Hunters raise funds for safety training

Sean C. Morgan

An effort by local hunters, organized by the owner of the Bohemian Club, has raised nearly $2,500 to provide hunter safety course scholarships for youths in Sweet Home over the past two years.

This year’s Second Annual Bohemian Big Buck Contest raised $1,525. Winners this year were Bob Clausen with the biggest blacktail and Phil Pollock with the biggest muley, each winning $250 gift cards to Cabela’s, and Kevin Blankenship with the smallest buck, winning a $150 gift card to Cabela’s.

The proceeds are meant to put Sweet Home youths through the hunter’s safety course for free, said Clint Pollock, owner of the Bohemian Club, 1025 Long St. The hunter safety course costs about $25 to $30 per child.

Hunters paid $10 per person to enter the contest. Entries were due Sept. 29, and the contest was complete on Dec. 10. Prizes were awarded at the Bohemian Club on Dec. 17.

Last year, the contest raised between $800 and $900, Pollock said. Proceeds were used to pay a local man to teach the classes, as well as a pizza party last year, but he isn’t available this year. The Albany Gun Club will run the classes this year.

“It really took off this year,” Pollock said. About 60 people joined the contest, and about 100 bought raffle tickets for a $500 Cabela’s gift card.

“(Todd Branson) drummed up most of the business (sponsors), made up the fliers,” Pollock said. “He coordinated the whole event.”

“It’ll be better next year,” Branson said. He would like to make sure no Sweet Home children have to pay for the course, which is mandatory for hunters younger than 18 except when hunting on land owned by their parents or legal guardian.

Hunting gets the kids off the couch and streets and into the woods and gives them something to do, Branson said. The contest may provide opportunities to help children, those with a single mother or other circumstances, to go hunting, by pairing them up with an adult hunter.

“They do big buck contests in other cities,” Pollock said. “We thought it would be a nice way to raise money for hunter safety courses.

“We’re avid outdoorsmen. If we’re going to share the woods them, we want them to be safe. I just think the more kids are out in the woods the better.”

Sponsors include Burke Logging, C&C Timber, Red Sand Technology, the Bohemian Club and Todd Branson.