The Elkford Rod and Gun Club celebrated 35 years with their annual awards night last Saturday at the United Steel Workers Union Hall in Elkford. The doors opened at 5 p.m. for members and guests to socialize while entering in the draw prizes, take their best guess or two at the scores of elk and deer racks, and to survey some of the top animals taken by club members from the past year.
Family, friendships and fun were standout themes for the evening. Attendees swapped their hiking, hunting and fishing stories of luck (both good and bad), while enjoying their dinner and cold beverages.
As the evening progressed, the kids in attendance participated in a “wild game” bean bag toss for some great prizes. The crowd was then entertained with slide shows from junior members Justice Sword and Donavon Gostick. Sword recounted his tough three day local mountain goat hunt, and Gostick brought the crowd along on a Dall sheep hunt that him and his father drove to the Northwest Territories for.
The highlight of the night was the large display of antlers, horns and skulls harvested or found by members during the 2015 season. With a large number of animals entered this year, the display board was full, and the stage was lined with entries for the “pick up” category. Members and their harvested animals were honoured in several categories, with a great mix of men, women and youth award winners. As part of a long standing tradition, all winners were encouraged to give a rousing rendition of their hunt to the audience.
Overall the evening was a great success, combining old and new generations of outdoor men and women in celebrating their love of the outdoors and the passion they have for hunting and fishing.
Largest Elk 306 5/8″ – Bill Hanlon
2nd largest elk 283 4/8″ – Ashley Dortman,
Junior elk 234 6/8″ – Dan Rookes
Largest mule deer 150 3/8″ – Bryce Pontarolo *Taken by archery and qualifies for Pope + Young record book,
Junior mule deer 99 1/8″ – Ryan Hennig,
Mountain goat 43 2/3″ – Nick Rookes,
Junior mountain goat 43″ – Justice Sword,
Bighorn sheep 173 2/8″ – Bruce Sawatsky *Qualifies for B.C. record book
Honourable mention for bighorn sheep 171 6/8″ – Jared Cunningham*Qualifies for B.C. record book
Whitetail Deer 107 2/8″ – Nick Rookes,
Black Bear 16″ – Chase Bauer,
Cougar 14 9/16” – Jared Cunningham*Taken by archery and qualifies for the Pope and Young record book,
Hard Luck Award – Hans Peter Sorensen “Phoney Fishing”,
Grand Aggregate 2015 Awards:
Out of Province Award 143 6/8″ Dall sheep from N.W.T. – Donavon Gostick (Junior)
Out of East Kootenay Region 17 3/16” Black bear – Chase Bauer
Pick up catergory 321 4/8″ Elk – Dale Webber *Qualifies for B.C. record book.
Women’s award 167″ Bighorn Sheep – Erica Forsyth
Archery award 14 9/16” cougar – Jared Cunningham
East Kootenay Grand Aggregate Animal 173 2/8″ Bighorn sheep – Bruce Sawatsky