Anyone who wants to fire a muzzleloader, tie a fishing fly, shoot a bow or learn dozens of other outdoor skills is invited to a free weekend of family fun Aug. 21-22 at the New Mexico Outdoor Expo at the Albuquerque Shooting Range Park.
The ninth annual event focuses on education and safe family outdoor fun. Volunteer experts will be on-hand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to give people of all ages hands-on experience with a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Dozens of organizations, sporting clubs and other groups will show participants how to get involved in activities that promote outdoor sports and natural resource conservation.
"This is an opportunity for us to show people how to safely enjoy the lifetime sports of hunting, shooting and fishing," said Jennifer Morgan of the Department of Game and Fish Hunter Education Program. "Entire families can come to the Expo and discover exciting, fun activities that will take them outdoors."
Certified instructors will staff ranges for .22-caliber rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and archery, providing one-on-one assistance to participants of all ages. Young shooters are especially welcome. Other activities include casting stations, a fishing pool loaded with lunker catfish; a climbing wall; and fishing demonstrations in a huge aquarium filled with New Mexico game fish.
This year's Expo also will feature demonstrations and training sessions on an off-highway vehicle simulator to show riders how to safely enjoy their sport while complying with state laws for OHV use on public lands.
As a bonus this year, some of the state's most dedicated quackers will go head-to-head to see who will reign as this year's New Mexico duck-calling champion. The noise will get under way at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. More information about the contest, including how to enter, is available online at the Duke City Duck Club’s Web site. 
To get to the Albuquerque Shooting Range Park from Albuquerque, take Interstate 40 west to the top of Nine-mile Hill, exit and drive 4.2 miles north on Paseo del Volcan, turn left at the park sign and drive 2.6 miles to the shooting range.
For more information about New Mexico Outdoor Expo, please call (505) 222-4731.