32nd Annual Sportsmen’s Smoker next Saturday in Wahpeton

The 32nd Annual Sportsmen’s Smoker will be held Saturday Oct. 23. Doors open at 5 p.m. at the Wahpeton Community Center, 304 Fifth St. S. Wild game chili and stew will be served.

WHAT? The 32nd Annual Sportsmen’s Smoker will be held Saturday Oct. 23.

WHEN AND WHERE? Doors open at 5 p.m. at the Wahpeton Community Center, 304 Fifth St. S.

WHO IS THIS FOR? The Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club is hosting the event, their own fundraiser of the year, for the public.

WHAT ARE THE PROCEEDS GOING TOWARDS? The money will be used to support local youth programs, wildlife projects and Chahinkapa Zoo. “The money goes to the events for the kids,” co-organizer Vern Shasky said. “We keep the money local, in Wahpeton-Breckenridge and this part of the states.”

WOULD YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THOSE PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS? “The smoker supports everything that we do,” Club President Greg Gerou said. “We have our three fishing derbies in the summer and the partnership with Heitkamp Construction for the winter ice fishing derby. This fall, we had three hunts for the kids, for goose, waterfowl and pheasant.”

WHAT ELSE DO THOSE YOUTH RECEIVE? Access to educational and art opportunities with the Junior Wildlife Club. Rich Truesdell, a member of the club board, talked about how youth activities include not only hunting and fishing, but also taking in nature with bird watching and hiking. Youth recently visited Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. “We want to get more kids and people outside,” he said.

WHAT DOES A $20 SMOKER TICKET GET ME? Free wild game chili and stew until it’s gone, meat and cheese appetizers courtesy of local butchers and the chance to win with gun boards, raffles and games.

WHAT TYPES OF RAFFLES? There will be a ladies raffle, general raffle and meat raffles. First prize is a Mossberg Patriot 308 with a scope, followed by cash prizes from $50 to $100.

ARE THERE NEW RAFFLE PRIZES THIS YEAR? Guests will have the opportunity to win any of two Texas hog hunting trips. An all-inclusive pheasant hunt is also being offered. It covers everything from land to transportation to services including cleaning and management. “The only thing you have to do is show up and pull the trigger,” Gerou said.

DO YOUNG HUNTERS HAVE A CHANCE AT PRIZES? “Dean Bellmore wanted to donate a gun for our young hunters,” Gerou said. “He purchased one and all the kids who participated in the pheasant hunt will be put in a drawing to determine who will receive it. Eric Greenquist purchased one, too. All of the young hunters are eligible to receive that one. We’ll be doing those drawings at the smoker.”

HOW DO ORGANIZERS FEEL ABOUT THEIR COMMUNITY? “We have really good relationships with people in town. We’ve gotten so much support from people and businesses. We couldn’t do it without them,” Gerou said.

MAY I BUY MY TICKETS EARLY? Yes, but you have to do so before Thursday, Oct. 21. Early bird tickets are entered into an additional gun raffle, for the chance to win a Mossberg Patriot 243.

IS IT BEST TO BUY NOW? “We’re selling tickets like crazy. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to purchase at the door,” Gerou said.

WHO CAN I BUY MY TICKETS FROM? Call Curt Mund at 701-640-3857, Vern Shasky at 701-640-4133 or Truesdell at 701-640-5136.

WHO’S ON THE SMOKER COMMITTEE? Mund, Shasky, Rich and Becky Truesdell and Abby Carlson.

CAN I BRING MY KIDS? Smoker attendees under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. “We try to have something for everyone,” Rich Truesdell said. “We encourage families to come. We do get a good amount of people and we try to keep this open to everyone.”

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE? By visiting www.rrasc.net.

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