Preeceville Wildlife measures antlers, including near provincial champion elk

Preeceville Wildlife Annual Meeting and Antler Measuring was held at the Preeceville Community Hall on January 4

The official measurer was Blair Mitchell. The 28 antler entries included: 16 white tail, six mule deer, four moose, one bear and one elk. The largest entry was elk antlers brought in Colin Masko of Preeceville. The elk antlers scored 376 5/8 gross and 369 5/8 net, non-typical.

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This elk placed second in the province for the year, only missing first place by two inches, stated Heather Gawrelitza, secretary and treasurer for the club.

Owen Myhr, president, discussed topics surrounding the “great winter” with wildlife populations on the increase.

”We have a great abundance of water fowl in our local area but our upland bird population is low,” said Myhr. “We are very fortunate to have an abundance of wildlife lands in our area. There are many quarters being cleared for agriculture production so if there is a bush quarter that can be saved for wildlife habitat please let our club or the SWF (Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation) know.

“We are always looking for more active members in our executive. The SWF is a very important voice for our sportsmen and women to the government, on all issues regarding wildlife. It seems wildlife is getting less important to our government as is indicated by the reduction of conservation officers and offices. Hunting and fishing is very important to our members and we need to keep our local club active so we can support our provincial SWF and this will ensure that the wildlife legacy we leave to our kids surpasses that which we inherited.”

The club assisted the SWF in the purchase of a quarter of land from the Holowachuk family in the RM of Hazel Dell which had good wildlife habitat. The club also donated towards the hauling of fill for the boat launch at Lady Lake and large campsite improvement, Sturgis Gun Range, Preeceville Grades 4, 5, and 6 colouring contest raffle, Musher’s Rendezvous, Habitat Trust Golf fundraiser, cadet female marksmanship award and sent Quirin Nelson and Bailey Kozmaniuk to Hannin Creek Wildlife Camp. It also hosted an Amazing Race for Kids at the Preeceville Wildlife Campground, painted birdhouses with kids at the campground, tinned the campground bathroom and woodshed, supported the Hannin Creek Conservation Camp, Habitat Trust Fund, made a memorial donation in memory of Orville Bjornstad, and was an SWF Convention sponsor. 

“Thanks to all who make these donations possible and we are looking for new members and ideas to keep our club active,” stated Heather Gawrelitza.

Elections for executive positions were held with the following results: Owen Myhr, president; Darcy Rediger, vice-president; Heather Gawrelitza, secretary and treasurer; Shane Nelson, fisheries chairman; Tony Steciuk and Colin Masko, membership chairmen; Norman Johnson firearm safety chairman; Kelly Maupin and Colin Masko trophy chairman and Greg Gawrelitza, campground chairman.

Directors were: John Masko, Jeff, Arden, and Justin Jakubowski, Mark and Noah Tonn, James and Allan Bodnar, Eugene Panasiewich, Johnny Petryshyn, Howard Bilan, Dylan Myhr, Taylor Sliva, and Steven Geistlinger. Life members are: Peter Predy, Howard Bilan, and Norman Johnson.

Tony Steciuk gave the membership report and stated that there were 462 members with the Preeceville Wildlife Club and Preeceville is one branch out of 121 wildlife clubs, with a total of 33,000 members in all 121 clubs.

Firearm Safety Chairman Norman Johnson stated there were 27 students involved last year and it is nice to see the young people bringing in their trophies for measuring. He thanked the helpers and conservation officers for all their help with the program.

Conservation Officers Johnny Petryshyn and David Knihniski gave a reminder to call into TIPS if there is any illegal activity and there is an email address available for anyone who has questions. The government closed 43 conservation offices and sadly Preeceville was one of them. 

There are only 13 offices and for this area the closest are in Yorkton and Hudson Bay. Heads for Chronic Wasting Disease testing need to be turned into these offices by around the middle of January. A reminder was given during ice fishing season that all shacks need to have contact information on them if on a public lake and that alcohol is prohibited out on the lake or while snowmobiling.

Door prize draw winners were: Tony Steciuk for being in attendance, Arden Jakubowski for adult antler measured, Zander Neitling for youth antler measured and Taylor Sliva won the skunk draw for not shooting any animal.