Event Offers Resources for New Hunters May 10-11 in CDA

A new North Idaho event wants to make it easier for people of all ages and backgrounds to get into hunting. Northwest Hunt Fest is happening at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene on May 10-11. The non-profit event runs from 12-7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday with a full schedule of educational activities.

Event organizer Penny Burciaga says it will be different than the typical sportsmen-type shows where the main draw is usually commercial vendors selling stuff.  “I really wanted it to be a hunting education event where people can come and learn about hunting ranging from elk all the way to waterfowl. We have over 20 seminars plus demonstrations to give people practical information on how to hunt for different species,” she says.  

Seminars and demonstrations cover a range of topics, from tracking and field dressing to game calling, gear and more. The event will also include competitions, including an elk calling competition, educational exhibitors (all related to hunting), and contests, including a grand prize drawing for a family chukar hunt and fishing expedition for six that’s valued at $2,100 (must be present to win). The $30 fee for adults (kids and youth 17 and under are free) includes a ton of super-valuable hunting education and a chance to learn from experts all in one place (save $5 on a two-day pass with the discount code “outdoormag”). The event was designed to give hunters and prospective hunters the resources they need to get into hunting, says Burciaga. An Idaho native and recent hunting convert, she has spent the past several years trying to learn as much as she could and hopes the event will serve as a gateway for others and an easier path to get started.

Nationwide, hunter numbers have declined in recent years, yet there’s been growing interest in hunting from women and families, including many from urban or suburban areas looking to procure some of their own food in the form of healthy, wild meat. Confirming those trends, Burciaga notes that a ton of women have signed up, and says there is a women-only seminar. Burciaga’s ultimate goal for the event and the non-profit organization behind it is to make hunting education affordable and available to all, including everyone from beginners to more experienced hunters looking for information and advice on advanced strategy. Find more info and tickets at Northwesthuntfest.com

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