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SEPTEMBER  22, 2003


ST. MARYS - The Northwest Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau will sponsor the 3rd Annual Elk Expo - a two-day festival all about elk and enjoying the great outdoors - on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28, at the Elk County Fairgrounds in Kersey.

This year's Expo is themed "Just for the Elk of It," and already is drawing a large amount of interest from around the nation. The Expo will feature: national and local entertainment; seminars, demonstrations and presentations; contests and exhibitions; sports activities; elk watching shuttle buses; arts and crafts booths; a food court; educational displays; an elk calling contest; and a marketplace with the latest outdoors equipment and clothing.

On Sept. 27, beginning at 6 p.m., the Pennsylvania Game Commission will select the names of 100 lucky hunters who will be awarded 2003 elk hunt licenses. The winners will be eligible to participate in the state's elk hunt, which will be held Nov. 10-15.

In addition, the Game Commission's Northcentral Region Office plans to have a wildlife display and booth to provide informational and educational materials to visitors. Dr. Matt Lovallo and Mark Ternent, Game Commission wildlife biologists, will be on hand on Sept. 27, to provide programs about coyotes and bears, respectively. Wildlife Conservation Officers Linda Swank, of Lancaster County, and Darren Clark, of Erie County, will conduct demonstrations of the agency's K-9 unit at various times on both days.

On Sept. 27, visitors are urged to come hear folks show off their talent for imitating elk sounds as they vie for trophies and cash prizes at the Elk Bugling Contest, which is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). Contestants will use their voices and hand-held or breath operated devices to create realistic elk sounds. Each caller will be asked to produce cow/calf sounds and bull elk sounds - bugles, growls, grunts, squeals, and chuckles. There are two levels of competition: adults (18 and over) and youths (17 and younger). There is no entry fee, and competitors can sign up at the RMEF booth up to one hour before the competition.

Another highlight of this year will include Ted Nugent, outdoorsman and rock musician. Nugent will be at the Expo from 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 27, to speak to the crowd, answer questions and sign autographs. A well-known anti-drug and anti-alcohol abuse spokesman, Nugent also is a life member of such organizations as: National Rifle Association, New York City Benevolent Policeman's Association, National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Trappers Association, National Field Archers Association, United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania and many more. He has written two books, hosts an outdoors program on The Outdoor Channel, and is the editor/publisher of an outdoors magazine.

Other new additions this year include: JL Racing Entertainment Productions, Ltd., which will be bringing miniature radio-controlled NASCAR racing to the Expo; and "Shots Galore," the original wood ball shooting range. Rick Boni, a master chainsaw sculptor from Pennsylvania, will carve an elk from wood and create other imaginative works of art at the Elk Expo from 1 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 27.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, visitors can watch go-cart racing at the Al Dietz Memorial Raceway at the Fair Grounds.

Directions to the Elk County Fairgrounds in Kersey are:

From I-80 Westbound
Take Exit 111 and go north on SR153 to the intersection of SR255 (village of Penfield), where there is a stop light. Turn right (north) on SR255 toward St. Marys, and continue until the intersection of SR948 (about 16 miles). Turn left (north) on SR948 toward Kersey for about two miles to Green Road. Turn left on Green Road to Dietz Road. Turn left on Dietz Road and look for the Fairgrounds.

From I-80 Eastbound
Take Exit 81 and go north on SR28 to the intersection of SR219 (Borough of Brockway). From there go north on SR219 to the intersection of SR948 (about 10 miles). Turn right (south) on SR948 toward Kersey for about five miles to Green Road. Turn right on Green Road to Dietz Road. Turn left on Dietz Road and look for the Fairgrounds.

For more information about the Expo, visit the Northwest Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau website, or use the link from the Game Commission's PA Elk Hunting HQ.


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