PHOENIX — Would you like to see Arizona’s state mammal — a ringtail — up close and personal? Are you interested in shooting a bow and arrow? Want to catch a 1-pound rainbow trout?
Do you have a youngster who would like shooting a quality air gun while getting tips from an expert? Are you looking for elk or deer antlers to decorate the den?
If so, then put on your most comfortable walking shoes and come visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department in the Youth Outdoors area during the International Sportsmen’s Exposition in Phoenix from Feb. 27 to March 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
The Game and Fish Department’s Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center will be bringing an assortment of live wildlife to ISE, including an elusive ringtail that had spent more than a year hiding in the attic of a Phoenix-area drugstore.
“This lively ringtail is too habituated to humans, so we can’t return it to the wild. Therefore, we are using it as an educational animal. It’s been a big hit every place we take it,” said Sandy Cate at Adobe Mountain.
Game and Fish will also have a Kids’ Fishing Tank (the trout are one-pound or better), archery clinics, an air-gun trailer, wildlife asset (mostly antler) auctions, and plenty of interesting booths touching on a wide range of information from California condors to quagga mussels.
During the asset sales (it is done as a silent auction with minimum bids) each day, Game and Fish officers will auction everything from large predator skulls such as bears and mountain lions to large elk and deer racks or mounts.
There is even a pristine buffalo head from an animal harvested at the House Rock Valley during the 1950s.
Something different this year is jewelry from a law enforcement case, including jewelry made with shells such as abalone. Looking for a museum-quality mounted scorpion in a frame? You can find it at the assets sale booth. There will also be a trophy mule deer (190-plus) on display. Saturday is typically the busiest auction sale day.
ISE hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale (Glendale Avenue and Highway 101).
The 9th annual International Sportsmen’s Exposition is Arizona’s largest fishing, hunting and outdoor travel event. General admission is $15 for adults, $7 for teens and free for children 12 years and under. Parking is free with paid admission.
Come see the newest hunting, fishing and outdoor equipment, find out about places to hunt and fish, hear from many outdoor experts during seminars throughout each day, and watch the experts test their skills in competitions.
For more information, go to www.sportsexpos.com.