The crack of a .22 rifle, the boom of a muzzleloader, the crunch of a clay target breaking on a barrage of shot, and the ringing bark of a squirrel dog are the big sounds of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
So are the whirr of a fly line, the twang of a bowstring, the lapping sound of a paddle stirring water and the soft flutter the wings of a hawk showing off its hunting prowess.
All this — and more — is on Saturday at the Waddill Wildlife Education Center off North Flannery Road, where from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel and dozens of volunteers will make the 27th annual NHFD happen.
Other activities are set for the Woodworth Outdoor Education Center on Robinson Bridge Road in Woodworth; in Monroe, at the LDWF Office on 368 Centurylink Dr.; and near Haughton, at the Bodcau Wildlife Management Area.
The bonus is there is no charge for these activities. Also free is the seafood and wild-game tasting opportunities along with the hot dogs and soft drinks served around lunchtime.
A children’s-only fishing contest kicks off the day. It runs from 9-11 a.m. The LDWF staff will furnish live bait (crickets, worms) and usually has enough cane poles to go around.
For youngsters who’ve never fired a weapon, Saturday will be the day to make that first shot in safe environs or a chance for them to find out about most anything about the outdoors in Louisiana.
A note about driving to Waddill: The bridge on North Flannery crossing Lively Bayou is under repair. The Department of Public Works advises the best route is north on North Sherwood Boulevard, then east on South Choctaw to North Flannery Road.
For more information, call (225) 765-2925.
The second Ride the Bull Extreme Kayak Rodeo attracted 170 paddler-fishermen to Grand Isle on Saturday.
Sherman Walker of Baker was the big winner after weighing a 31.48-pound redfish taken in Caminada Pass. Capital City and Acadiana area anglers Joey Flanagan, Joseph Borne and Kirk Daigle also finished in the top 10.
That same day Don Hutchinson and Corey Wheat brought in a three-pound average — a 15.04 total — to take the first Anglers Against Autism Bass Tournament while Rodney Higginbotham and Gene Branum teamed for 10.88 pounds to take the inaugural Central Rotary Tournament on False River.