Wheeler Refuge

As two juvenile whooping cranes fly toward one another at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, one bird casts a reflection in the lake.

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is hosting an open house Saturday, and the public is invited to take part in a number of planned activities.

The event is part of the National Wildlife Refuge Week celebration, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the visitor center on Alabama 67 South in Decatur.

Refuge staff will be at the catfish pond from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. helping anyone ages 5-12 reel in “the big one.” The refuge will supply bait. Children may borrow a pole or bring their own.

The “Jake Takes Aim” shooting simulator (for ages 5-17) will be presented by the Alabama chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. For youngsters who enjoy archery, there will be “hover ball” target shooting.

Children may explore the corn maze, learn the importance of farming for wildlife and learn to shell corn the old-fashioned way. Refuge staff will also offer wagon hay rides. The 4H Wildlife Center will present a raptor program featuring birds of prey at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

“Conservation Heroes,” a series of three films, will also be shown. Hot dogs will be sold as part of a fundraiser for future refuge programs.

National Wildlife Refuge Week will be observed Oct. 13-19. A press release about the Wheeler event described the week as a “perfect time to rediscover your true nature at a national wildlife refuge.”

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge spans more than 35,000 acres along the Tennessee River between the cities of Decatur and Huntsville.

Visit www.fws.gov/wheeler or www.facebook.com/WheelerNWRComplex for more information about the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

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