• Family fun Saturday at Dead Creek Wildlife Day
    By DARREN MARCY | October 05,2012
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    Darren Marcy
    The outdoors comes in many flavors, providing opportunities for a wide spectrum of enthusiasts with the chance to pursue an outdoor activity.

    From hunting, fishing, birdwatching and photography to hiking, orienteering and nature walking.

    All of those topics, and others, will be addressed Saturday at the 11th annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day in Addison.

    This is one of the top outdoor conservation events held anywhere in the state. Don't miss it if you have any chance of making it.

    The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area on Route 17, west of Route 22A.

    There will be two large tents at the WMA that will house some of the activities in case of rain, which could happen based on the current forecast.

    A few of the events are held in nearby fields and a free shuttle bus will provide rides to those events throughout the day.

    Those who like to get up and hit the fields a little earlier can watch bird banding, which starts at 7 a.m.

    The event has had a very successful run and a big part of that is the family-friendly atmosphere with plenty of activities and learning opportunities for young outdoor enthusiasts as well as their parents.

    There are crafts like building a bluebird box and carving soap and decoys, as well as activities including pellet gun target practice and the Laser-Shot hunting system that will offer fun for all ages.

    Demonstrations will be held throughout the day, including a talk by a Vermont game warden, sarch and rescue dog tactics, bird banding, working retrievers, rocket netting wildlife and goose hunting decoy sets and calls.

    Workshops include GPS and orienteering, study of owl pellets, forest pests, grasslands initiative, beginners bird walk and plant identification.

    Wildlife fans will enjoy sessions on butterflies, black terns, turtles, wildlife viewing, bird identification and a session called live critters of Vermont.

    And there's a nature walk, fishing activities, the ongoing bats and white-nose syndrome, and the favorite of many kids, face painting.

    The event has become so popular, it is now named one of Vermont's Top 10 Fall Events.

    Even if you wake up in the morning and it's rainy, just slide into your boots, grab a raincoat and head on over to Addison.

    One thing I've found is kids are like sponges when it comes to the outdoors, wildlife and conservation. They get it.

    When you explain the ways of nature to a kid, they not only understand but remember it. They'll carry it forward and help shape who they become.

    And in this day of decreased connections to wild animals and wild places, every bit of appreciation we can foster in our kids is a good thing.

    The entire event is free, thanks to several groups and organizations.

    The annual event is hosted by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Otter Creek Audubon Society, Addison County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

    Some events are held several times a day and a few take place once so it's important to take a look at the schedule.

    For more information and to see the full schedule, see the Vermont Fish and Wildlife's website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com and click on the Dead Creek Wildlife Days link.

    Contact Darren at mail@darrenmarcy.com or at his website at www.DarrenMarcy.com.
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