River Ridge Fish & Game Gun Show attracts strong turnout of outdoor enthusiasts

            The fourth annual River Ridge Fish & Game Gun Show was held on June 10-11 at the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre, with vendors attending from all three prairie provinces.

            The show was originally started to fill a need for this type of show in Canora, said Kathy Thomas, president, of the River Ridge Fish & Game, and feedback they’ve been getting indicates the show has been successful. This year’s show attracted 45 vendors, and she said that was as many as they could comfortably accommodate.

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            Thomas said that one of the reasons they have no trouble attracting vendors, is that their strong volunteer support allows them to help vendors ease the workload. They help with the setup before the show, as well as getting loaded up and on their way home afterward. On the final day of the show doors close at 3 p.m., in consideration for those who have long distances to travel.

            Clint Davisson of Eastend was a vendor at the Gun Show for the second consecutive year. With a nickname like ‘Moose’ it’s not surprising that he calls his business Moose’s Outfitting. He said he sells firearms, ammunition and a wide variety of accessories.

            The drive from Eastend to Canora is over six hours, but Davisson said his first year here resulted in plenty of business, so he was more than willing to make the trip again.

            Ernie Gazdewich of Canora owns Ernesto’s Guns & Such, where customers can buy rifles, handguns, and reloading supplies and equipment. Not only has he been a vendor every year, Thomas said he has been responsible for convincing other vendors to attend the show.

            He originally came to River Ridge Fish & Game with the idea to start the Gun Show several years ago. After attending other gun shows across Canada and meeting other vendors, Gazdewich said he was confident a gun show in Canora would be successful.

            The Saskatchewan Trappers Association, based in Margo, is a regular vender at the Gun Show. Its display was staffed by members Gail Minhinnick of Invermay and Floyd Hendrickson of Margo, who is the association’s humane education co-ordinator. On display was everything from skunk hats and mittens, to beaver mittens, to raccoon hats. 

            Hendrickson said he enjoys shows like this one, because it gives him the opportunity to educated people regarding trapping.

            He likes to remind people that if we don’t have trapping and animals are left to die by natural causes, there will often be extensive suffering involved. But if the trapping industry is alive and thriving, that will lead to employment opportunities.

            The prices of pelts varies considerably, but animals such as coyotes can bring in around $130 per pelt, he said.

            Bob Stoyand Sr. of Dr. Bob’s Marine Clinic & Power Sports Services in Canora, was a first-time vendor at the show. The business sells a wide range of products including fishing rods, life jackets, knives, motors, and just about anything else related to fishing.

 

            Stoyand said that since Canora is located close to a number of lakes, it’s proven to be an excellent location for the business and the Gun Show. And since the show charges admission, most attendees are usually interested in buying, rather than just looking for a way to kill time.