Oceola Fish & Game Club
Member of the BCWF
December Update

Just a few things to wrap up the year. We will reflect on the Clubs accomplishments to conservation and the community in the new year.

2021 Membership
As another year comes to a close we would like to thank all those that purchased a membership for 2020. The website is now accepting 2021 Memberships which runs from January 1st to December 31st to coincide with the BCWF membership year. If you have selected "Automatically Renew Annually" your 2021 Membership will automatically be processed on January 1st; If that option was not selected you would need to login using the same account you created in 2020 and proceed to purchase a 2021 Adult/Family/Senior membership. For those that would like to have a key for the upper range you can also purchase that at the same time and it will be mailed out to you, keys are mailed every 10 days. Please note that during the Holiday Season Canada Post is very busy and additional time may be required to receive your Key.

If there is any content you wish to see on the Oceola website, Please go to Contact Us and select "Membership" as the contact reason.

Awards
2019 Awards is in the process of being engraved and will be announced soon.
2020 Award nominations are now being accepted. Please contact Awards through the OFGC website Contact Us page.

Annual General Meeting
Our annual general meeting will be held online in the new year. details are being worked out but there will be plenty of notice and opportunity for members to participate.

Upper Range
Someone has torn down the Covid-19 signs at the upper range. This sad to see as volunteers that look after the ranges put them up, and now have to put them back up.

The upper range committee is looking for some part-time volunteers to help push the snow blower to keep pathways clear for range access. There is also some other small maintenance type stuff, no big commitments! If you would like to volunteer or would like additional information please contact Upper Range through the Contact Us page on the OFGC website.

Indoor Range
The indoor range committee would like to thank all those that were able to attend during the difficult past few months. During that time we were able to accommodate 569 visits down from 884 in 2019. This year has been an exercise for us all in adapting to rapidly changing regulations and unpredictable circumstances, and we would like to express our appreciation for everyone's understanding and compliance with the evolving situation. We look forward to reopening in the new year as soon as we can.

COVID-19 Update
Indoor range, Indoor archery, Trap shooting are still closed until further notice. Thank you for understanding.

Southern Interior Mule Deer Project
Just in time for Christmas, help support conservation in B.C. by getting a Southern Interior Mule Deer project calendar for your loved ones.

Follow the 12 months of the year with trail camera pictures from the project. Each month has a collage of pictures from the project. From mule deer, to grizzly bear, black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, lynx, wolf, coyote, wolverine, fisher and even cranes. The calendar shows the amazing diversity of wildlife we have in B.C.

Available for purchase on the OFGC website. ( coming Monday Dec 15, 2020 )
Calendars are $20 plus GST, shipping and handling. All proceeds go directly to the project.

November Update

2020 has been a year like we have never seen before, COVID-19 created unprecedented times but as a community we pulled together and persevered. Thank you for being so wonderful. Below are a number of items we have accomplished together…at least 6’ apart! Though many things had to be postponed or cancelled altogether, the Club is working to safely reintroduce programs as best we can at this time.

Archery
Indoor archery is OPEN on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 7:00 pm to approximately 8:30 pm. We are following COVID protocols and will be limiting the number of attendees to six, on a first come first serve basis. There will be hand sanitizer and wipes available. Persons attending may be asked to wear a mask by the supervisors (ie: if the persons attending are from the same household, masks not required).

Should you have any questions for the archery committee, please contact Archery via the Oceola Fish and Game website Contact Us page.

Indoor Range
The indoor range is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. COVID protocols have us limited to three shooting lanes per evening, and broken into one hour pre-booked sessions (7pm to 8 and 8pm to 9).
For members to book a session, please contact Indoor Range via the Oceola Fish and Game website Contact Us page. Bookings are on a first come first served basis, and we are trying to accommodate shooters that live outside Lake Country boundaries in the 7:00 pm sessions.

Upper Range
First and foremost, the upper range committee would like to thank all the members who do even the smallest things to keep our range safe and maintain the good things we have going. It is all appreciated and valued. We would like to make special mention of Clayton Andres who took it on himself to supply the materials and rebuild the handgun range backstops just because it was the right thing to do and out of pride in his club. Thank you Clayton!

