It’s that time of year again, when wildlife fans in Charleston gather for a weekend of demonstrations, cooking classes, film screenings, art exhibits, and more. The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition kicks off next week, but before all of the dog diving competitions and birds of prey presentations, you can get a head start on the fun with some special events. SEWE officially starts with an opening reception at the Mills House Hotel next Wednesday. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer, and even SEWE’s private label wine while meeting the SEWE featured artist and other artists exhibiting throughout the weekend. The reception is only open to SEWE VIPs, but you can still purchase a VIP membership at sewe.com. If you’re not a VIPer, you might prefer the evening’s game dinner at Halls Chophouse. Held in the restaurant’s private upstairs dining room, you can expect a unique meal with wine pairings; last year’s menu featured oysters, quail, and bison meat. Either way, you’ll need the sustenance to get you through all the events happening the rest of the week. SEWE is also hosting their first-ever kick-off party at Red’s Ice House on Sat. Feb. 12, with oysters and live music from Tyler Mechem of Crowfield and members of Sister Hazel.