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DUX Expo Recap

June 21, 2023
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

If you missed the DUX Expo I apologize. You missed a great event filled with trial dogs outdoor industry professionals, calling contests and so much more.

The DUX Expo, an annual event held at the Texas Motor Speedway, served as a significant gathering for outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists, and individuals committed to conserving wetlands and protecting waterfowl. The expo not only celebrated the remarkable work of Ducks Unlimited (DU) but also aimed to raise awareness about the critical role of wetlands in the ecosystem. Plus, it showcased some of the most athletic canines out there.

Upon entering the expansive grounds of the Texas Motor Speedway, attendees were greeted by almost 200 vendor booths, showcasing the latest advancements in waterfowl research, habitat restoration, outdoor products, leather goods, hunting or fishing excursions, and conservation initiatives.

Luckily, I didn’t attend the DUX Expo alone. I brought the family and asked the boys to pick their favorite products from all the vendors. Once the words came out of my mouth, I was bombarded by twenty products that garnered praise. Here are three from each boy.

Jett’s Top Picks

Back Down South Clothing – Bamboo Fishing Shirt Duck Camo

I’m not positive, but I believe this one was selected because my oldest is a massive history buff, and he believes this shirt had a military-type pattern or it was nearby and he wanted dads game to end. Either way, it was a great looking shirt.

GAIM – Virtual Reality Hunting and Sport Shooting Simulator

This one was on my top list as well. You can hunt, train your target focus and get a diagnosis of all your shooting problems by the end of your virtual reality experience. It’s an all-in-one trainer that gives you realistic feedback. Be aware though, if you don’t shoot the bears fast they do attack!

Sight Mark – Wraith Thermal

I swear I don’t coach these kids. They choose their own adventure. I stopped by to see my good buddy Kevin Reese, and he showed off the new Wraith Thermal from Sight Mark. Once the boys started looking through it, you could tell the boys were ready to own the night. Just a cool optic from a great company. Bonus! It is going to be on the market for under $2K.

Knox’ Top Picks

Rockin’ B Outdoors – 1,000 lbs Corn Feeder

A kid after my own heart. It may have been the size of the feeder or the fact that it brings in the deer, but Knox was ready to load this one up in the truck. It’s massive and may not fit in the truck, but they’re built right there in Texas and are willing to ship cross country.

The Dog in the Dirty Texas Outfitters Booth

Leave it to my youngest to bend the rules. He saw the goggles on this dog and was hooked. He can’t resist a pup, especially one wearing eye protection. Dirty Texas Outfitters offered other items in their booth besides a dog. They provide hunting services that include sandhill crane and goose hunts.

Saddleback Leather Co. -  A Leather Yeti

It’s not often you see a yeti in the wild, especially one crafted of the finest leather. Knox barely made it out of this booth alive, but he did find an awesome, well-crafted leather Constitution of the United States.

All Hunting Blinds

Knox would have chosen a product from each booth if I let him. He tested each blind as we passed by the booths. He looked for quality of shooting position, comfortable seating, and if he could really hide from fowl. Overall, I’d say the DUX Expo didn’t disappoint the families and youngsters that showed up at the Speedway.

I know you don’t want my picks, but what really stood out to me is the enthusiasm that came from the event. The first booth we stopped by was Ducks Unlimited. Our family purchased a family membership to DU. That is the best thing I found. All the booths I stopped by were important and fully supported DU, but DU is doing important things that we need to commend. Getting the family involved provides a shared interest because we all love what waterfowl brings. It’s essential to educate our youngsters about the importance of supporting conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited.

Over the years, DU has conserved millions of acres of wetlands across North America. Through strategic partnerships with landowners, government agencies, and other conservation organizations, they had successfully restored and protected critical habitats, ensuring the survival and thriving populations of waterfowl.

As the DUX Expo at the Texas Motor Speedway ended for the Jarnagins, we left with bags of swag and memories. The event had underscored the impact of Ducks Unlimited and the significance of their work in wetland conservation while providing fun for the entire family.

The DUX Expo served as a powerful reminder that when individuals come together with a shared vision, lasting change can be achieved, ensuring a brighter future for wetlands, waterfowl, and generations to come. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a different venture often. His early career had him working with one of the finest PR agencies in the outdoor industry – Blue Heron Communications. Before that, KJ molded the minds of business school students at the University of Oklahoma. Quickly learning he had to grow up sometime, KJ dedicated himself to the outdoors no matter what it took.

Sporting his flat-brimmed cap, KJ traverses the country in pursuit of the greatest game and best adventures. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind. KJ is a skilled communicator and connector in an industry that he has loved since a child.

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