Ottawa Sportsmen's Club News

July 10, 2003

Carole Williams, Club Reporter

July Meeting Report

4 July '03, Float 4 July '03, Turkey 4 July '03, Bear & Joe
4 July '03, Parade 4 July '03, Sign 4 July '03, Driver

Thirty-eight voting members, several spouses, the entire O.S.C. Jr. Pistol Team and two guests gathered for the July 7th meeting of the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club. New members welcomed were Jeffrey Hiltunen of Carol Stream, IL, Bob Johnson of L'Anse, and Raymond Kaurala of Nisula. Bob Tuomi of Chassell reinstated his membership and another application was received from guest Cliff Waters immediately after the meeting.

The Jr. Pistol Team, Coach Granroth, and his assistant Bob Gardner, who will be traveling to Camp Perry, Ohio this Saturday for the week long NRA National Pistol Match Team Competition, enjoyed a grilled steak dinner provided by Ron Moilanen and Sue Dyke, and then headed out to the range for some last minute practice. We're hoping to set up a daily report via computer to post on the Website if access at Camp Perry can be found for that.

Vice President Joe Dyke, who took the gavel in President Filpus' absence, introduced Mike Donofrio, Natural Resources Director for the Keweenaw Indian Bay Community who presented a slide show and question and answer session on their Fisheries Program, which has been designed with the ultimate goal of improving the fisheries resources on or near the Reservation. The Director reported that positive results are being reached to achieve that goal.

V.P. Dyke announced through the reading of the Board of Director's meeting minutes that the club will be looking for a replacement for Director of the Junior Shooting Sports Camp for next summer. Ron Granroth, who has acted as Director for the past four years, has cited increasing health problems as a reason for having to step away from this O.S.C. youth program.

It was also disclosed that one bid had so far been received by the Board for the construction of the new Trap Range building, but no further information was given to the membership on when bids would be opened or when that construction would go forward.

Additionally, it was announced that the Board is looking into the purchase of a beverage cooler to replace the present antique and also the possibility of installing power at Courtney Lake.

Sue Dyke informed the group that Road Side Pick-Up is scheduled for Friday, July 18th at 5:50 p.m. Volunteers should bring a pair of heavy gloves. Supper will be served.

Ron Mitchell, Chairman of the Courtney Lake Improvement Committee, reported that the new fishing dock, all 28 feet of it, has been installed and is ready for use at the club's Courtney Lake Picnic and Camp Ground. Ron also announced that keys to the campground are available for purchase at the club.

Jack Lehto reported on the M.U.C.C. Annual Convention and informed members that our much sought after "Crossbow Resolution" still needs refinement as far as language. Jack indicated that there were many in favor of such a resolution and that with a little more polishing, it would likely be adopted sometime in the future.

Russ Weisinger also reported on "Tracks" magazine, an educational tool the Ottawa Sportsmen have been providing to area school children for many years. He advised the group that approximately 400 individual subscriptions are purchased annually and that the magazine is published May through September. In conjunction with this, Vice President Dyke read a thank you letter from Baraga Elementary schoolteacher Kristiina Vanhalla as well as several of the student's individual thank you letters. Ms. Vanhalla's letter can be viewed elsewhere on this site.

Carole Williams was called upon to report on the Turkey Shoot, which will be reviewed later in this newsletter, and to report on the O.S.C. float entry in the 4th of July Lumberjack Parade in Baraga also to be reviewed later. During that report she presented Treasurer, Mike Faucher with a check for $125.00, which had been awarded to the club as fourth place entry winner.

Carole was also asked to present her information on HR 1472, the "Don't Feed The Bears Act of 2003" at the time of these reports. The membership had asked her to follow through on spreading the word about this proposed legislation to other sportsmen's and shooting clubs and she indicated that she had contacted 45 of these throughout Michigan and in several other states that would be adversely affected by this legislation. She also said she had sent news releases to ten newspapers throughout the U.P.

