It’s been a busy year for the Humboldt chapter of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation. A new executive has been breaking ground on new initiatives and continuing commitments to ongoing projects. The members gathered for their annual award ceremony on Monday, April 17. A pair of special awards went to long time Wildlife Federation member, Ed Brockmeyer.

Chapter President Scott Ewen recapped the numerous goings-on. The club worked to address range deficiencies and then turned its eye to the former clubhouse, now dubbed the education centre. Funds for improvements to the centre were partly derived from a fishing trip lottery and a Co-op gift card fundraiser. The chapter also embarked on a plan to provide great educational opportunities and experiences for youth. Among their contributions was a set of National Archery in Schools archery kits for use at Humboldt Collegiate. Support for a similar acquisition for youth in Bruno followed in conjunction with the Bruno Wildlife Federation. Archery has been adopted by the Horizon Central Athletic Association and is gaining popularity in some division schools. 

Throughout the year, work continued on both the range and the education centre. Ewen reported that both membership and range usage had climbed throughout the year, a positive for the club. Plans continue toward an event to be held on National Range Day, this June 3. The Westminster Scouts will be taking part in a special event designed to introduce the young men and women to sport shooting and engage them in outdoor life. 

“This is the first time that the Humboldt Wildlife Federation will be hosting and interacting with girls and boys of all ages in at least 20 years,” reported Ewen. “This opportunity was made possible by renovations made to the education centre.”

The evening honoured the members for their catches and prizes of the season. The cap-off was a pair of presentations to Ed Brockmeyer for a lifetime of devoted service. Ed was granted a lifetime, free membership to the Wildlife Federation and he received the provincial Clayton Young Memorial Award for his service. Brockmeyer became a member of the organization in 1952 and served in a variety of capacities, not the least of which was as a chief firearms instructor and mentor. Brockmayer was instrumental in helping to establish the wildlife trail that provides residents with active space and a connection to nature. Brockmeyer received the award from Murray Friestadt. 

In his acceptance speech, Brockmeyer reflected on the changes he’s seen in populations, migration patterns and habitat, and how these shifts may continue to have a local impact in coming years. Shifting territories for elk and moose, disappearing jackrabbits and ruffed grouse, and an overpopulation of white-tailed deer, due he believes to a drop in hunting, were all part of the observations.

Brockmayer wrapped up the evening with delightful reminiscences of his special relationship with a wayward ruffed grouse. Over a series of incidents and encounters, the bird developed an affinity for his fur-hatted benefactor. Those encounters usually ended up with Ed’s headgear adorned with a ruffed grouse perched on top.

Watch for more events and programs in the coming weeks from the Humboldt and District Wildlife Federation. 

Winners included:

  • Trevor Hale - typical mule deer - adult male  
  • Joe Schewaga - typical mule deer - adult male
  • Jennifer Gerla - typical mule deer - adult female
  • Nolan Atamanchuk - typical mule deer - youth male
  • Justin Zelle - non typical mule deer - adult male
  • Dave Atamanchuk - typical elk - adult male
  • Jordan Wittke - typical elk - adult male
  • Matt Schidlosky - typical white tail - adult male
  • Mark Schick - typical white tail - adult male
  • Jennifer Gerla - typical white tail - adult female
  • Jackie Lockhart - typical white tail - adult female
  • Trevor Hale - non-typical white tail - adult male
  • Scott Ewen - non-typical white tail - adult male
  • Carson Saretsky - moose - adult male
  • Lee Saretsky - moose - adult male
  • Kamryn Wittke - moose - adult female