BWA set for Big Buck Awards, gun show

Brandon area hunters and outdoors enthusiasts will have two consecutive weekends of events to add to their calendars thanks to the Brandon Wildlife Association’s annual trophy night on Dec. 2 and gun and collectibles show Dec. 8 and 9.

Brandon area hunters and outdoor enthusiasts will celebrate their annual trophy collection this weekend.

The Brandon Wildlife Association (BWA) will host its Big Buck Awards this Sunday in the Manitoba Room of the Keystone Centre. The afternoon event will include various raffles, a door prize and draws alongside the rewarding of trophies for categories including deer, moose, elk, caribou and bear.

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Although doors open at 1 p.m. with all entries due by 3 p.m., pre-measuring will occur between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. One entry is allowed per person per category.

“We’ve switched it to Sunday afternoon this year so all the youth hunters can make it out to the event,” said BWA president Don Teale. “(The number of hunters in the region) has stayed pretty much on target. With the new, young people coming in, if their dad or mom hunt, then chances are the kids will hunt. I do think there’s a rise in the number of ladies getting into hunting to my thinking.”

The Big Buck Awards generally attracts between 500 and 700 people, with an average of about 150 entrants. Teale said many in attendance just want to see what has been bagged this year.

“Lots of guys are horn hunters and they might not shoot one for five years, but want to see the unique ones coming in,” he said. “Lots of guys come in for the draws, too.”

To motivate more people to enter, all heads scoring more than 130 points will receive an entry in a draw for the top prize.

“Rather than having a guy travel all over with a 208-scoring animal and get all the prizes, they’ll get a plaque and a unique trophy, but for the firearm, we’ll put all the names in a hat and draw for it,” said Teale.

A total of 10 Browning rifles will be given away through the night, including a door prize for participants aged over 18; junior hunters aged 12 to 17; and ladies aged over 18. Entrants who bring their trophy in during the preliminary measuring period can enter a draw for an SOG knife and a free draw is being held for all tagged deer hides donated through the event.

35th Annual Brandon Gun and Collectibles Show

The BWA’s long-standing gun and collectibles show will take over the Manitoba Room at Keystone Centre the following weekend. Held Dec. 8 and 9, the 35th version of this event is expected to attract between 2600 and 2700 through the two days.

Exhibitors will have an array of firearms and outdoor accessories, from conventional and antique guns to different pieces of hunting apparel and collectibles including military paraphernalia and tableware.

“There are a few commercial vendors, but most of the guys at the show collect and sell as a side business or hobby,” said Teale. “We get them right from B.C. to Quebec, and quite a few come from Ontario.”

The Brandon Gun and Collectibles Show was established for enthusiasts who either use or collect firearms of different sorts and provides a venue for hobbyists requiring parts for the pieces they already own or are looking to add to their collections.

“There are some unique firearms and all different sorts of guns, not necessarily just the latest and greatest on the market,” said Teale.

“If you’re looking for anything unique and wish to trade or buy, it’s worthwhile to come and have a look. Somebody there will know about what you’re looking for.”

The 35th Brandon Gun and Collectibles Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Admission to the show is $8 per day. Youth aged 12 and under enter free of charge.

For more information on both the BWA Big Buck Awards and the gun and collectibles show, contact Teale at (204) 728-2903.

The Brandon Wildlife Association was established as a conservation organization containing stakeholders in the outdoor sports community. Their mission includes emphasizing and practicing sportsmanship; encouraging the propagation of game and fish species; support the Manitoba Wildlife Federation’s Habitat Foundation; educate the public about conservation and outdoor safety; work with government departments and related organizations on conservation-related activities; and more.

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