Williams, who had been asked by the membership at the June meeting to contact the United States Sportsmen's Alliance and inquire as to what would be required to join the National Bear Hunters Defense Task Force, presented that research and resulting recommendations

However, no discussion was allowed on the issue at the end of her address to the membership because it was said by a board member to be a report and not debatable at that time. Discussion was curtailed later during the meeting and action was not allowed to be taken on this issue because the membership was informed by the same board member that it must follow protocol by approaching the Board of Directors for a recommendation first.

Action was also not taken on the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club formally adopting a resolution to oppose HR 1472 as the party who was to prepare the resolution for the July meeting was not present nor did he provide that resolution in his absence.

There will be no regular meeting of the club in August. Traditionally, a short business meeting is conducted during the annual Family Picnic, which is scheduled for Sunday, August 3rd.

David Hoover of Calumet was elected as a Director-at-Large during the 66th Annual Michigan United Conservation Clubs Convention held recently in Marquette.

Dave, who joined the Ottawa Sportsmen this past May 26th, planned to attend the convention as a visitor, but was brought into the Resolutions debate by MUCC Vice President John Ford to join Jack Lehto as a voting delegate of the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club. Dave, who is extremely well spoken and very knowledgeable about sportsmen's issues, ended up being voted in as one of eight of the M.U.C.C.'s Directors-at-Large and Mr. Ford came away from the convention as the incoming President of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. From speaking with Dave, all indications are that he and Mr. Ford have established a good working relationship with common goals in mind and this will undoubtedly have a positive impact as Dave goes about his new duties.

As part of those duties, Dave will travel throughout the state visiting with the M.U.C.C.'s affiliates and also will have a seat on that organization's Board of Directors. He is taking his duties very seriously and intends to stay connected as a liaison between the Ottawa Sportsmen, as well as other affiliated clubs, and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

The Hoovers moved to the area several years ago from the Ypsilanti area after he retired from a middle management position in the automotive design industry. Dave now operates a taxidermy business in Calumet. He has a strong interest in rifle, pistol, and trap shooting, hunting, fishing, and at one time was a competitive archer.

Dave's wife Sherry, who is also an outdoor sports enthusiast, is an elementary educator employed by the Calumet Public School System. While living downstate, Dave was an active member of both the Washtenaw Sportsmen's Club and the Detroit Sportsmen's Congress.

Dave is extremely concerned with preserving our heritage as sportsmen and feels that we need to see a wild fire spread among sportsmen and women nation wide so as to begin to put an end to the constant attrition of that heritage. That is perhaps a good part of the reason why he has been so extremely helpful in researching up to date information on the bear- baiting ban.

He's told this reporter that he believes that the framers of our constitution never dreamed or considered that hunting and fishing and clean water and air would ever be in jeopardy because that was a way of life. He is a firm believer that our nation was founded on outdoor living and he finds it quite ironic that the very things that helped to make America great are now called into question in our nation's capitol.

Taking a page from history, the Ottawa Sportsmen's fourth place winning entry in the Baraga Lumber Jack Parade on July 4th depicted a trapper canoeing down a gently flowing stream though the green forests, perhaps heading for a rendezvous to sell his furs. Joe Dyke played the part of a very hot and sweaty Joe-Pierre Le Trappeur decked out in red fox hat and western frock coat, alternately tossing candy to the children and paddling down Superior Avenue. Accompanying him was a life size bear, a little bit bigger than the one Joe bagged last year, decked out with a glittery red, white, and blue top hat and hungrily eyeing a extra large trout on the end of his fishing pole. In keeping with the 4th of July, the float was adorned with almost 50 star spangled banners while music played "It's A Grand Old Flag". Keeping Joe-Pierre company and also keeping darting youngsters out of harm's way, was our favorite O.S.C. Turkey, Mike "Wattles" Wadaga, who said he truly felt basted by the time he was done with his main street Turkey Trot. "Wattles" handed out miniature flags to the little people and to some not so little.

