The fifth annual Kansas Hunting and Fishing Expo at Flinthills Mall may go down as the best yet.
It certainly set an attendance record, with around 4,700 people coming to the mall -- up about 200 from last year.
Also, over 50 vendors highlighted a wide range of outdoor activities, especially those traditionally considered like hunting and fishing. Organizer Tonya Carson was beyond pleased with how things went, and she says attention is already turning to next year.
Teenager Remington Wagner was helping to teach kids how to cast for fish at the Kids Corner. Wagner is getting involved in Fishing's Future, an organization designed to get kids and their parents outdoors. He's also involved in Junior B.A.S.S. -- the Junior Bassmaster program which is expanding high school fishing tournaments. Wagner says it's a great venture, and it's just another reason for him to get outside.
Also among the vendors with booths was the National Wild Turkey Federation Flint Hills Gobblers chapter, which has won numerous state and national awards the past five years. The Gobblers had an inflatable BB gun range manned in part by Isaac Cushinberry, who was giving people tips on how to shoot safely. Cushinberry says outdoor activities have been a family affair for years.
Mall manager Jose Feliciano says the expo is a good way to highlight outdoor activities and the many nonprofit agencies involved in spreading the word.
Next year's expo will be March 2-3 at Flinthills Mall.