River Ridge Fish and Game League members who excelled during the past year were recognized in an online awards night on March 11.
Big Game and Birds
Andrew Owchar won the award for archery non-typical mule deer at 185 6/8 inches and was also named the Junior Sportsperson of the Year, presented by Damon Paley, River Ridge member.
“I have the honour of presenting the Junior Sportsperson of the Year,” said Paley. “This year’s recipient comes with a lot of energy, whether it is hunting for big game with his bow or out enjoying a nice fishing trip with the family. But most of all he enjoys nature and all it has to offer. It could be a walk in the woods close to home or looking for the elusive sheds that fell off a deer or moose. I have also been lucky enough to watch this individual mature into a great archer through the years with the Assiniboine River Archery Club. His archery skill paid off on a trophy mule deer this year. Congratulations Andrew!”
Two River Ridge members accomplished the rare feat of qualifying for Henry Kelsey Records. Julie Kraynick was awarded for her elk which measured 354 7/8 inches, and Brad Thompson qualified with a moose at 175 5/8 inches.
Ethan Heshka was the winner of the big game aggregate with 53 points in bear, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. He also took home the award for top bear at 17 15/16 inches.
In other big game and bird categories, the awards went to: Kailey Sleeva, junior white-tailed deer, 133 1/8 inches; Carol Duguid, ladies white-tailed deer, 146 0/8 inches; Michael Owchar Jr., non-typical white-tailed deer, 154 6/8 inches; Michael Owchar Sr., archery white-tailed deer, 125 4/8 inches; Harvey Malanowich, typical white-tailed deer, 157 5/8 inches, and Mel McCormick, typical mule deer, 161 7/8 inches. Cooper Kraynick earned a pair of awards for birds; one for goose with a weight of 13 pounds, two ounces, and one for duck at two pounds, six ounces.
The River Ridge awards for fish went to: Holly Danylko, junior northern pike, nine pounds, nine ounces; Nate Wolos, small mouth bass, three pounds, one ounce; Robin Jennings, catch and release walleye, four pounds, seven ounces; Dwayne Pasiechnik, catch and release northern pike, 13 pounds, 11 ounces, and Kailey Sleeva, junior catch and release walleye, eight pounds, 12 ounces. Sharon Ripa won a pair of awards in the fish category; one for burbot with a weight of 10 pounds, six ounces and the second for ladies catch and release walleye at eight pounds, three ounces.
The deadline for club memberships is June, and the contact person is Kate Lockert.
At the Provincial SWF Convention in February Doug Lapitsky, River Ridge member, was presented with the Gordon Lund Memorial Award for contributions to the conservation of the province’s fish and wildlife resources.
Also at the convention, River Ridge made its annual donation to the Habitat Trust Fund for $10,000, said Kathy Thomas, River Ridge president. Over the last 32 years, River Ridge has donated in excess of $70,000 to the Habitat Trust Fund for the purchase and conservation of habitat lands in Saskatchewan.
In addition to Thomas, the River Ridge executive members for 2020/21 were: Sharon Ripa, secretary; Doug Lapitsky, treasurer and habitat; Kate Lockert, memberships, and LeeAnn Butterfield, lotteries.