Outdoor excellence celebrated at annual WLSA Wild Game Banquet

A plate of smoked salmon at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies photos - Williams Lake Tribune)A plate of smoked salmon at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies photos - Williams Lake Tribune)
The silent auction items at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet were as diverse as they were interesting.The silent auction items at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet were as diverse as they were interesting.
Caterers work diligently to feed the attendees of the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet.Caterers work diligently to feed the attendees of the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet.
Attendees of the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet get ready to chow down on a wide range of entrees. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Attendees of the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet get ready to chow down on a wide range of entrees. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet attracted many a lakecity local including friends like Arron Delay (from left) Tyler Hamm, Bobby Hamm and Nikki Delay. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet attracted many a lakecity local including friends like Arron Delay (from left) Tyler Hamm, Bobby Hamm and Nikki Delay. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet attracted many a lakecity local including friends like Arron Delay (from left) Tyler Hamm, Bobby Hamm and Nikki Delay. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet attracted many a lakecity local including friends like Arron Delay (from left) Tyler Hamm, Bobby Hamm and Nikki Delay. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
A plate of food at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)A plate of food at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Drinks and food were enjoyed by all who attended the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet including Keenan Fletcher (from left) Brian Iverson and Nicole Williams. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Drinks and food were enjoyed by all who attended the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet including Keenan Fletcher (from left) Brian Iverson and Nicole Williams. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet has a wide range of food ready to eat made from bear, moose, deer and cougar. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet has a wide range of food ready to eat made from bear, moose, deer and cougar. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet included Mediterranean Moose Casserole. (Patrick Davies photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet included Mediterranean Moose Casserole. (Patrick Davies photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet included bear teriyaki, a unique take on very gamey meat. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet included bear teriyaki, a unique take on very gamey meat. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Creamy salmon pasta was a real favourite at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Creamy salmon pasta was a real favourite at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
A plate filled up with good food at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)A plate filled up with good food at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Cariboo Archers The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Cariboo Archers The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Outdoor excellence celebrated at annual WLSA Wild Game Banquet
Outdoor excellence celebrated at annual WLSA Wild Game Banquet
Outdoor excellence celebrated at annual WLSA Wild Game Banquet
Outdoor excellence celebrated at annual WLSA Wild Game Banquet
Outdoor excellence celebrated at annual WLSA Wild Game Banquet
Keith Iverson accepts the Spring Salmon trophy during the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Keith Iverson accepts the Spring Salmon trophy during the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet saw Norm Reynolds take home the Biff’s Pond Trophy. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet saw Norm Reynolds take home the Biff’s Pond Trophy. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Mule Deer Junior Archery trophy was handily won by Ty Thurow at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Mule Deer Junior Archery trophy was handily won by Ty Thurow at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet saw venerable sportsman Wayne Biffert take home the Mule Deer Typical Trophy. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet saw venerable sportsman Wayne Biffert take home the Mule Deer Typical Trophy. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Lorraine Jasper accepts the Mule Deer Typical Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Lorraine Jasper accepts the Mule Deer Typical Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Roxanne Bambrick accepts the Mule Deer Typical Ladies Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet.Roxanne Bambrick accepts the Mule Deer Typical Ladies Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet.
Al Campsal accepts the Moose Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Al Campsal accepts the Moose Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Dan Simmons crushed the Black Bear category, winning both first and second place, at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Dan Simmons crushed the Black Bear category, winning both first and second place, at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Lloyd Como, an avid shotgun hunter, brought home the Canada Goose Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Lloyd Como, an avid shotgun hunter, brought home the Canada Goose Trophy at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Wayne Biffert earned himself the Jack Mackill Memorial Trophy for conservation at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Wayne Biffert earned himself the Jack Mackill Memorial Trophy for conservation at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet (Patrick Davies Photo- Williams Lake Tribune)
Sportsman of the year went to Lloyd Como (left), presented by WLSA president Lorne Barron, at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Sportsman of the year went to Lloyd Como (left), presented by WLSA president Lorne Barron, at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Vivian Simmons accepts the award for Rainbow Trout at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies photo- Williams Lake Tribune)Vivian Simmons accepts the award for Rainbow Trout at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s annual Wild Game Banquet. (Patrick Davies photo- Williams Lake Tribune)

It was another night of quality game food, camaraderie and fun at the Elks Hall on Saturday, Feb. 1 as the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association held their annual Wild Game Banquet.

