Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 Willow Valley Trophy Club Trophy Day a well attended success

Toni Lucas

Willow Valley Trophy Club (WVTC) held their 66th Annual Awards Day on Saturday January 11, 2014 at the Pincher Creek Community Hall. This year the show was titled 'The Year of the Predator'. This all-day exhibition started with the doors opening at 8:00 am and entries ringed the lower level with booths and vendors upstairs. Several hundred people attended from all over southern Alberta. They came to enter trophies, to see the trophies, to check the wares from the vendors, to hear the keynote speech by Wildlife Biologist Bob Jamieson who gave a presentation on 'Elk and  Predators in the Rockies'.

The WVTC hosts the largest single day measuring and trophy display day in western Canada using the Boone and Crockett method of scoring and rules of fair chase to determine if it is legal game. The club encourages conservation and best hunting practices. Trophies and prizes were given out in the many categories, there were numerous door prizes, and recognition was given to the many members, volunteers and sponsors that worked so hard to make the day successful.  The club awarded over $10,000 in prizes.

WVTC President Lindsey Paterson has been working to have more youth involvement in the club for years, and was particularly pleased with the success of those efforts.  "We have youth in every single division -  youth archery, youth rifle, youth photography, youth fish and youth birds." The club helps youth attend conservation camps to have a high quality of education in conservation and good hunting practices from an early age.  Paterson said that rules and regulations of hunting have changed over the years that the club has been in existence. One example that he gave was the draw system. "There are certain species, you just can just buy a tag and away you go, but a lot of species now you have to draw in a raffle the license to even have an opportunity to hunt them." Overall, Paterson said he was happy with the show and the number of people attending this year. 

Lindsey Paterson at the photography display
One display that got a lot of attention this year was a bighorn sheep that may be a world record. Paterson explained that "It is from west of Longview, and it actually is a road kill. We will call it a pending record. It just needs to be verified by the Boone and Crockett Club, and that was on display here."

Pending Bighorn Sheep record
Photo Lindsey Paterson
Wildlife Biologist Bob Jamieson gave a presentation on 'Elk and Predators in the Rockies'. Jamieson said his concern over this topic began in an area adjacent to and within Banff National Park that has a 10 mile area he called "Some of the best elk country on the planet."  Jamieson said he took a 30 mile ride within this area two fall seasons ago and did not see a single elk or even an elk track or rub area in this zone. "When you see moss growing in the elk trails, ladies and gentlemen, something is wrong." That is what got Jamison investigating what happened to those elk. He has extended his investigation along the Rockies into British Columbia, Alberta, and the United States. He presented information that covered a geographic area from Jasper National Park in Alberta to Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. He presented findings on the Clark Ford herd, Jackson Hole Refuge herd, Jasper and Banff herds, Finlay benches herd, and herds along the east slope of Alberta. As well as elk herds, he discussed the numbers and habits of various predators including grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, cougars, and coyotes through these areas. He also touched on similar issues with deer, and sheep, mainly about them moving to more urban settings or ranching areas because of reduced predator issues, as certain entire herds of elk appear to have done.

Jamieson presented that in 1980 a calf mortality study showed very high elk and bison numbers where 80% of calves survived into winter and the major source of mortality was malnutrition in late winter with 30 to 45 calves per 100 cows surviving. He noted that during this time frame, there were few grizzlies and almost no wolves. The Barber Mayer study of 1995 showed that 67% of calves where killed by fall due to predation, with 30 calves per 100 cows going into winter. Throughout the winter these younger animals were hunted by wolves, continuing to lower the calf population to between 10-20 per 100 cows.

Speaker Bob Jamieson
T. Lucas photos
"I want to give you a framework about how predators actually affect primarily elk populations," said Jamieson, offering sobering statistics about the increase in the populations of various predators.  He talked of the  mortality rate of calves, and the decline of numbers within herds, some herds are no longer in existence. He did say that their are other factors that can play into these numbers such as disease but he focused on predators. Jamieson maintained that a healthy well-populated elk herd can survive the stresses caused by one to three species of predators, but now many of the herds are facing up to five.

"The predators are the issue, and it's fundamentally changed how we have to manage wildlife," he said wanting to have the entire ecology rather than single species examined.  "It's a very large shift in how we need to think about managing the whole gamut of animals we have in the northern rockies."  Jamieson continued saying, "It is not an issue of wolves, it is an issue of a combination of wolf predation through the year, bears in the spring, cougars through the year, and coyotes taking a surprising number of calves." The results Jamieson presented indicate that the herds are dwindling, with fewer and fewer making it to a healthy breeding age to continue the life cycle of the herd.
"I am not a bear biologist, or an elk biologist, I am a system ecologist. I try to think about how all these things fit together. That's the crucial part of this."

