|Roger Alink of Wildlife West Nature Park of Edgewood, NM.|
By Karl Moffatt
The annual hunting and fishing show is back to blow away those winter blues and this year’s visitors can take a shot at computer-simulated steelhead salmon fishing and check out the latest in super quiet, electric, ATVs.
“It’s a sure fired cure for cabin fever,” says Bob Gerding, 72, who celebrates his 13th year hosting the show that brings guides, outfitters, lodges, retailers and outdoor enthusiasts together at the Manuel Lujan building on the State Fairgrounds in Albuquerque this weekend.
The show kicks off on Friday at noon and will run through Sunday evening with admission $8, free for kids under 12 years old. Parking at the fairgrounds is an additional $4.
Guests will find plenty to do at the show and get to meet many interesting people in the outdoor industry like Roger Alink, 63, of the Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, who likes to engage guests of the show with a raptor on hand.
“They’re a big hit with people,” Alink, a falconer, says of the American Kestrel he typically has on display. “And this is a great place to network and meet all sorts of people interested in wildlife.”
This year Alink will unveil a new addition to his stable of raptors, a big Harris hawk.
Alink is the founder of the nature park in Edgewood where many species of animals native to New Mexico have found a home because they can no longer survive on their own in the wild.
The park is open to the public and has been constructed entirely with youth labor under grants from the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps, Alink says.
Other features at this year’s hunting and fishing show include informational seminars by many vendors including fly fishing in northern New Mexico by long-time guide and author Van Beacham.
|Van Beacham of Solitary Angler guide service of Taos.|
Among the more than 100 vendors will be one featuring a selection of remote control helicopters and cars with demonstrations that the kids are sure to enjoy, Gerding says.
There’ll be cast iron skillet cooking demonstrations, taxidermists with mounts of bears, mountain lions and other wildlife on display.
Representatives from San Juan River fishing lodges will be on hand to entice anglers with videos, pictures and firsthand accounts of the excellent trout fishing to be found on one of the west’s top ten trout streams.
Visitors will find many of New Mexico’s sporting, wildlife and other special interest groups on hand to educate and inform them about outdoor related issues and how they can get involved.
And through it all there’ll raffles and door prizes given away including a guided fly-fishing trip and taxidermy gift certificates, Gerding says.
Outdoor gear-heads will also find displays of the latest in recreational vehicles, campers and other equipment.
And Bob Turner’s Ford Country in Albuquerque is giving away four free tickets to the show to potential customers who take a test drive in any new or used car on the lot, Gerding says.