Ducks Unlimited Expo this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

What can you expect to find at the first ever Ducks Unlimited Expo (DUX) this weekend as the three-day long quacker backer party starts its June 25-27 run at Texas Motor Speedway?

How about a little bit of everything? Because looking at the DUX event website (www.duckexpo.com), there’s almost too much to try and describe in this space.

For the waterfowl hunter, there will be numerous exhibitors, waterfowl gear companies and even eight duck and goose calling contests on hand this weekend. The contests, by the way, will feature a total prize purse of more than $10,000 and even a spot in this fall’s World Duck Calling Championship Contest in Stuttgart, Ark.

Calling competition begins on Saturday morning, June 26, with two sanctioned regionals to qualify for the World's Duck Calling Championship. According to DU, the Ducks Unlimited Regional and the Gulf Coast Regional will be held back-to-back as callers compete for a coveted trip to Stuttgart the weekend after Thanksgiving.

By the way, the grand prize for the Gulf Coast Regional winner is $1,000, while the DU Regional boasts a $5,000 payout for first place. A DU news release says that this is the largest prize for any sanctioned contest across the country this year, proving once again that things are always bigger and better in Texas, right?

If you want to call tomorrow, note that registration for the calling contests begins at noon today (Friday, June 25). For more information on the DUX Calling Contests, please contact: Zach Pegram at 901-500-7869 or by e-mail at zpegram@ducks.org.

There will also be plenty of shooting names present this weekend with shotgun, rifle, and ammunition makers represented by such companies as Benelli, Beretta USA, BOSS Shotshells, Browning, Daniel Defense, Federal Ammunition, Hevi Shot Ammo, Kent Cartridge, Leupold, Remington Ammo, Savage Arms, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Winchester Ammo, Winchester Arms, and more.

Conservation will also be a big winner at the DUX Expo, with tons of goodies and booths available including many by Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, among others.

Speaking of conservation, hunting dogs are one of the wingshooting’s best conservation tools thanks to their abilities to retrieve waterfowl as well as point and retrieve upland game birds. There will be lots of hunting dog goodies and gear, plentiful canine reasons to attend as Purina, Dokken's Oak Ridge Kennels, Wildrose Labradors, and others attend and talk hunting dogs and training tips.

If you're a bowhunter, you'll be thrilled by the trick shot artistry of master archer Byron Ferguson. You'll also love the goodies available from such renowned bowhunting names as Bear, Feradyne (Rage Broadheads, Block Targets, Carbon Express, etc.), Mathews, Muzzy, New Archery Products, Plano Synergy, PSE, Spot Hogg, TRUglo and more.

For those who like to drive an ATV, UTV, or four-wheel drive pick-up truck around the duck or deer lease, they're in luck too because Can-Am, Polaris, Chevy, Ford, Toyota and others will be on hand.

And if you're an angler, don't worry, DUX has you covered too with Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops in attendance, along with numerous other fishing industry names like Googan Baits. You can see product use seminars, see the latest in bass boats and electronic fish finding technology, test out new kayaks, and even learn how to tie up a few flies if fly fishing is your thing.

There will be dozens of local and national exhibitors present, well-known names that include Lake Texoma’s Bill Carey's Striper Express Guide Service, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Bowhunters United, Dallas Safari Club, Go-Devil, Lone Star Quail Forever, Mossy Oak Properties of Texas, Mule Deer Foundation, National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Texas Outdoor Writers Association, Texas Trophy Hunters, WR Case & Sons Cutlery Company, Wren & Ivy, and many more.

Interested in attending? Then note that the DUX Expo will run from 12 noon until 7 p.m. today, Friday, June 25. Over the weekend, the hours on Saturday, June 26 will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sunday, June 27, the hours will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Ticket prices are $10 for single-day adult tickets and $25 for three-day adult tickets. Kids 12 and under are allowed to get in free at the gate as are active-duty or retired first responders and armed forces members who have an ID.

For the Duck Jam country music portion of the event on Saturday, June 26, a Ducks Unlimited VIP ticket is $250; a general admission ticket is $45 in advance; and a general admission ticket the day of the show is $50.

It takes some big sponsorship names to pull off something like this financially and they're all aboard this weekend for the first ever DUX Expo. Sponsors include Purina, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Ducks Unlimited Visa, Cinnamon Creek Ranch, Boss Shotshells, Polaris, Federal, Savage Arms, YETI Coolers, Winchester, Tracker Off Road, Toyota, Hook & Barrel Magazine, Beretta, Browning, Mack's Prairie Wings, DISH, Alps Outdoors, Cooper Tires, Texas Beef Company, Pnuma, War Eagle Boats, Gunner Kennels and more.

All in all, from sponsorship names to exhibiting companies to events and activities to a country music line-up with some of Nashville’s best, it’s a Texas sized DU quacker backer party and then some.

Find a reason to point the pick-up south and head for DUX at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, and the guess here is that you won’t be sorry that you did.