We have had some issues at the upper range and would like to remind all members:
Shotguns are not permitted on the two lower ranges
Trap range, shotguns only. Shot size limited to 7.5 to 9.
No! You can’t shoot handguns and or rifles on the trap range.
No exploding targets of any kind!
Do not put rocks and garbage on any of the ranges.
Do not shoot target stand uprights.
Clean up after yourself like your mother hoped and be safe.
Keep in mind that as a shooter you are responsible to be sure that your projectiles stay within the confines of the range and into backstops.
We have met a multitude of really good people up there and the increased buy in the membership is heartening. There is still a tiny irresponsible minority that have no problem destroying what everyone has worked hard to accomplish but slowly we are weeding them out with a no tolerance policy. As a member you have the right to feel safe and comfortable and If you have any concerns let us know by contacting Upper Range via the Oceola Fish and Game website Contact Us page.

Keep in mind that gate locks will be changed January 1, 2021 and memberships are due then. Anybody with 5 gallon pails or a good used snow blower for sale please let us know!

Wildlife Preserve
Earlier this season, clean up and upgrades to the Wildlife Preserve were initiated…though put on hold due to Covid. Surface re-gravelling was completed on the parking lot to prevent soft spots and mud tracking back out on to Bottom Wood Lake Rd (snails were relocated to safe zones!).
Oceola Fish and Game Club would like to thank the volunteers and to send a great big thank you to Digg’N 4 U for donating the time and material to help complete this much needed project!


Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR) Update
As we are all aware, the asinine “assault style” firearms ban announced by the Liberal Government earlier this year is still moving along with ever changing rules and regulations as we speak. In response, the CCFR “embarked on the largest, most complete and complex federal court challenge on behalf of gun owners in the history of this country, to fight the gun ban.”

In support of our members and all law abiding legal gun owners across Canada, Oceola Fish and Game club donated $5000.00 towards the legal challenge. A Business Membership with the CCFR was also purchased for the Club. The CCFR issued a thank you letter, attached below.

For the most recent CCFR legal update on the Injunction that has been filed, feel free to visit the following: https://firearmrights.ca/en/ccfr-legal-update-injunction-filed/


Volunteer Opportunities
*We are looking for a few people with fundraising, auction, and/or raffle experience to join our fundraising committee as soon as possible. Please contact the Fundraising Committee via the Oceola Fish and Game website Contact Us page for more information.

*The upper range committee is always looking for help to maintain and improve our facilities. We have many projects that we are looking for help with that can be handled by a small Covid safe group or by individual member volunteers on their own time. No major commitment required.

Some of these are:
Dismantling old deck so we can reuse the lumber
Putting up boundary signs and posts
Repairing or replacing trap stairs
Range bunker maintenance
Brush cutting
Tree removal
Building brochure boxes
General ongoing cleanup and repairs
Anyone interested in helping out occasionally, please contact Bob or Emil @ Upper Range via the Oceola Fish and Game website Contact Us page. Eventually we will be re-establishing the range supervisor, eyes, ears and back program for anyone wishing to devote more time to keep the range safe and functional.

Emil is working on budgeting and facilitating road improvements and rebuilding bunkers etc. that have fallen into no compliance from wear and tear and Tannerite. We are hoping to make major improvements to the handgun range starting in the spring.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) - Samples for Testing
Hunters are encouraged to submit any deer, elk or moose head for CWD testing. This is voluntary in most parts of B.C. but will be mandatory for all white-tailed and mule deer harvested September 1st – December 20th 2020 in Management Units 4-1 through 4-7 within one week of harvest. If you hunt in an area outside B.C. that is affected with CWD, please leave the high risk tissues (brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes and organs) where you harvest the animal and return only the meat, antlers with cleaned skull plate and/or hide in a sealed container with all tissue removed.

A freezer has been set up on the front porch of the Atco trailer across the parking lot from the Clubhouse to collect samples for testing. The blue locker next to the freezer has bags and tagging materials for the samples to be labelled prior to placing the freezer. Please follow directions as per collection guidelines located at the end of this newsletter.

