Ottawa Sportsmen's Club News

Carole Williams, Club Reporter


Volume 2002 - Issue 3 - March 7, 2002

The March 4th meeting of The Ottawa Sportsmen's Club was called to order with thirty-four members present. Five new members were welcomed: James Koskinen (Lucille), Baraga; David Ouillette (Kathy), Ripley; John Reynolds, Houghton; Donald Sherwood (Marian), Ontonagon; and Jan Widby, Skanee.

Dan Harrington, President of The Upper Peninsula Trappers Association traveled from Iron Mountain to address the Sportsmen in regard to the 24 Hour Trap Check Law, which the U.P.T.A. is attempting to have repealed.

Mr. Harrington explained to the group that this new law is not in the best interest of trappers, especially those whose quarry is land animals such as fox and coyote. Ideally, traps set for these predators should not be checked daily so as to let any human scent dissipate after sets have been made and also to allow fox or coyote to make their rounds and return to the trap site once again.

The 24 Hour Trap Check Law, which became effective last year, mandates that trap sets be checked within a 24 hour period and trappers who do not follow this new law are subject to a misdemeanor charge and $50.00 fine.

Harrington pointed out that in addition to it not being in the best interest of the trapper to disturb his sets within this time frame, it's also very difficult for a trapper to prove that his sets have been checked as required by law. Should a suspected infringement occur and a ticket be issued, the trapper would be considered guilty until he could prove himself innocent. Trappers usually don't work in pairs, so it would be very hard to get the charge dropped and the fine dismissed.

The Ottawa Sportsmen voted unanimously to support the Upper Peninsula Trappers Association in their effort to repeal this law and will take appropriate measures to do so.

Ron Granroth reported that the Range Committee has been successful in purchasing 6 Ruger Semi-Automatic Mark II .22 target pistols for use with the Junior Youth Shooting Sports Camp and Monday Night Pistol Shoot activity. The membership voted to give a nod of approval for the committee to now look into procuring an overhead projector, gun safe and ransom rest for club use.

The membership also voted to go ahead with the inside caulking project which will begin in the banquet room on the evening of March 11th. Emil Filpus, who is chairing this project, indicated that work would continue each evening when possible, with an all day Work Bee scheduled for Saturday, March 16th. Lunch and refreshments will be served during the Saturday Work Bee. Those who can help should call Emil at 353-6928 or just show up at the club when they can.

The Endowment Fund has received an increase of $8,000.00 through approval from the membership. Subsequently, the Endowment Committee has voted to provide funding for educational grants and scholarships during 2002. This opportunity is available to students in the area schools of Baraga, Houghton and Ontonagon Counties and these schools have now been advised of this. The Endowment Program is in keeping with the club's purpose, which among other things includes promoting conservation education.

Three area school libraries will continue to benefit from the Ottawa Sportsmen's Library Funding Program. Each was the recipient of $500.00 in 2001 with which to purchase books, videos and other related educational material for the conservation and nature section of their school libraries. These schools will receive an additional $250.00 this year with a further $250.00 to be donated in 2003. The Ottawa Sportsmen receive a list of purchases and would like to commend the school librarians on their choice of selections.

The membership also voted to support the Baraga County 4H Council by procuring an ad in the anticipated new edition of the Baraga County Plat Book; to continue their membership with the U.P. Sportsmen's Alliance; and to help the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan with their fundraiser by purchasing $100.00 worth of raffle tickets for the prize of a Yamaha Kodiak 4x4. It was noted that the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan is the only organization that provides and promotes professional trophy scorers and scoring sessions for other organizations and individuals. Leonard Pelto, who is an O.S.C. member, is one of these professional scorers.

The next monthly membership meeting will be held Monday, April 1st at 7:30 p.m. and that's "No Fooling!"

Watch Us Grow In Numbers, Too!
MUCC Cover

The Michigan United Conservation Clubs has announced a new Membership Drive and highlighted it on pages 54 and 55 of the March 2002 issue of the "Michigan Out-of-Doors Magazine". The Ottawa Sportsmen's Club # 530 is an affiliate member of the M.U.C.C. and by helping them to grow in number, we can also increase our ranks.

This is a win-win situation for us as a club and as individuals because the M.U.C.C. is offering some great rewards for those who sign up new members. When new people are sponsored to sign on with the Ottawa Sportsmen, they automatically become members of the M.U.C.C. Those of us who are sponsoring these new members will now receive prizes from the Michigan United Conservation Clubs based on how many new members each of us sponsor.

