The Delmarva Outdoors Expo as seen from a tree-hugging, vegan lens

The Delmarva Outdoors Expo as seen from a tree-hugging, vegan lens

By Shauna McVey

delmarva outdoors Expo
Dock Dogs

There’s a little known secret in the outdoors world: tree-huggers, vegans, vegetarians, fishers and hunters actually have a lot more in common than most would think.

How do I know this? I’m a mostly vegan tree-hugger who grew up in the country and has a wealth of friends who hunt and fish, and I write and take photos for a fishing website. Put me in nature and I find happiness. It’s the same for most of you, too.

One thing I find among the hunting and vegan friends of mine is some of them think the other is the enemy, when really we all appreciate nature more than most.

I worked photography for the Delmarva Outdoors Expo and knew I would see a few things that would make me feel some kind of way, but just like a Facebook post I don’t agree with, I had the option to stroll right on past.

I even chose to dive right in. Instead of avoiding the majestic mounted bucks displayed by White Tails Unlimited, I captured their beauty on camera as I stood next to one of my best friends, an avid hunter, who explained what “kills” like that mean to hunters.

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While the Delmarva Outdoors Expo is heavy on hunting and fishing vendors, it is, after all, all about the outdoors. There were vendors for everybody. Wildlife photography, fish paintings, self-defense items, pottery, dogs diving in water, Jeeps of all kinds (hello!), live chainsaw carving, giant shark teeth, boats, off-road vehicles and so much more.

Artist ... George KalwaI scored a sweet pocket knife with fireflies engraved on the handle and blade. It’s so cute, y’all. And effective. I got a “#nicespread” hoodie from Magnolia Wildfowl Rentals, owned by my veteran buddy Keith Windsor. I don’t hunt, but I do support my friends’ businesses and vets, to boot. And while editing photos in the warmth of his indoor booth on Sunday, I got to watch a potbelly pig walk into one of his dog blinds. Really? Oh yeah, there were dogs galore, all weekend long.

Darrell Meade and Rich King, who runs Delaware Surf Fishing (DSF), worked incredibly hard to bring this family-friendly expo to life and had a great crew to back them up all weekend. I know Rich worked hard because I wasn’t allowed to annoy him for weeks leading up to the event.

The Expo brought together more than 100 vendors, most of which were local businesses, in a way that kept the weekend interesting and fun, with a lot of services and goods to peruse. Even without money to spend, you’re likely to have a great time.

Hunters will hunt. Fishers will fish. Tree huggers will hug trees. Vegans will eat vegan. And none of us have to be mad at the other for living our lives the way want. The Delmarva Outdoors Expo celebrates the thing we all adore – the outdoors, and I would love to see more of my friends from all ways of life attend next year. You’ll miss some pretty cool stuff if you don’t.

 Shauna McVey

Girl Goes Local

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