For more information on CWD please visit the links below:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-health/wildlife-diseases/chronic-wasting-disease
https://bcwf.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/CFIA_ACIA-14279415-v1-CPA-FSU-CWD-What-Hunters-Need-to-Know-English.pdf

CWD submitted heads must meet the following guidelines:
The head must be removed from the body, with at least three inches of neck still attached. Three inches of neck helps preserve the tissues required for testing that are at the back of the throat.
Antlers must be removed. As freezer space is limited, antlers can be removed from the head either by cutting at the base of the antler or removing both antlers with the skull plate. The hide may also be removed.
The head can be fresh or frozen but must be in good condition, preferably not shot in the head and not rotten.
Animals must be over 1 year of age. Animals under 1 year will not be tested.
An ear card (provided) must be completed with the harvest location (management unit or Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate) and hunter contact information.
Ear cards must be attached with a zap-strap (provided) to either the ear or the skull if skinned.
Heads must be placed in a garbage bag (provided) and the bag closed with a knot or zap-strap before being deposited in a freezer.
For ‘European’ style mounts:
Carefully remove the top of the head leaving the lower jaw and tissues of the back of the throat.
Ear cards must be attached with a zap-strap (provided) to the lower jaw.
Heads must be placed in a garbage bag (provided) and the bag closed with a knot or zap-strap before being deposited in a freezer.


BCWF Southern Interior Mule Deer Webinar
The BCWF has launched a world-class mule deer research in collaboration with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, The University of BC Okanagan, The University of Idaho, and the British Columbia Fish and Wildlife Branch.
Read more on the BCWF website link below and register for the webinar to learn the preliminary findings and ask your questions about B.C.’s largest collaborative mule deer study!
https://bcwf.bc.ca/initiatives/mule-deer-project/?bblinkid=244574148&bbemailid=25354987&bbejrid=1702520019



From the Comms Committee,
If you have made it this far, thank you! This is the first club wide emailed membership newsletter and after many months of limited interaction there was a lot of information to get out to our members. Moving forward a newsletter will be sent out on the first of each month.
Thank you again, stay safe, and hope to see you out there…at a distance!

March Update

**COVID-19 NEWS UPDATE**
The Oceola Fish and Game Club will be following the advice of Provincial and Federal Health Advisors and are suspending all OFGC Club activities and gatherings until further notice, including:
• Indoor range
• Archery
• Trap
• Meetings & Clubhouse
• Events

The upper range will remain open. Please see below important information if you will be using it:
1.  The Club does not have the resources to regularly clean shooting stands, tables, other surfaces or the toilet.  While the Club is not encouraging members to use the upper range at this time, any members who choose to use the range ought to bring their own cleaning materials and use them.
2.  Please respect the 2 meter distance rule from other attendees and recognize this will reduce the number of available shooting positions.

A news update will be issued on April 1st for any new and ongoing information. We will continuously monitor the situation and reopen activities as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please remember this is in the best interest of our members and community to keep everyone safe in these difficult times.

March Update
Due to other community event cancellations taking place throughout the Okanagan recently in response to the COVID-19 virus, we feel it is in the best interest of our members and community that we postpone this month’s General Meeting. Topics and discussions for March will be included in April’s General Meeting, however, please keep an eye on our updates as changes may occur as the global situation safety protocol evolves. We thank you for understanding as we do our part to keep our community safe in these unprecedented circumstances.

In addition, the BC Wildlife Federation has cancelled the 2020 Annual General Meeting and Convention scheduled for April 1-4 in Nanaimo due to the COVID-19. They will be rescheduling for another date in 2020.

On a happier note! Upper range clean up has been scheduled for April 25th and 26th. Please save the date and look forward to more information to be posted in April’s newsletter, this will include start times and essentials to bring with you on the day of clean up. Lunch will be provided for volunteers. please go to Contact Us and selected Upper Range for contact reason. Hope to see you there!

March


Welcome to the second edition of the Oceola Fish and Game Club newsletter! Keeping our members and community informed about upcoming, current, and past events including volunteer opportunities.

The 61st Annual Oceola Fish & Game Club banquet was a success!
This year’s annual banquet had all the fun and excitement one could hope for! Exciting prizes, delicious food and an amazing community and club turn out. From first time attendees to those that have been in attendance for more than 50 years, a memorable time was had by all.  We enjoyed a night filled with amazing wins, dancing and a lot of laughs. Many were able to try out new game meat that they had never tried before such as sweet and sour cougar, pulled wild boar and venison meatloaf, just to name a few. Thank you to our wonderful catering crew, the Bohemian Café!

