Brian Rutherford, right, was one of a handful that walked off with multiple honours at the annual Ponoka Fish and Game awards Feb. 3. Rutherford, with Big Game director Ray Abt, won catch and keep awards for largest burbot (4 ibs, 0.5 oz) and lake whitefish (3 lbs, 1.5 oz). Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Brian Rutherford, right, was one of a handful that walked off with multiple honours at the annual Ponoka Fish and Game awards Feb. 3. Rutherford, with Big Game director Ray Abt, won catch and keep awards for largest burbot (4 ibs, 0.5 oz) and lake whitefish (3 lbs, 1.5 oz). Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka Fish and Game awards its members while helping with conservation

Annual night of honours is groups biggest fundraiser of the year, raises funds to help buy land

A capacity crowd enjoyed a night of fun, friends and great variety of food at the annual Ponoka Fish and Game awards.

Around 350 people jammed themselves into the Stagecoach Saloon on the Ponoka Stampede grounds Feb. 3 for the organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year. Not only was it a chance to see both young and old receive various hunting and fishing awards, but also the opportunity to try some of the meat from the game caught by hunters.

“This event draws a good cross-section of the community and it shows they support us really well,” stated big game director Ray Abt, noting the awards night is one of the bigger ones in central Alberta.

Abt added there were around 75 items donated to be part of the silent auction, ranging anywhere from $20 to $500, but he didn’t know how much would be raised.

What he was able to state was that most of the money raised during the evening is put toward either renovations of the club’s facilities or set aside in order for the association to purchase land for conservation or access to fishing and hunting areas.

“Two years ago, we bought about 90-acres to help preserve that specific area,” Abt said.

“The province allows us to lease land and then gives us first right of refusal if or when the land on those leases comes up for sale. With so many areas of the province getting more and more populated, this is a very important part of being able to keep and maintain areas for fish and animal habitat.”

Meanwhile, the evening banquet included — along with the usual beef, turkey, perogies and salad — an assortment of more gamy items such as moose, elk, mule deer and a rather exotic, yet tasty treat — alligator.

Abt explained this was the first time the event ever had alligator on the menu and it seemed to go over well with the majority of the audience.

“We got the alligator from a Lacombe member and decided to add it, though we needed to go and purchase more from a store in Edmonton so there would be enough for everyone,” he said.

“It went over great. People here are used to the gamy taste, so we figured we would add something not so mainstream.”

Awards

A total of 26 awards were dished out with Abt stating the number of entries, especially in the junior classes, seems to be growing. He added the fishing side of things is getting bigger as it’s something anyone can get into, while there were 30 per cent more juniors that participated in this year’s horn measuring.

The list of winners includes:

Catch and keep: brook trout — Phyllis Walcheske; northern pike — Ray Abt; yellow perch — Ray Abt; burbot — Brian Rutherford; lake trout — Keith Prins; rainbow trout — Derek Kozody; lake whitefish — Brian Rutherford; junior northern pike — Connor Hoag; junior burbot — Connor Hoag;

Catch and release: bull trout — Ray Abt; northern pike — Keith Prins; junior bull trout — Jenna Abt; junior walleye — Levi Prins;

Big game, rifle: elk — Brady Swier; moose — Randy Gartner; bear — Murray Dux; antelope — Pat Simpson; cougar — Eric Frandsen; typical whitetail — Brian Prins; junior elk — Connor Hoag; junior typical whitetail — Maison Senft: junior non-typical whitetail — Adam Hoag;

Big game, archery: non-typical elk — Darren Carlson; typical mule deer — Mike Oudman; Bird: Canada goose — Leonard Davis.

Ponoka Fish and Game

 

Connor Hoag, right, stands with Big Game director Ray Abt after having taken three awards at the annual Ponoka Fish and Game awards Feb. 3. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Connor Hoag, right, stands with Big Game director Ray Abt after having taken three awards at the annual Ponoka Fish and Game awards Feb. 3. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

(Photo submitted)
PHOTOS: Ponoka Secondary Campus grad

Ponoka Secondary Campus held a drive-in graduation ceremony for their 2021 graduating… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read