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Wildlife and Outdoor Expo starts Friday night

Archery season for whitetail deer starts in 38 days. The sounds of the guns will fill the woods a few weeks after that.

Those dates are still weeks away, but for all things deer hunting and outdoors right now, the 2018 Lincoln County Wildlife and Outdoor Expo starts in just a few hours.

“We’re looking to have a great year, with lots of fun activities for the family,” said Lincoln Civic Center manager and expo organizer Quinn Jordan. “Come out and support us and help us continue to make this event a success.”

The wildlife expo, with outdoor vendors pedaling everything from turkey calls to four-wheelers while others demonstrate, entertain and cook jambalaya, begins tonight at 5 p.m. at the civic center and runs until 9 p.m., with the show going on again Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission to the expo is $6 for adults, $5 for children and free for children 6 years old and younger.

The expo will feature attractions like a lumberjack show, performed by Minnesota-based Lumberjack Enterprises, a snake show presented by Mississippi “snake man” Terry Vandeventer, and a blacksmithing demonstration by Brandon’s Lyle Wynn, who competed on The History Channel show “Forged in Fire.”

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host a bow shoot to promote the Archery in Mississippi Schools Program, and an open bow shoot hosted by the M4 group from Macedonia Baptist Church will be held under the stall barn outside. Proceeds from the bow shoot go toward the group’s Trip of a Lifetime for children — this year, they’re taking Nash Durr, son of slain deputy William Durr, on a deep-sea fishing trip.

There will be numerous attractions for children, including pig-catching, a jump zone, animal viewing, fish-grabbing, face-painting and baby alligators to handle, courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

And, of course, there will be outdoor gear for sale — hunting knives, game cameras, game calls, stands, tractors, side-by-sides and ATVs, campers, boats and just about any other item a hunter or angler might need. LazyMan Outdoors will be selling fiberglass deer stands and offering deals throughout the show.

There will also be ladies’ booths, outdoor organizations handing out information and food — kettle corn will be cooked fresh throughout, and Trinity Outdoors Disabled Adventures will be selling jambalaya plates, with proceeds funding its ministry.

“This event is only as good as the good people who come out and attend it, so we need you come see us and have a family-friendly environment, and help us kick off the 2018 hunting season as a family,” Jordan said. “There’s booths for men, women and children, so come out an enjoy.”