Special thanks to Joe and "Wattles" for braving heat stroke and to Paul and Phyllis Adams who graciously offered the use of their "in-town" garage, their helping hands, and their hospitality while the float building was taking place. Phyllis, by the way, drove her first 4th of July float and didn't have to back the trailer up even once. Paul is the one who provided us with the video of the float, which our Webmaster had posted to this site for a short while. As video takes up so much of our allotted space, it will be replaced with photos taken by Bob Lappala instead.

Special thanks also to Bob Heitikko for the loan of his large trailer and freshly washed and waxed pick-up truck, which was also decorated and which carried our Turkey Shoot sign so as to advertise that upcoming event. More special thanks to Mike Williams for gathering all the supplies and building the box frame to hold all the flags. And still more thanks of the same kind to Susie Dyke for her sign making and eye for decorating detail in helping this reporter make a drawing become a reality.

All families belonging to the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club and their invited guests are invited to the Annual Family Picnic to be held at the club's Courtney Lake Picnic area on Sunday, August 3rd. Prime rib and turkey is usually ready to serve about noon, so plan accordingly. The club will provide the beverages and the meat, but members are asked to bring their own place settings, a dish to pass, and maybe a lawn chair or two if they prefer to sit around the campfire.

New members, perhaps not knowing where Courtney Lake is, should take M-38 until they reach the Courtney Lake sign and then just go on to the lake until they see signs posted showing the way to the club's private campground and picnic area.

There is no planned entertainment this year, so anyone with any ideas is welcome to bring either their dancing gazelles or maybe just their guitar or mandolin and we'll settle for a sing-a-long instead. Our O.S.C. Cook Books will hopefully be sent from the publishing company in time for purchase at the picnic and the "Clothing Ladies" will probably have their line strung from the trees.

The first meeting of the 42nd Annual Turkey Shoot Planning Committee is scheduled for Monday, July 14th at 7 p.m. This committee knows no boundaries so if you're interested in helping to get things started or have suggestions for improvements to our system, please just show up on meeting night.

Mike Mickus and yours truly have already started our usual duties with Mike industriously working on the poster format and the outdoor shooting events and me already pounding out news releases and necessary correspondence and also stuffing envelopes.

Grand Raffle tickets and a mid-year newsletter will be mailed out on July 14th to all members who did not attend this month's meeting. Selling these tickets is critical to the success of this year's Shoot so please make every effort to sell the winning one. And if you do that by the 3rd of August, please be sure to bring your stubs and sales money to the picnic so you can avoid messing around with an envelope and stamp. The U.P. magazine, "Porcupine Press", will publish a humorous account of how this reporter got involved with the Ottawa Sportsmen and then in right up to her neck and beyond in the "Queen Mother Of All Turkey Shoots" in their August issue, which should be on the stands soon. The editor of the Press was very enthusiastic about giving us this free publicity and "cleared three pages" in order to publish the entire story. He also offered to send some tee shirts for Dime Raffle prizes. What a guy!

This is the beginning of an industrious publicity campaign that will hopefully bring in as many, if not more, visitors than last year. That ought to put us at bust the sidewalls capacity and really tax our outdoor shooting event staff! Well, that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Eagle Country 105.7 has also been contracted to provide on-site broadcasting the day of the Shoot as well as publicize our event during the entire month of September on both stations.

There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm from our members this year, with many already coming forward to volunteer their help indoors and out. This is true of those who've helped for many years as well as true of some who've never been to one of these shindigs before. But, we've got a long way to go yet.

Ideally, we'd like volunteer staff to be willing to work for at least two-hour shifts wherever they feel most comfortable, whether that be out on the shooting ranges or indoors at the Dime Raffles, one of the dollar raffle tables, or the lunch ticket sales. We also need help cutting wood for that raffle and in setting up for the events on Saturday. Additionally, we need someone to cook up a whole bunch of stew for our supper ahead of time and then warm it up for us after the Shoot!