2014 WVTC Challenge Trophy Competition Award Winners 

2014 WVTC Photography Award Winners 

1st Louis Patterson
2nd Jake Funk
3rd Conrad Verbaas


1st Owen Olsen 
2nd Hunter Olsen 
3rd Josh MacGarva
Owen, Hunter, and Logan Olsen showing some of their prizes

Sportsman In The Field 

1st Rod Taylor
2nd Junior Olsen
3rd Leo Beauchamp


1st Logan Olsen
2nd Logan Amos 
3rd Hunter Olsen 

1st Alex Elliott
2nd Andrew Prokop
3rd Tim Juhlin 


1st Owen Olsen
2nd Indie MacGarva
3rd Logan Olsen 
Indie MacGarva poses with her award winning photo

Best Of The Natural World 

1st Leo Beauchamp
2nd Anne Lapointe
3rd Alex Elliott


1st Owen Olsen 
2nd Logan Olsen 
3rd Josh MacGarva

The 2014 Willow Valley Trophy Club Fish Award Winners 

Northern Pike 
1st Jake Funk 23lbs 8oz
2nd Junior Olsen 10lbs 8oz


1st Logan Olsen 15lbs 11oz
2nd Owen Olsen 14lbs 1 oz
3rd Levi Sekella 12lbs


1st Gordon Dorge 10lbs 12oz
2nd Steve Prokop 10lbs 8oz
3rd Jake Funk 9lbs 9oz


1st Owen Olsen 4lbs 14 oz
2nd Logan Olsen 3lbs 6 oz
3rd Taylor Amos 2lbs 7 oz

Rocky Mountain Whitefish 

1st Dennis Cerco 2lb 13 oz 
2nd Jason Dyck 2lbs
3rd Leighton Dyck 1lb 13 oz


1st Grady Dyck 2lbs 5oz

Lake Trout 

1st Jake Funk 16lbs 5oz 

Brown Trout 

1st Jake Funk 3lbs 15oz 

Cutthroat Trout 

1st Ron Desjardins 2lbs
2nd Yvonne Messum 1lb 8oz
3rd Bill Messum 1 lb


Phoenix Messum 9oz

Rainbow Trout - Lake

1st Arthur Hohn 3lb 1oz
2nd Yvonne Messem 1lb 4oz


1st Taylor Amos 2 lb
2nd Phoenix Messum 9oz

Rainbow Trout - River

1st Ron Desjardins 1lb 3oz
2nd Andrea Gedeke 1lb 3oz
3rd Bill Mussem 1lb


1st Payton Cervo 4lbs 12 oz
2nd Logan Desjardins 11 oz

2014 WVTC Birds Award Winners 

Canada Goose 
1st Louis Patterson 6.44kg
2nd Walter Eisenlohr 5.72kg
3rd Steve Prokop 5.50kg


1st Tim Juhlin .979 kg 


1st Lauren Kunz 1.72 kg 


1st Rod Taylor 9"
2nd Wade Aebli 5 5/16

Blue Grouse 

1st Jason Dyck .985kg
2nd Adam Juhlin .966kg
3rd Tim Juhlin .958 kg 


1st Jared Dyck .980 kg
2nd Grady Dyck .860 kg
3rd Leighton Dyck .845 kg

Ruffed Grouse & Spruce 

1st Tim Juhlin .520 kg
2nd Jason Dyck .518 kg


1st Hunter Olsen .714 kg
2nd Leighton Dyck .510 kg
3rd Grady Dyck .500 kg 

Sharptail Grouse

1st Tim Jensen .918 kg 
2nd Walter Eisenlohr .907 kg
3rd Carey Hackler .862 kg

Gray Partridge

1st Rod Taylor .449 kg
2nd Tim Juhlin .431 kg
3rd Carey Hackler .422kg


1st Jared Dyck .425 kg 
2nd Leighton Dyck .415 kg
2nd Grady Dyck .415 kg


1st Cam Cook 40 1/8"
2nd Garry Hackler 39 1/2"
3rd Jordan Rice 39 1/8"


1st Levi Sekella 37 3/8"
2nd Jared Dyck 37 1/2" 
3rd Grady Dyck 36 1/4" 
3rd Leighton Dyck 36 1/4"

