The big ones got away

By Rhonda Cooper

Meadow Lake Wildlife officials believes the hard winters of the past couple years have impacted the size of the harvested animals going by the antlers being seen at the Federation’s annual scoring night held Dec. 14 at the Catholic Parish Hall in Meadow Lake

Official Henry Kelsey scorers Brett Seidle of Medstead and Ron Johnson of Big River were on hand to measure approximately 30 entries, including white tail deer, moose, elk and bear.

Rick Gollings of the Meadow Lake Wildlife Federation lends official scorer Ron Johnson a hand as Johnson measures this set of atypical antlers.

Danny Drager, past president of the MLWF noted the number were a bit down from last year, but last year’s numbers were also lower.

“Some years we have seen as many as 60 entries,” said Drager. “Last year I think we were maybe around 35. But the scorers told me the numbers are down all over the province.”

During the measuring process both Seidle and Johnson thought there may be a few entries eligible for the book, but once the scores were totalled none of the evening’s entries qualified.

“We don’t release the numbers tonight because someone can still take an entry to an official scorer to be measured and still be included,” said Blair McLaughlin, executive member of the MLWF.

Drager noted there were no mule deer entries at this year’s event. But the two bear entries were first-time kills by a pair of youths – 15-year-old Jordain Ebach and her 12-year-old brother Lynden.

Jordain is in her fourth season having started at the minimum legal age of 12 and Lynden is experiencing his first season, although he has accompanied his father Curtis a few times. The pair were out with Curtis and friend Ben hunting near Dorintosh in mid-August.

“It was fun,” said Lynden. “We were running and then dropping onto our knees and I had to shoot real fast.” He was about 100 yards away from the bear when he shot it.

Big sister Jordain was not to be outdone and she bagged her first bear as well the same day.

“It (the experience) went really, really fast,” she said. “We went around a corner and there it was. My dad told me to shoot and I did.”

To go along with her first bear, Jordain also got her first moose. Younger sister Brooke, 14, also scored her first moose this year.

“I think our grandpa was more excited than we were,” said Jordain. “He had the truck there so fast.”

With everyone contributing to the freezer this year, mom Lesley said a second one had to be purchased to accommodate all the wild meat.

With all five family members hunters, very little meat is purchased from the grocery store. Along with the moose, white-tail and mule deer, the family also hunts wild chickens (ruffed grouse) and fish. It isn’t unusual for the family to go to their cabin at Sled Lake where they will spend the time hunting, fishing and quadding.

Curtis, Jordain, Lynden, Brooke and Lesley Ebach is a family who enjoys hunting together.

Hunting is a family affair. Jordain says her favourite thing about the sport is going out with everyone including her best friend Brittany and her dad Ben. Brooke loves the quality, quiet time she has with her family.

“You have to be quiet when you are hunting,” she said. “So we really have to listen to each other.”

Lynden enjoys the adrenaline rush he gets when he’s about to shoot. Curtis noted the time spent hunting with his dad, the children’s grandfather, as being special.

“It is fun,” said Curtis. “The kids love it and so do we.”

The official results of the evening’s scores will be announced at the federation’s annual awards banquet in January.

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