April 13, 2016

Arizona Game and Fish Outdoor Expo draws record weekend crowd

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 2016 Outdoor Expo, presented by Shikar-Safari Club International, drew a record crowd of 41,100 people during the April 2-3 weekend at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. Combined with 4,500 students, teachers and chaperones who turned out for the Friday, April 1 Youth Day, the 45,600 total was the second-highest three-day turnout in Expo history.

“We’re thrilled with the public’s interest in the Expo,” said Game and Fish Recreation Chief Scott Lavin. ”We hold this annual event to introduce or re-engage the public with the many wildlife-related and other outdoor recreation opportunities available in Arizona.”

The Expo showcases activities such as fishing, hunting, shooting sports, archery, camping, off-highway vehicle recreation, boating recreation, and wildlife viewing. In addition to the hands-on activities, more than 150 exhibitors were on site, including sportsmen’s and conservation organizations, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services.

"Despite a number of other high-profile events in the Valley over the weekend, the record Expo turnout shows there is huge interest in learning about the great outdoors,” said Lavin. For the second straight year, the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo was Shikar-Safari Club International.

Gold Sponsors were Cabela’s, Arizona State Credit Union, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Silver Sponsors were Bass Pro Shops, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and HPR Ammunition. Bronze Sponsors were the Mule Deer Foundation and Bill Luke Dodge.

“We’re grateful for the support of Shikar-Safari Club International and all of our other sponsors and exhibitors,” said Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. “Without their participation, we could not conduct an event such as this. They are helping pass along our outdoor heritage to current and future generations.”

The mission of the Arizona Game and Fish Department is to conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. The department operates without receiving any Arizona general fund tax dollars. Outdoor Expo costs are paid for by sponsor and exhibitor fees.

Next year’s Outdoor Expo will be held March 25-26, 2017, at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. More information will be posted at www.azgfd.gov/expo as it becomes available.