If we can find enough volunteers, shifts would run from 11 until 1, 1 until 3, and then from 3 until 5. You can work as many shifts as you want and all workers are invited to an after-Shoot supper and gabfest while we unwind from the day's activities. If you can lend a hand, please give Mike Mickus, Ron Kamarainen or me a call. Mike can be reached at 296-0986, Ron can be reached at 353-6431, and I can be reached at 338-2507 or contacted online at

Question: What kind of gun is made of shiny metal, has an extremely long hammer mechanism, and shoots a very long brownish semi-liquid bullet?

Answer: A caulk gun and we need a couple guys to pitch in with Dave Hoover by loading one and caulking the inside of the new storeroom on the main building before the woodlands rodents meander in to hole up for the winter. The caulk will help to keep the chill out, too.

Dave's sort of at a disadvantage here. He just dropped by the club for the last craft show (he's also a taxidermist with a "crafty" wife), liked what he saw, and joined the club. He doesn't know a lot of people at the club, but he answered someone's call for help and then ended up being in charge. Now he's the one needing help. If you can lend him a hand, how about giving him a call at 337-6109 to tell him when you're available?

HR 1472 Scheduled For Vote In House Resources Committee
The word out of the Nation's Capitol isn't good!!! The following is copied from the U.S, Sportsmen's Alliance Website and it is dated, July 11th.

In a surprise move, the full House Resources Committee has scheduled a vote for 1472, the congressional bill to ban the use of bait for hunting black bears on federal land.

The vote is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15, 2003.

The bill was initially scheduled for action on that date by a subcommittee.

"The subcommittee is comprised of only 11 congressmen. Now, we must educate all legislators about this bad bill," said Rob Sexton, vice president of government affairs for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. "The vote could be close. Anti-hunting groups and their congressional allies, including sponsor Representative Elton Gallegly (R-California) have vigorously lobbied committee members to pass the bill."

The U.S, Sportsmen's Alliance is calling on sportsmen to urge their U.S. representatives to vote no on HR 1472. Key to the bill's passage or defeat is how many members of the committee, who have committed to vote no, actually attend the hearing. Supporters of the ban only need to win a majority of those present.

But much more is at stake than bear hunting.

State government has always had sole authority for the management of resident wildlife. The federal government regulates endangered species and migratory bird hunting, opening the door for bans on all hunting for a wide array of species, the use of dogs, bows, muzzleloaders and more.

A list of key legislators on the House Resources Committee, who will decide the fate of HR 1472, will follow. Hunters, anglers and trappers represented by the members of Congress must contact their own member and ask them to vote against HR 1472. Ask your member of congress to leave wildlife management in the hands of the state wildlife professionals. Tell him or her that it is very important for them to attend the hearing.

To indicate the support HR 1472 is receiving, let me explain that when the report was given on this legislation at the Monday night membership meeting, there were 131 representatives co-sponsoring it. I verified this again Tuesday night, but by Wednesday the total had jumped to 162 and as Thursday, July 10th, the list of co-sponsors totaled 172 with only two withdrawn.

I've been working on this newsletter all night, something my close friends know I often do so that a timely report can be given. I rechecked the status at 4:20 a.m., July 11th and the new figures on the co-sponsors were at 175 in favor of the legislation with 4 withdrawn.

As I have been keeping close tabs on HR 1472, you can imagine the shock it was to find this latest alert copied above.

Having been asked by a Board member yesterday if state law takes precedence over federal law, I passed this on to State Representative Rich Brown. His Legislative Assistant, Mark Polsdofer then informed me that HR 1472 would indeed take precedence.

Therefore, regardless of the fact that in 1996 nearly three million Michigan voters cast their vote in favor of Proposal G, a piece of legislation that gave the Natural Resources Commission the authority to set fish and game laws in the state, federal law would supercede this state law.

Yes, in spite of the passage of Proposal G, which gave the NRC the exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game, including bear, and which also required the NCR to utilize principles of sound scientific management in making decisions regarding the taking of such game and to also minimize human/bear encounters, the wishes of nearly three million Michigan's voters would be tossed to the wind by our elected officials in Washington, D.C. should HR 1472 become the law of the land.

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