2014 Willow Valley Trophy Club Big Game Awards

Black Bear-Rifle

1st Clay Leismeister 19 5/16
2nd Clay Leismeister 19 1/16
3rd Tim Ewing 18 15/16


1st Kara Popson 17 7/16 
2nd Hunter Austring 14 13/16
3rd Hunter Olsen 14 13/16


1st Jake Collins 12 15/16

Typical Whitetail Deer-Rifle

1st Gary Villemaire 144 5/8
2nd Frank Popson 142 7/8
3rd Duncan Baldie 139 4/8


1st Devon Cervo 125 7/8 
2nd Makenna Liesmeister 125 2/8
3rd Tyler Yagos 100 5/8

Trophy Day Challenge Winner- Justice Stella 159

Non-Typical Whitetail Deer-Rifle 

1st Pete Lehman 155 3/8

Trophy Day Challenge Winner- Allen Tapay 201 7/8

Typical Mule Deer-Rifle

1st Allen Tapay 181 2/8
2nd Dustin Neufeld 170 2/8
3rd Ivan Indenbosch 164 3/8


1st-Leismeister 161 6/8
2nd Morgan Michalsky 160 6/8
3rd Taylor Ewing 149 1/8

Trophy Day Challenge Winner- Gary Villemaire 184

Non-Typical Mule Deer-Rifle

1st Colin Leismeister 184 6/8


1st Makenna Leismeister 174 4/8 

Trophy Day Challenge Winner-Brandon Beekman 215 


1st Ross McIlwraith 325 
2nd William King 281 6/8


Brock Wakaluk 160 3/8

Trophy Day Challenge Winner Wayne Tomlinson 373 3/8


1st Adrian Horvath 145 2/8
2nd Wade Aebli 141 2/8
3rd Lana Hill 129 3/8


Hunter Austring 68

Trophy Day Challenge Winner-Mike Park 183 5/8


Greg Tiegen 77 4/8
Tyler Villemaire 70 2/8 
3rd Walter Sekella 64


Makenna Leismeister 68 4/8

Trophy Day Challenge Winner- Greg Tiegen 77 4/8

Bighorn Sheep-Rifle 

1st Dean Pickering 160 
2nd Riley Groves 159 4/8 

Trophy Day Challenge Winner-Rob Meier 169 1/8 

2014 Willow Valley Trophy Club Archery Big Game Awards 

Black Bear 

1st Pete Lehman 18 5/16 
2nd Chester Rudoph 18 4/16 
3rd Levy Groves 18 1/16 


1st Levy Groves 13 8/16 


1st Clay Leismeister 58 

Typical whitetail deer 

1st Dan Indenbosch 130 6/8 

Typical Mule Deer 

1st Levy Groves 176 1/8 
2nd Jake Funk 160 4/8 
3rd Tim Ewing 158 4/8 


1st Brent Austring 339 3/8 
2nd Lindsey Paterson 181 4/8 
3rd Dan Indenbosch 177 5/8 


1st Mike Park 183 5/8

Awards and Special Draws
Geraldine Price Memorial Trophy winner Payton Cervo

Savannah Koebisch Award winner:  Makenna Leismeister
Peter Hucik Largest overall by Youth: Clay Leismeister Bear 19 5/16

CornerView Ranch Archery Award: Largest overall Archery- Mike Park Moose 183 5/8

Charter Member Award: Dustin Neufeld Mule Deer 170 2/8

Ed and Babe Award- current year, all categories: Largest Overall Bow or Rifle- Mike Park Moose 183 5/8

Geraldine Price Memorial Trophy: Payton Cervo

Savanna Koebisch Youth Huntress Award: Makenna Leismeister Non typical mule deer 174 4/8

$1,000.00 Gift Card.  Summit Home Hardware, Blairemore.  Donna Jackson, Pincher Creek, AB
Bushnell Rangefinder.  Backcountry Butchering, Cowley Cal Heinrich,  Lethbridge, AB
Nikon Monarch 10 X 42 Binoculars. Thriftway Pharmacy, Lethbridge Carol Hnatiw, Lethbridge, AB

Badlands Backpack.   Marksman Guns and Sports, Lethbridge  Denise Stone, Abbotsford, BC
Bushnell H2O 8 X 24  Binoculars.  Thriftway Pharmacy, Lethbridge  Emily Neufeld, Hillcrest, AB

The winner of the Youth Draw $500.00 RESP sponsored in part by Alberta Treasury Branch, Pincher Creek is Aden Brandt of Medicine Hat.

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