The Waxahachie-based Ark Country Store will host the Ellis County Wildlife Expo as an all-day event for the first time from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

Tickets for the expo can be picked up free at sponsor locations including Ark Country Store, Vintage Bank locations, Landmark Equipment and The Greenery. Admission at the door is $5.

“Prior to dove and dear season, this will be the first chance to see the new and innovative products and techniques in the wildlife industry,” Ark Country Store co-owner Reggie Underwood. “The expo is open to anyone with an interest in wildlife, whether hunting or on their farm or ranch. We’re really enthusiastic about the quality of speakers and the first-class vendors this year.”

The expo will include four main seminars from experts in their respective fields, with 10 other informative presentations by professionals in the civic center’s meeting rooms, and about 40 vendor booths selling products from every aspect of the wildlife industry.

“This is a great opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to get some excellent information or pick up a new item before hunting season starts rather than travel so many miles to the other expos in Fort Worth or San Antonio,” Underwood said.

This year’s guest speakers will make their presentations in the civic center’s ballroom and include:

• Texas Fishing and Outdoors Radio Show Host Brian Hughes will discuss feeding deer, blind placement and how to hunt your lease from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

• Wildlife Deer and Game Bird Specialist Gene Naquin will discuss upland game birds and raising quail from 11 a.m.-noon

• Wildlife Fisheries Biologist and Editor of Pond Boss Magazine Bob Lusk will discuss pond management and habitats from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

• The host of Leupold’s Pig Man Television Series Brian Quaca will discuss hunting feral hogs from 2-3 p.m.

The expo will also reward attendees with door prizes of wildlife related items. Winners do not have to be present to receive their door prize.

One of the unique vendors at the Ellis County Wildlife Expo is Craig Meier with Heli Hunter, a helicopter service for hunting feral hogs in Texas.

“This will be the first opportunity for hunters to see the helicopter and talk to Craig about the service,” Underwood said.

“In 2010 the estimated feral hog population in Texas was more than two million,” Co-owner and Store Manager Candice Jones added. “We’ll also have our local game warden, Jeff Powell, at the expo to answer anyone’s questions about wildlife and the law.”

Also hosting booths at the event will be Ellis County 4-H, the local Ducks Unlimited chapter, Friends of the National Rifle Association and representatives for the Ellis County Youth Expo.

A concession stand will be set up with all of the proceeds benefitting Ellis County Relay For Life.

In previous years, the Ark Country Store has hosted the Ellis County Wildlife Expo as a two-hour event at their store with presentations by experts. This year, the storeowners decided to follow the suggestions of local individuals to host an all-day expo.

“Over the course of the last two years, we’ve had individuals asking us if they could participate in the event,” Underwood said. “We planned this year’s event with help from Purina, who we utilized to expand the expo to a full-day event.”

He also commented that the civic center is great location for the expo, with many vendors commenting how customer friendly the space is organized.

The Waxahachie Civic Center is located at 1950 N. Interstate 35E in Waxahachie.

Any vendors interested in hosting a booth at the expo can contact Candice Jones at 972-937-8860.

For more information about the expo, visit the Ark Country Store website at www.ArkCountryStore.com.

About Ark Country Store

Ark Country Store is located at 209 S. U.S. Highway 77 in Waxahachie. The store proudly serves Ellis, Kaufman, Navarro and Johnson counties with a wide variety of farm and ranch supply products, pet foods and supplies, lawn and garden supplies, horse and tack supplies, hay, animal health products and unique gifts for your home.

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