With as many seated at the tables as possible without violating fire code regulations, some 300-plus people enjoyed pan-fried pike, moose roast, ginger venison, elk sausage and other wild game meats along with salads, baked potatoes and buns, at the Unity Community Centre Feb. 1.
The annual wildlife supper, put on by the Unity branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, is entirely prepared by volunteers who start preparations days ahead of the event. The calibre of the meal is evident from the sell-out of tickets each year.
Along with serving supper, club members do some fundraising with silent auction items, line draws and many raffle prizes. Memberships are also sold at the event. Each year, the Unity wildlife club sponsors a bursary for a graduating student. The club stocks Scott reservoir with rainbow trout and pays the power bill to keep the reservoir aerated. Donations have also been made to community projects such as long term care and emergency measures.
Antlers and heads from the 2013 hunting season were mounted on a wall at the front of the hall. The comment was made that, although there had been complaints there weren’t much in the way of “big” antlers last fall, the display put the lie to that statement.
When it came time for the hunting and fishing awards, Tania Heck and Ed Lantz were each called to the podium twice. Heck had both the largest elk, with a score of 333 7/8, and the largest ladies’ whitetail deer, typical, scoring at 111 2/8. Lantz had the largest goose with a 13-pound, 14-ounce bird and the largest rainbow trout which weighed in at 5.01 pounds.
Also taking home trophies for their hunting prowess were the following club members: Lee McGonigle, largest typical whitetail, 150 2/8; Glen Heitt, largest non-typical whitetail, 137 5/8; Omer Desmarais, largest non-typical mule deer, 195; Debbie Baldwin, largest ladies’ mule deer, 176, non-typical; Bill Rissling, largest seniors’ whitetail, 149 3/8, typical; Brianna Elder, largest juniors’ mule deer, 131 2/8, typical; Scott Purcell, largest archery trophy, 156 3/8, non-typical whitetail and Kurt Elder, largest moose, 132 2/8.
A number of fishing prizes went unawarded. Other than Lantz, the only other winner was Dylan Ganter with the largest jackfish, weighing 18 pounds and three ounces.