By Greg Price
The numbers were all over the place this year, depending on your animal of choice for the Taber Fish and Game Association’s Annual Measuring Day earlier this month at the Taber Community Centre Auditorium.
“The numbers overall were a little down this year compared to last year. Lots of guys are catching and releasing their fishes, with youth entries being down on the big game,” said Dave Chontosh, secretary treasurer for the Taber Fish and Game Association. “But there were more overall members bringing in their harvest with bow and arrow. More hunters are getting into that side of it, it’s becoming very popular. Out-of-province guys, I heard their numbers were down, maybe due to CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease), and also weather related with the white tails being down.”
CWD is still very much on the minds of many hunters according to Chontosh. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a progressive, fatal nervous system disease known to naturally infect white-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, moose and elk. At this time there is no scientific evidence to suggest that CWD in deer and elk can be transmitted to humans. However, it is recommended that any tissue which may have come from a CWD-infected animal not be used or consumed by humans. In Canada, CWD is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act, and all cases must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
“There has been talk of having mandatory testing of animals for it province wide, with more being done to stop the spread,” said Chontosh.
A couple of bison made their way for measurement this year from local hunters, that were harvested from northern Alberta.
“With the elk opportunities now available in and around Suffield base, there were more elks harvested this year that were brought into our show,” said Chontosh, adding the association’s coyote reduction program continues to net positive results.
Foot traffic for spectators taking in the event was solid according to Chontosh where the vendors were well received. Taber Fish and Game Association is preparing to host its Family Fun Fishing day on Jan. 28 in which the organization is still looking for volunteers. You can call Chontosh at 403-317-0623 to volunteer.
The following are the results of the measuring day:
Youth Fish: Rainbow Trout – Ryder Nielsen, 2.46 lbs. Brook Trout – Ryder Nielsen , 1.34 pounds.
Youth Birds: Canada Goose – Kasen Lyczewski, 11.4 lbs.
Youth Big Game: Moose – Ayden Jensen, 60.7. Elk – Ayden Jensen, 119. Typical Whitetail – 1. Drayden Cannady, 105.6. 2. Nicholas Cannady, 81.6. Out-of-Province Whitetail – 1. Gage Wiebe, 158.2. 2. Ayden Jensen, 126.2. 3. Hailey Nason/Jensen, 113.7. Archery Mule Deer – Kasen Lyczewski, 155.5. Archery Black Bear – Drayden Cannady, 14.2. Largest Shed Antler – Kasen Lyczewski, 76.7 39.4 per cent.
Adult Fish: Rainbow Trout – Paul Deme, 4.32 lbs. Northern Pike – Chester Rudolf, 14.66 lbs.
Adult Birds: Grey Partridge – Don Mustard, .94 lbs. Pheasant – Devin Werewka, 38.5.
Adult Big Game: Typical Mule Deer – Adrian Horvath, 185.0. Non-Typical Mule Deer – Cheryl Horvath, 157.3. Typical Whitetail – Hunter Sorgard, 144.2. Non-Typical Whitetail – Josh Jensen, 141.4. Pronghorn Antelope – Ryan Cannady, 70.0. Black Bear – Pete Lehmann, 20.0. Bison – Barry Senkow, 77.2. Moose – Dan Remfert, 151.2. Elk – Darcy Miller, 283.5. Largest Shed Antler – Josh Jensen mule deer, 79.1. Most Impressive Head – Gage Wiebe, non-typical mule deer gross 204.4.
Photography: Sportsman in the Field – Patrick Horvath. Scenic – Patrick Horvath. Wildlife – Paul Deme.
Colouring Contest Winners: 1-3 year olds – Natalie Martens. 4-6 year olds – Kaylee Martens. 6-8 year olds – Chase Egeland/Horvath. 9-10 year olds – Ryder Nielsen.
Gary Dickie Memorial Junior Big Game Hunter of the Year: Ayden Jensen.
John Osburne Memorial Junior Fisherman of the Year: Ryder Nielsen.
Junior Bird Hunter of the Year: Kasen Lyczewski. Junior Bow Hunter of the Year: Kasen Lyczewski.
All-Around Sportsman of the Year: Ayden Jensen.
Junior Female Big Game Hunter of the Year: Hailey Nason/Jensen.
Ladies Big Game Hunter of the Year: Cheryl Horvath.
Bowhunter of the Year: Darren Howells.
Sorgard Memorial All-Around Sportsman of the Year: Don Mustard.