Ken and I were there. It was awesome.
Picture a giant convention hall, the size of a city block, filled with vendors of all sorts, advocacy groups, and activities, such as an archery range, an axe-throwing challenge, and a giant indoor pond where you could borrow a little boat and paddle around.
The first thing we saw was a couple of live beavers bustling around in a plexiglass enclosure, nomming on twigs and broccoli florets. They were there on behalf of a wildlife conservancy group. Pretty cute, aren't they? Unfortunately, I did not get to pet them.
I did get to pet a couple of friendly doggies after the exciting WoofJocks Canine Allstars agility show. The dogs were remarkably well-behaved, except for the one who pooped on the floor.
That was it for live animals. All the other furred and feathered guys there were dead.
Coyote perpetually angling for a birdie mcnugget:
Red-tailed hawk with photo-bombing mink:
Fox with photo-bombing mink:
Skunk and skunklet:
The front half of a bear:
I like to think that the hunter made the other half into a pair of fur pants for himself.
There are no gazelles in Canada. This was at a booth promoting safari trips to South Africa.
In answer to my questions, he told me that the owl had been hit by a car (as frequently happens when they dive to the ground chasing prey); it had been dead and wrapped up in his freezer for three years; and it had taken two days to thaw out upon being removed from the freezer because feathers are super-insulating. Here he is peeling the skin off, after having made a midline incision with the a scalpel (on the table). I did get a twinge of visceral horror while watching this procedure, but I was fascinated and forced myself to stay and watch a bit longer.
There were many weapons on display, in case you had an urge to make more animals and birds be dead. I do not have this urge. However, if I did, obviously I would want this pink crossbow.
Ken took a turn at the axe-throwing challenge.
He didn't manage to get an axe to stick in the target (a stump mounted on a plywood wall) but also did not kill anyone by accident. *thumbs up* Incidentally, the axe-thrower who got the most bull's-eyes while I was there was a woman. After she got done demolishing the stump, the announcer started telling everyone they'd better throw like a girl.
A couple more cool things:
The ATV of electric wheelchairs. It's called an Action Trackchair. It was invented by a guy who wanted to take his paraplegic son for a walk on the beach. Apparently the U.S. government is providing them to veterans.
And this thing.
All told, it was an excellent way to spend a wintry day.