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Wildlife Heritage Festival to Be Held

September 14, 2005

In celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Week in New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will host its fourth Wildlife Heritage Festival at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center in Oxford on Sunday, September 25.

The free event, sponsored by the New Jersey Council of Trout Unlimited and the Warren County Office of Tourism (, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held rain or shine.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, September 24 and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Week in New Jersey is September 25 – October 1. The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness of the great contribution hunters and anglers make to wildlife conservation.

For more than a century, hunters and anglers have been staunch supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated use of wildlife was a serious threat to the future of many species. Each day, 71 million Americans -- hunters and anglers -- are working to conserve and improve natural resources.

The wildlife heritage festival is designed to highlight the historical and present uses of wildlife as well as the importance of wildlife to our culture. This year’s event will feature a series of short lectures including the following:

12:30 p.m. This is the United Bowhunters of New Jersey – Jack Chellew, UBNJ
1:00 p.m. "Sing about NJ wildlife" - Diana Dove, Environmental Educator performs for families and children of all ages.
1:30 p.m. Field Care of Your Trophy from a Taxidermist’s Viewpoint – Mark Van Leuven, Buck-Shot Taxidermy
2:30 p.m. Snakes of New Jersey – Gerald Wronski, Wildlife Conservation Corps

3:00 p.m. "Sing about NJ wildlife" - Diana Dove, Environmental Educator performs for families and children of all ages.

Retriever and pointing dog demonstrations by Lance Casper and Mary Jasch will take place throughout the afternoon at the pond. A demonstration of trout egg stripping will be offered at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Demonstrations of archery trick shooting will take place at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the archery range. Fish cooking and cleaning demonstrations (as well as tasting!) will take place from noon to 2 p.m.

A 3-D archery range will be available for both the experienced archer with his/her own equipment, as well as the novice. Equipment will be available on loan for both kids and adults to try. New this year is a shotgun range, which will be used to provide an introduction to shotgun shooting for youngsters’ aged 10 and older as well as adults. All equipment will be provided.

Kids aged 8 to 15 can try fishing for trout in the education pond with help from Trout Unlimited and Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers. A trout pond will also be available for kids 8 and under to try out.

Another new feature this year is a sportsman’s flea market. More than 30 vendors have already committed to attending with hunting and fishing related goods and services available for purchase.

A variety of conservation groups will display information about their organizations and even renowned Pro Bassmaster Mike Iaconelli is expected to attend. Various Division programs will be represented too, including members of the Black Bear Management Team who will display equipment and information about their research and management efforts. Several conservation officers will be on hand as well. A number of artists and taxidermists are also expected to exhibit at the festival.

Several special activities are planned just for kids. Arts and crafts, storytelling, games and music will be ongoing throughout the day.

Families are welcome to bring their own picnic lunch to eat on the grounds, or they can purchase food from various local vendors.

Pequest is located on Route 46 about nine miles west of Hackettstown in the Skylands of Warren County. To learn more about the festival, visit the Division’s Web site at

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2005
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 14, 2005