The banquet is held each year as both a fundraiser for the association’s various programs and activities but also as a chance for lakecity residents to socialize and enjoy some truly unique dishes. Then, of course, there is the awards ceremony where outdoorsmen and women compete to see who caught the biggest fish or bagged the biggest animal in over 40 categories.

According to banquet chair and WLSA member Lloyd Como this is an event many of the WLSA members and the wider community look forward to each year, to the point that this year all 250 of their tickets sold out just a few hours before the dinner. Como has been helping organize the banquet for the last four years.

“This year, I think, is the first year we’ve sold out and some of the people here are not members of the WLSA, they’ve just come out to support us, so I think overall the event is pretty well supported by the community,” Como said.

The Wild Game Banquet, Como said, serves as something of a “wrap-up” style event for the WLSA as hunting and fishing season comes to an end and a new year begins. The event is made more special by the fact all the meat used in the excellent dishes prepared each year is donated by WLSA members, which gives everyone in attendance a chance to try something different. The women of Crystal’s Custom Catering, Como said, always get very creative with their dishes no matter what game they get to work with.

This year was no exception as diners got the chance to sample cougar tacos, smoked salmon, salmon and avocado sushi, Mediterranean moose casserole, teriyaki bear, creamy salmon pasta and cuts of deer, moose and beef, to name but a few. Each dish was largely picked clean by the large and enthusiastic crowd in attendance.

Donors of meat included Keith Iverson, Matt Gould, Jeff Eastwood, Russell and Val Ferguson, Lorne Barron, Dave Clem, Val Morrow, Al Campsall, Bob Thurow, Russel Swan, Hana Erickson, Andre Paquin, Al Bush, Lloyd Como and Roxy Bambrick.

While waiting for their food, attendees were invited to browse the wide range of goods up for silent auction, from unique wooden tables to new hunting rifles. Everything on display, Como said, was donated by local partners and community members with this year being a particularly good one for community support.

Read More: Sportsmen’s association hosts largest annual banquet in history

“I was born and raised in this area so outdoor sports, I’ve been involved in all my life. I’ve shot all my life and I really enjoy being in the outback hunting, so does my lady, so consequently, it’s a big part of our life,” Como said, remarking he loves his “golfing with a shotgun” hobby, referring to clay pigeon shooting.

The next event Como is organizing for the WLSA is the Stinson Memorial Sports Clay Shoot from June 5-7, held in memory of longtime shotgun enthusiast Cliff Stinson who taught Como a lot about bird hunting.

The sold-out audience meant that things did end up running a little behind as everyone served themselves at the buffet table but organizers kept things lively and engaging before kicking off the trophy awards around 9 p.m.

This year 25 of the club’s 39 awards were given out, with organizers encouraging those gathered to always bring in their results for evaluation, as you never know what will end up winning a trophy. The winners are as follows:

Nicholaas Gysel took second place in the Junior Trout category with a four pound, seven ounce trout while Willem Gysel caught himself a first-place fish at five pounds, one ounce. The Rainbow Trout award, meanwhile, went to Vivian Simmons with a four pound, two ounces fish. Not to be outdone, the Trout Fly Fishing only award went to Steve Rupp and his seven pound, one ounce catch.

The Gysel family proved to be as a good at winning awards as they are hunting and fishing, as this time Willem Gysel settled for second place in the Spring Salmon Junior with a 30 pound, eight ounce catch to Nicholaas Gysel’s 31-pound even effort. The Spring Salmon award went to Keith Iverson with a 24 pound, two ounce salmon while veteran WLSA member Al Campsall’s 20 pound, four ounce fish netted him second place.

