenting, “The coolest thing about this Hunting Expo is that it offers something for everyone, from the super rich and famous to the rest of us rednecks.”
The Hunting Expo is a collaborative event put on annually by Sportsman for Fish & Wildlife and the Mule Deer Foundation in conjunction with support from the State of Utah Travel & Tourism and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The Hunting Expo raises total revenues of approximately $10 – $12 million for wildlife conservation in North America each year. The event generates tens of millions of additional dollars for the exhibitors who sold hunts, fishing trips, hunting and fishing equipment and increased local economic activity. More than 70% of all exhibitors are re-booking booth space for the 2013 Hunting Expo, whic is scheduled to run February 21–24, 2013 again at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
About SFW: Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife has over 15,000 members and has funded several million dollars in projects benefiting elk, mule deer, bighorn, antelope, moose, bison and wild turkey. SFW has been involved in habitat projects involving millions of acres of public lands in Utah, and owns nearly 1,500 acres of critical deer and elk winter range. SFW has been involved in shifting Utah to become the top Western state for producing world-class trophy bull elk and mule deer.