For example, if Roger Rifle, who is a member of the OSC, sponsors Pete Pistol and Mike Muzzleloader as new members of the OSC, they will then also become members of the M.U.C.C. and Roger will receive a nice low profile cap from M.U.C.C. for having sponsored two new members. If he sponsors three more buddies, Roger will get a spiffy denim shirt instead of the cap. And, if Roger has a whole lot of friends who would like to sign on with the Ottawa Sportsmen, good ole Roge will get a fancy jacket, compliments of the M.U.C.C., for sponsoring 10 new members. But, that's not all, folks. There's even more! If Roger signs on 25 new members, his name will be entered into a drawing for a brand spanking new shotgun. Roger gets his name put in the drum every time he signs on 25 people, so if he recruits the whole county, his moniker could be in there lots of times. Holy wah, eh?

Pete Pistol, Mike Muzzleloader and all of Roger's other friends won't be forgotten either. All new members signed up during the membership drive will be entered into another drawing to win a chance to hunt or fish with the Michigan Out-of-Doors T.V. crew! They'll also receive a monthly subscription to the "Michigan Out-of-Doors Magazine" and enjoy the many other benefits of becoming a member of the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club as well as the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

M.U.C.C.'s most important function is representation on behalf of Michigan's hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Their staff and volunteer committees work on wildlife, fisheries, forestry, water quality, land use, solid waste, air quality, and energy issues that affect our natural resources. The more members they have, the greater influence that organization will have as it pertains to conservation and natural resource issues on a state and local level.

The Membership Drive began in December 2001 and will continue through December 31, 2002. Prizes will be distributed after January 1, 2003. Sponsors of new members must be over age 18 and their names must be marked on new applications to qualify them for prizes. Mike Williams, Membership Secretary for the O.S.C., is keeping tabs on this for our members.

Deer Target Steel Cards David Jaehnig shooting
Stathi Pappas from California Authentic Hawk Man Sandy & Jon Henkel
Prize Winners Mike Kamm & Matt Jaehnig Donated by Ron Haka, No larger view available Mary Linden
Black Powder Brigade Back Again
There was certainly no doubt that the willow killer (winter) was in full swing on a crimpy(cold) March 2nd when the Booshway (Jon Henkel, leader of a party of mountain men…and women) was followed by a large group of bosslopers (hunters) onto the O.S.C. rifle range to throw a little smoke (shoot). Yep, it was robe season (winter) for sure, but hopefully April will bring a Chinook (warm wind) so these muzzleloadin hivernants (experienced mountain men and women) can set their mud hooks (feet) in something other than several feet of snow.

Yep, this reporter's been researching and trying to get the hang of the mountain man lingo so as to be ready for the U. P. Muzzleloaders Rendezvous scheduled for next July at the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club. And, by the way, "shinn times" are good and memorable experiences. From the sound of things heard during lunch on March 2nd, the Black Powder Shooters definitely are having shinn times!

All who have attended the last two Black Powder Shoots have remarked on the camaraderie and friendliness of all the shooters and O.S.C. members on hand to help. It may be spirited competition, but it also seems to be lots of fun for those who have chosen to join in.

The Black Powder Shooters saw something new this month when they reached the range. It sort of looked like a scene out of "Alice in Wonderland" (but without the nasty old Queen and her vicious little soldiers) when they all took turns shooting at steel cards. Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades seemed to be growing out of the snow. Other muzzleloader events included shooting at a deer target. Marksmanship winners were presented with ribbons during the lunch served in the clubhouse after the shoot.

Taking top honor in the Junior Division was Keith Kracker, age 15, of Alston. Josh Jaehnig, age 14, and his brother Matt, age 11, followed him by taking second and third place ribbons. This was the first Black Powder Competition for Keith who took part in the O.S.C. Junior Youth Shooting Sports Camp last summer and he seems to have retained much of what he learned. The Jaehnig lads shot in competition at the club last month and were ribbon winners then, too. In addition to the ribbons, the young men were presented with wooden plaques mounted with a miniature black powder rifle, which were donated by Phil and Brenda Carlson of Ontonagon.

Dave Paquet also received one of these nice plaques for showing "Perseverance on the Firing Line". Although Dave took two third place ribbons last month, he had some technical difficulties this month and had to put up with some good-natured kidding about being a greenhorn flatlander. Having a tough bark, he stuck it out, wet powder and all, and gave it his best shot under the circumstances. Dave promises to be back and shooting "up to Green River" in April.

Senior Competition saw Jon Henkel placing 1st as the Curly Wolf. Mike Mickus took 2nd, but all thought it was because he brought his own muzzleloader as well as his camera this month. Bob Keen, who is a biology professor at M.T.U. and advises the M.T.U. Pistol Club in his spare moments, shot for the first time at the club and placed 3rd. The 4th, 5th and 6th place winners, Emil Filpus, Sandy Henkel and Dave Ouillette, followed the top three shooters by beating each other out by a distance of only a quarter of an inch.

