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February 28, 2012

WEST ALLIS - Outdoor enthusiasts will have an opportunity to meet Department of Natural Resources staff at the 72nd Annual Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, see an aquarium full of native fish and the Wall of Shame, a display of impressive but illegally harvested bucks.

They'll also be able to buy new hunting and fishing licenses at the show, which opens Wednesday, March 7, and runs through Sunday, March 11, at the Wisconsin Exhibition Center at State Fair Park, 8200 W. Greenfield Ave. in West Allis.

"Because the focus of our agency is customer-driven, this is a great opportunity for the public to ask questions and engage with our staff," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

DNR has been involved with the sports show since the days when the agency was called the Wisconsin Conservation Department. DNR's exhibit features a 600-gallon freshwater tank where visitors can view live bluegills, crappies, perch, largemouth and small mouth bass. Live reptiles and amphibians will be on display at the wetlands and waterways section.

As they have done for several years, wildlife managers will bring an array of wildlife pelts including beaver, badger, coyote, fox and wolf for youngsters eager to learn more about our furry friends. "This is definitely a 'please do touch' display," said Marcus Smith, DNR's regional public affairs manager who coordinates the exhibit.

Conservation wardens will be on hand to answer questions about law enforcement and rule changes. This year marks the return of the Wall of Shame. The display consists of 28 mounts of large bucks that were taken illegally throughout the state in the past 15 years. Each deer has a story that is summarized in a handout given visitors. Besides being an impressive display of Wisconsin deer, it stresses hunting ethics and that citizen cooperation is essential in holding poachers accountable for their actions.

Park rangers will sell park stickers and trail passes. Show visitors also can purchase their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. License sales usually are a big attraction, especially since previous year licenses expire March 31.

"Customers have told us that buying their license from us at the Sports Show is a tradition," according to Smith.

The 1,800-square-foot DNR exhibit is located in the southwest corner of the exhibition center. About 20 DNR employees staff the exhibit daily. The hours for the 2012 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show are Wednesday, March 7, through Friday, March 9, from noon to 9 p.m. On Saturday, March 10, hours are from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sunday, March 11 doors open at 10 a.m. and the show closes at 6 p.m.

Admission is $6.50 in advance and $8.00 at the door. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcus Smith (414) 263-8516
Last Revised: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

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