For Char-Lake Trout Jamie Wiggens 19 pound, 10 ounce catch was unable to dethrone Roger Gysel’s 24 pounder for first place. Meanwhile, the Biff’s Pond award which goes to anyone who caught fish in Wayne Biffert’s stock pond, went to Norm Reynolds with a five pound, 10 ounce catch of the day.

Moving from the waterways to the bush, Nicholaas Gysel bagged himself another first-place trophy in the Mule Deer Junior category with a 140 4/8 inch deer. Mule Deer Junior Archery, meanwhile, went to archer Ty Thurow with a 123 7/8 inch prize.

In Mule Deer Typical top marks were earned by Wayne Biffert’s 86 2/8 inch animal while Lorne Barron nabbed second with a 72 3/8 inch score. Mule Deer non-typical went to Lorraine Jasper, who posted an impressive 170 4/8 inch trophy. Keith Iverson was unable to snag first place in Mule Deer Typical Archery with his 73 inch effort as Lee Jackman sat at the top of the hill with a 123 2/8 inch prize winner.

Mule Deer Typical ladies’ first place went to Roxanne Bambrick for her 118 1/8 inch deer while Debra Baron secured second with 85 4/8 inch result. Nicholaas Gysel’s 129 1/8 inch whitetail deer secured him the Whitetail typical award uncontested while a 148 4/8 inch moose was bagged by Al Campsall for the Moose trophy.

Read More: Wild Game Banquet and Awards coming up Saturday

Dan Simmons, meanwhile, took down two black bears to win both first and second place in the Black Bear category with an 18 12/16 inch bear and an 18 4/16 inch bear respectively. Black Bear Junior went to Nicholaas Gysel for a 19-inch effort. Black Bear Archery, meanwhile, was firmly locked down by Keith Iverson with a 19 14/16 inch bear for first and 18 12/16 inch bear for second.

In the Canada Goose category, Lloyd Como took home first place with a 71 inch bird while Roxanne Bambrick chased for second with 68 3/4 inch. Notable Big Game Archery went to Danny Cooper, who brought down a 44 6/8 inch mountain goat with his bow.

Open Big Game Aggregate Score went to Nicholaas Gysel’s black bear with a score of 95 per cent while Danny Cooper’s mountain goat won him the Aggregate Archery Award with a score of a 112 per cent.

The Jack Mackill Memorial Trophy for Conservation went to Wayne Biffert while the new Danika Bush Memorial Perseverance Award, given to mobility-impaired hunters who still practice the craft, went to Debra Baron.

Sportsman of the Year went to Lloyd Como who was genuinely surprised and thankful to accept the awards from his fellow WLSA members.

All in all it was a successful evening for the WLSA that left guests with happy hearts and full bellies.

For more photos of award winners visit www.wltribune.com/sports.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bearshuntingHunting and Fishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Yunesit'in Government in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service will be conducting a prescribed burn seven kilometres west of the community and 25 kilometres south of Alexis Creek on the south side of the Chilcotin River. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Prescribed burning planned to reduce wildfire risk near Yunesit’in

Burning may begin as early as April 13 in partnership with BC Wildfire Service

An aerial view of the Williams Lake Stockyards taken during a flyover in 2020. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale in its 84th year

This year’s sale will be online and in person

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society communications officer Brianna van de Wijngaard reflects on World Water Day March 22. (Photo submitted)
DOWN TO EARTH: World Water Day means something different for everyone

This year’s World Water Day theme was Valuing Water

Williams Lake Cycling Club president Shawn Lewis (from left), Jeremy Stoward of New Path Forestry, WLCC Boitanio Bike Park director Andrew Hutchinson accept a cheque from Williams Lake and District Credit Union investment specialist Abigail King. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Cycling Club gets bike park donation to bolster upgrades, maintenance

Plans are to complete three rideable lines each year, he added

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read