The Shooters enjoyed some warm and tasty aux aliments du pays (nourishment of the land) and drew for door prizes. Ron Haka donated a beautiful and very useful wooden shooting box he had made by hand. Joe Dyke also handcrafted an intricate Mountain Man lantern for the drawing. Carole Williams contributed two tee shirts from Copper World in Laurium and a large dream catcher she'd made out of peacock feathers and leather. She also donated the lunch. Jon and Sandy Henkel provided Osborne Russell's' "Journal of a Trapper" and a set of .54 caliber balls. The Carlson's brought a metal gong in addition to several more plaques to be given away. Mike Kamm, who shot at the club for the first time and hails from Laurium, donated a terrific shooting pouch. Mike didn't take any marksman ribbons this month, but he was lucky enough to win the shooting box!

The next Black Powder Shoot is scheduled for Saturday, April 6th at 10:00 a.m. While Mother Nature hasn't been too kind to us during the first two shoots, we're sure the advent of spring may bring some nicer temperatures. This competition is meant to be fun and best of all it's free…or in Mountain man lingo, "You can have it on the prairie!"

Mike Buenzli teaches class Snowshoes Donated by OSC Elizabeth, Steven, and Jessica
C.J. Sullivan Students Visit O.S.C.
Michael Buenzli, an instructor with the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education was very busy at the club in February teaching the 5th Grade classes from the C.J. Sullivan School in L'Anse how to measure wind chill. The theme of this winter study was appropriately titled "Chill Out". This math intensive fieldwork entailed collecting temperatures and wind speed data by learning how to use anemometers. Once the data was collected, the students needed to make conversions to formula-friendly units.

Sounds like this might be a mind-boggling experience for youngsters, but the only tools needed were thermometers, stopwatches, anemometers, pencils, and paper fastened to a clipboard. Michael provided the educational magic as to how to make the conversions, and presto, many junior scientists were created. Watch out Karl Bohnak!

Mrs. Mayo's fifth grade students were guests of the club during the morning of February 27th, with a second group arriving in the afternoon. Michael, with the help of his very friendly and pretty assistant, Katie, began the morning session by gaining the students interest through asking questions the young people were able to answer. And although they came up with the right answers, they really didn't have much of an understanding of why these answers were the right ones. By asking, "How does the body lose heat?" he was able to see many hands in the air. When the correct answers were given, he went on to explain why this was so. And then he continued to ask more questions in order to draw the students into the discussion until eventually, they all had their hands waving in the air waiting to be called on.

Sure, it might have been easier for Michael to simply say, "Wind chill is a convective force that takes heat away from the body." But, had he done so, these words might just have gone in one ear and out the other. The wondrous look of learning enjoyment on these youngster's faces might very well have been replaced with that of boredom, but that just doesn't happen when Michael's around.

When the classroom session ended, the students broke into teams of two and three, were sent outdoors, and went about the business of strapping on the new snowshoes provided by the Ottawa Sportsmen. There were lots of giggles and practice duck walks. A few even toppled over at first. But, they finally got the hang of how to move without taking a tumble and were quickly about the business of learning all about the wind chill factor.

The students could simply have stood in the parking lot to take data, but that wasn't the object. The object was to understand how certain variables affect how cold we feel. And the children soon learned there was a difference if data was taken while in the shade or sunshine, under a big old pine tree or out in the open, on the windward side of the building or protected on the other side.

Michael Buenzli is nothing short of fantastic when it comes to the task of helping children to learn. He has much patience and his rewards come through talking with the children, not at them. The body language and eager looks on the youngster's faces as they were taught was marvelous to see and it was this reporter's impression that each child was reached that day. There is a special facial expression that is so visible when children finally understand what someone is trying to teach them and virtually every student left the clubhouse on February 27th wearing it. What a wonderful thing it was to watch this happen.

The L'Anse third graders will be at the clubhouse on March 12th as will Michael Buenzli. The theme, "A Bug's Other Life", sounds pretty interesting. Hmmmm? They say you're never too old to learn. Wonder what I've got going on that day? More picture taking, maybe?

Friday, March 15th

The Friday Night "Gatherers" will host a Corned Venison and Cabbage St. Pat's Day Feast a couple days early. This will be a regular Friday Night Membership Gathering on March 15th, but rather than each bringing a dish to pass or a snack to munch on, Frank Zeits has volunteered to cook dinner. This will be served about 6:00. The "Gatherers" play cards, their rendition of Trivial Pursuit, or just spend the evening enjoying one another's company. Ray Juntunen may be willing to be talked into playing "My Wild Irish Rose" on the keyboard, so practice your la-la-lahs! Please call Sue Dyke at 353-8505 for more information.

Tidbits of Info You Just Can't Live Without!

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