Banquets, tourneys highlight calendar
By Hookemharry

Posted: February 6, 2006

This is time of the year when outdoor hunting and fishing is pretty much limited to varmint hunting and ice fishing.

Meanwhile, the non-profit organizations that represent the varied interests of sportsman are hard at it to raise funds for some worthwhile causes.

High Point Outdoor Adventures is a member-based organization that focuses on developing wholesome relationships with people who have a passion for the outdoors and are searching for their purpose and place in life.

Last year, the group hosted its annual youth hunt and provided 30 special hunts for adults and children. Members also help certify and train kids and adults in hunter safety.

High Point Outdoor provides al the meat for an adult group home in Missoula that gets no government subsidies.

The group is having its annual banquet on Feb. 25 at the Holiday Inn Parkside in Missoula. Tickets for the banquet are $30 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. For more information contact Bill Von Lanken at 273-0775.

The Western Montana Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of mule deer and its habitat, is currently seeking proposals from the community for local projects that will provide for the future of mule deer.

Proposals can be sent to Ray Rugg, 495 Southside Rd., Superior MT 59872 and need to be received by March 15. Also, if you need more information on the project proposals or would like to join the Mule Deer Foundation call Rugg at 822-4240.

I attended the Great Rockies Sport Show in Great Falls last weekend and sportsmen and women came from miles around to take in the three-day hunting and fishing show.

Fishing reports from anglers out of Tiber Dam indicated the ice is almost off most of the lake. The weather has been warm in central Montana and the lakes are having a hard time keeping any ice on them for ice anglers to enjoy.

The walleye anglers are looking for another good year of walleye fishing on Tiber Dam, which seems to be improving with size and number of walleyes in the past few years.

The local Great Falls Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited is very aggressive in introducing youths to the sport of fishing. They hold their annual chapter banquet at the end of this month and expect a sellout of 800 people to attend.

The monies raised from banquet go towards a couple of kids events. One is a kids fishing day in Great Falls that takes place in June where around 1200 kids receive rods and reels. The group has also started a Walleye Camp, that this year will take place in August on Tiber Dam. Volunteers take 50 kids fishing on the lake over the weekend.

Speaking of walleye fishing, Professional Walleye Angler Dale Gilbert will be hosting a comprehensive Clinic on fishing walleyes In Montana on Feb. 18 in Great Falls. The cost is $40 per person and the clinic runs from 9-5 at the La Quinta Inn. Call 866-3304 in the evenings or weekends to learn more.

The annual Perch Pounder tournament is going on in FWP Region 1 of northwestern Montana. The leader so far is Amber Pickering from Kalispell, who caught a 1.898-pound perch.

The Perch Pounder will run through Feb. 25. The anglers have been catching perch in Lake Mary Ronan, Ashley Lake, McWinnegar Slough and Lower Stillwater Lake. Call 261-6445 and ask for Gene Fincher to see how you can enter.