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Area sportsmen's groups prepare for banquets

Spring is a busy time for area outdoor organizations and in the coming weeks at least three of them will stage their annual banquets.

The first event on the docket is the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association banquet March 1 at the Bemidji Eagles Club. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and all tickets must be purchased in advance.

Tickets are available at Dale's Bar and Grilll on Hwy. 89, Bluewater Outdoors and Cool Threads.

The event will include a dinner, silent auction, numerous games for youth and adults and drawings.

Money raised through the banquet will be used by the local chapter to expand hunting-related educational offerings, including the youth firearms safety training sessions, and improving deer hunting and habitat by working with legislators, land owners and DNR officials.

On March 22 the North Central Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society will hold its 29th annual banquet at the Hampton Inn.

The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Sportsmen who purchase their dinner tickets by March 12 also are eligible to purchase drawing tickets at half price.

An individual RGS membership and dinner ticket is $55. A family membership, which includes two dinners, is $100 and additional dinners are $30 each.

Sponsor packages are also available. All sponsors will receive recognition in the banquet program and be eligible for special drawing prizes.

For more information or to purchase tickets contact Clyde Horlick at 751-9130.

On April 14 Whitetails Unlimited will host a banquet at Hungry Bear Banquet Center in Bemidji.

The event, the organization's first in Bemidji, will feature a chicken dinner, auction and drawings for a variety of prizes including firearms, outfitter packages, hunting and outdoor related equipment, artwork and collectibles.

Money raised through the event will be used by Whitetails Unlimited to help fund local projects.

The banquet social hour begins at 5 p.m. and the dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, a spouse ticket is $20 and a junior ticket (15 and under) is $20.

Tickets must be ordered by April 8. No tickets will be available at the door. To order tickets contact Beau Peterson at 218-209-5998, Aaron or Kim Peterson (333-0912), Luke O'Grady (815-404-7230) or Justin Pederson (218-760-6259).

The Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited is meeting Tuesday at Cattails Bar and Grill in Bemidji and the public is welcome.

The guest speaker will be Damian Wilmont who has been guiding fly fishermen on the trout waters of northern Wisconsin for almost 20 years. Wilmont will talk about the fishing opportunities that are available on Wisconsin's Brule River throughout the year.

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the social hour and the dinner will start at 6 p.m. A brief business meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. and Wilmont's presentation will follow.

For more information contact Bob at 586-2798 or Steve at 243-2574.

The New Salem Church Men's Group is sponsoring a youth fishing derby noon to 3 p.m. Saturday on Turtle River Lake.

Access to the free event will be the public access three blocks north of the 71-Bar on Old Hwy. 71 (watch for the signs).

Parking will be limited to the plowed areas.

All youth up to 16 years of age are invited to participate. Minnows will be supplied and prizes and trophies will be awarded. Participants are also welcome to enjoy a free lunch at 3 p.m.

For more information or directions call 586-2262.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200