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September 23, 2004

In celebration of the 20th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day in Louisiana on Saturday, festivities will occur this Saturday in Baton Rouge, Monroe, Woodworth, The Bodcau Dam and Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

n The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host the Baton Rouge festivities this Saturday at Waddill Refuge in Baton Rouge at 4142 N. Flannery Road. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and activities will continue throughout the day until 3 p.m.

Popular activities on the schedule at Wadill in include live animal displays, shooting demonstration and the always-popular youth fishing contest. Area chefs will also be preparing taste samples of wild game cuisine, including dove, alligator and nutria.

The event is free and open to the public.

n The Education Center of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in Woodworth just south of Alexandria will also host a celebration on Saturday that encourages family attendance.

The festivities include educational demonstrations, displays and instruction for the general public. A youth emphasis will include boating safety, fishing and wild game identification. Also, a turkey netting demonstration is planned.

The center is one and one-half miles from exit 73 off I-49. More information is available by calling (318) 484-2212.

n Professional angler and television host Jimmy Houston will be on hand at LDWF's Monroe office to answer questions and sign autographs on Saturday. Children will also be able to participate in casting events, BB gun shooting, archery and duck calling contests.

The site is located at 368 CenturyTel Drive in Monroe, and more information can be obtained by calling (318) 343-4044.

n At the Bodcau Dam in northwest Louisiana, Louisiana families are invited to an event where LDWF will team with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a celebration that is usually attended by more than 2,000 visitors.

Attendees will be able to try their skill on the target range with arrows, BBs or shotguns. There will also be wild game tasting and the department will provide an "electro-fishing" demonstration. Local charitable organizations will be on hand to provide food and drinks.

At the Bodcau Dam, gates will open at 10 a.m. and festivities will conclude at 4 p.m.

For more information, interested persons can call Todd Buffington at (318) 371-3050.

n Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Madison and Tensas Parishes is cherished statewide as a prime example of one of the few remaining vast acres of contiguous hardwood habitat in the Bayou State.

According to a recent press release, the Tensas River Refuge Association (TRRA) is holding an annual Hunting and Fishing Day event on Saturday at the Tensas River NWR.

This event will be held at the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center grounds from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Some of the attractions to this year's event include live music; numerous exhibits such as wildlife, history, forestry, and educational exhibits; live animal displays; flint knapping, spear throwing, blacksmithing, Dutch oven cooking, rocket net demonstrations; auctions; door prizes; owl, duck, and turkey calling contests; skeet, BBgun, muzzleloader and archery shooting; health screenings; refreshments and concessions throughout the day; and registration and drawings for special lottery youth deer and duck hunts.

n One of the yearly attractions to Hunting and Fishing Day at the refuge is the registration and drawing for special youth deer and waterfowl hunts.

To register for the drawing, interested youth between the ages of 8 and 15 years old (as of the day of the hunt), must sign up between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 during NH&FD at Tensas River NWR.

New to National Hunting and Fishing Day this year will be live performances of genuine delta blues with "Po Henry & Tookie".

Po Henry & Tookie have performed at many festivals and events throughout the deep south such as the Delta Blues and Heritage Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Louisiana Folklife Festival and more.

Also new to National Hunting and Fishing Day at Tensas River NWR this year is a spear throwing demonstration by David Griffing of Poverty Point State Park.

"I will be throwing spears with a device known as an "atlatl," said Griffing. "This is basically a stick about two feet in length with a hook at one end of it. It really lengthens the throwing arm so that a spear can be thrown much farther, with more speed, and a heavier impact.

“The use of the atlatl goes all the way back to Europe during the Ice Age. They are still in use in Australia today."

Also of special interest and new to this year's National Hunting and Fishing Day event at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge is a display of the Junior Duck Stamp art contest winners for the state of Louisiana. "Prints of the twelve first-place winners, including the Louisiana Best of Show will be on display in the Tensas River NWR visitor center," said Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery Park Ranger, John Barr. "The original artwork will be shown at the Madison Parish Historical Society in Tallulah several days later."

Children and adults will have the opportunity to view and learn about some of the many animals that inhabit the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge visitor center will be open so that conservation enthusiasts can enjoy the audio-visual displays that features mounts of animals including the Louisiana black bear, Ivory-billed woodpecker and American alligator.

Although the mounted displays are fun, live creatures such as rattlesnakes, box turtles, a variety of fish, bullfrogs and young alligators are always very popular.

Admission to the event and all activities are free. For more information on the National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration at the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge or the National Wildlife Refuge System, contact the refuge at (318) 574-2664.

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
September 23, 2004

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