JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The 32nd annual Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza kicked off in Jackson on August 3rd.
The event was held at the Mississippi Trade Mart as hunters got a chance to prepare for hunting season.
Vendors from all over North America set up shop to sell anything a hunter would want. Jordan Blissett works for Primos out of Flora.
"We got grunt calls, we got trigger sticks, we got a ground blind, new surround view," he said.
He walked over to one of their new items, a ground blind.
"You can see down through there, you can see through the blind. But you cant see in," said Blissett. "So you never have a blind spot for your animals. So you can see them all around you."
Blissett said he spent five years creating his customized Tree-stand Blind Kit.
"You want me to go on and set it up?" he asked, referring to his four in one hunting blind.
Blissett said he can set it up and take it down in three minutes and 20 seconds, even in the dark.
"Right now we have had a lot of interest in our thermals," said Daniel Cavin of Sports Center. It's a sporting goods store in Natchez.
Their big item is the pulsar thermal scope used for hog hunting. They're illegal to use for deer hunting, but unfortunately some people do, he said.
Alex is a gun enthusiast who works at Rycan in Ridgeland.
"Cerakote is a polymer ceramic coating powder pushed through a liquid medium and applied to a substrate," he said, describing what his company is known for.
In layman's terms, cerakote is a liquid coating that gives your firearms a very durable finish.
According to Alex, a hunter can put their gun into salt water and it will never rust.
It can also be used to customize your firearm.
"You can make something very cool like this," he said as he held up one of his favorite firearms. "We call this the Boba Fett."
The company just finished customizing a gun for Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Wildlife Extravaganza is about the merchandise and technology, but it's also about much more than that. Hunting is a very important part of the states economy from the sales of tags and licenses, and it also helps support wildlife conservation efforts.
Dr. Jeanne Jones is a professor of wildlife biology. According to her, the sport of hunting generates an enormous amount of money.
"In 2010 just for people buying recreational gear to go fish, hunt, and go watch birds was 1.7 billion dollars," she said. "So people that came here to go say duck hunt stayed at lodges or hotels, they ate somewhere. We know that that's an additional 1.8 billion dollars in economic impact."
These numbers are based on a study conducted by Mississippi State.
According to Jones, there is an 11% excise tax on hunting and fishing goods, a percentage of which goes directly to state agencies to help the Wildlife and Fish Conservation.
Lastly, Jones said, when it all comes down to it, the most important part of wildlife hunting is the enjoyment that it provides and the appreciation that people develop for the great outdoors.