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Experts assemble for first annual Outdoor Expo

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Sept. 14, 2001
With The Meridian Star 2001 Outdoor Expo scheduled to begin Saturday, taxidermist David Espey spent Thursday putting last-minute touches on some of his booth exhibits.
The two-day Expo, which kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center, is expected to draw a large number of men, women and families interested in hunting, fishing and other outdoor fun.
Espey said he is looking forward to being at the Expo and displaying his work. He will be bringing the Top 10 bucks in the Budweiser Big Buck Bounty, co-sponsored by The Meridian Star and David Espey Taxidermy. The bucks scored from 149-1632/8.
Other co-sponsors of the Big Buck Bounty contest are Pepsi, Y95 FM, Blackwater Creek Treestands and Gibson Saw Honda in Forest. Espey said he will also give away a muzzle loader in a raffle.
Espey worked as a mechanic for more than 20 years before opening David Espey Taxidermy in 1990. He worked as a taxidermist part-time for about a year before he opened his business and became a full-time taxidermist.
He became interested in the career change while fanning the tail and preparing the feet of a turkey he had killed.
Espey said he has hunted and fished most of his life and used to do a lot of camping. Now, he has a trailer at his hunting camp in Porterville and is president of the White Tail Hunting Club.
Espey's booth will be one of more than 50 booths featuring outdoor recreation products. The Expo will host speakers conducting seminars on a variety of outdoor activities, equipment dealers, manufacturers and outfitters.
Speakers include Otha Barham, outdoors editor of The Meridian Star, who will host a beginning deer hunters' seminar; national champion turkey caller Jack Dudley, who will give hunting advice and show how to call turkeys using the natural voice; and international herpetology specialist and reptile expert Terry Vandeventer, who present his "Snakes of Mississippi" seminar series.
Other fun exhibits include a live fishing demonstration in which professional anglers will teach proper fishing techniques using a large bass tub.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at