Key moments of the evening:
  • The Sax Koyama Award is presented annually to an individual, recognizing their outstanding contribution to our community. The 2020 Sax Koyama award recipient was Robert (Bob) Rymarchuk, which was accepted by his wife Ursula Rymarchuk. Bob was both a charter member of the Rotary Club of Lake Country, and the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce, and served as president in both organizations. He was involved in both the establishment of the Lake Country Community Complex and the building of the Beasley soccer field and clubhouse. October 24, 1952 – February 2, 2020.
  • Parliamentary Award was presented to Ron Taylor for his unwavering contributions and volunteering in multiple not-for-profit organizations and his endless efforts towards conservation and habitat restoration throughout the province. 
This year 5% of proceeds from the banquet will go to Southern Interior Land Trust. SILT’s mandate is to protect and preserve sensitive fish and wildlife habitat for the benefit of all living things. A sincere thank you to all attendees, members, volunteers and sponsors. Without your generosity this event would not be possible. For those who were unable to attend, make room in your calendars….next year is a must!

Sponsors

Del Selin Gunsmith Ltd. Westside Stores Woody’s Pub
Jade Bay Construction Interior Land Reclamation Interior Premium Plow Services
Trout Waters Fly & Tackle A & C Sports Ltd. Hard Core Archery
Great North Precision KingFisher Boats Premier Pawn
OFGC Core & PAL And many more...  

  • Upper range road. Although the bottom of the valley is sunny and warm the upper range still has over 3 feet of snow and road conditions are slick. 4 x 4 is recommended. The roads are plowed but ice is still very possible.
  • Range Keys.  Available online for $25. Keys can also be purchased at club general meetings or Monday, Wednesday, Friday at indoor range at 7:00pm for $20 cash. You must provide PAL or RPAL for range key. The $5 difference is to cover shipping and handling.
  • Next General Meeting. March 18th @ 7:00pm at the Oceola Fish & Game clubhouse 11188 McGowan Road. Topics will include:
    • Review of new BCWF packages for OFCG members
    • Guest Speaker – Aron Chatten, Lake Country District Representative. Mr. Chatten will be speaking about the removal of trees and old culvert at the new middle school site, including the installation of a new bridge for Middle Vernon Creek.
  • Volunteer Opportunities
    • We are looking for volunteers with carpentry skills for a stair project at the upper range to access the trap shooting range. Anyone wanting to help please go to Contact Us and selected Upper Range for contact reason
    • Upper range cleanup still to be scheduled for the spring as weather permits. On the day of clean up the range will be closed due to obvious safety reasons. Keep an eye on our news feed for updates. We would love to see some members involved in cleanup, if you are interested in volunteering please go to Contact Us and selected Upper Range for contact reason


February

Welcome to the Oceola Fish & Game Club's first news letter. Our intent is to improve communication with our members and keep everyone apprised of upcoming events, volunteer opportunities or requests for help from our membership. Initially we hope to publish once or twice a month. We welcome any positive suggestions regarding how we can best make use of this.

We request that you use the website contact for questions so it can be directed to the appropriate committee. We ask that you have patience and understanding waiting for responses to your queries as most of us work or have lives beyond the club.

  • Banquet Tickets. Still several available. Please go to Contact Us and selected Banquet for contact reason
  • Range keys. Are available online for $25 or from Weber & Markin Gunsmiths , Club general meetings or the indoor range Modays, Wednesdays, Fridays @ 7pm for $20 You must provide your PAL or RPAL number to get a range key. The $5 difference is to cover shipping and handling.
  • Sign in at all ranges is mandatory for all people using our facilities. Name, membership # date and times. This applies to everyone without exception. It is an insurance and federal gov't requirement.
  • Upper Range road. Brett does a fantastic job of snow clearing but keep in mind it is a steep mountain road and conditions change often. It is your responsibility to ensure you can get in or out. Please report any hazards like downed trees, etc. to the Club so we can deal with it. Please go to Contact Us and selected Upper Range for contact reason
  • Upper range cleanup will be scheduled for some time in the spring . On that day/ days the range will be closed for obvious safety reasons. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. We will update as we know dates and times. Hot dogs and refreshments supplied. Families and children are encouraged to make a day of it.
  • Trap range. Trap shooting is open to members and escorted guests Saturdays @ 10AM. No experience required tutoring and supervision supplied. Fees are $5 per round of 25 shots, guest fee for non members is + $5 /day. 12 gauge ammo is available for $10 / box. Or bring your own. Always lots of smiles and fun people to meet.Sunday shooting is temporarily suspended till spring when there will be more interest.
  • March 6 We are hosting a private trap event from noon to approximately 4:00 pm. We could still use a couple more supervisor / volunteers for the event. if interested contact Bob Everatt @ bob.everatt@oceola.ca It's always fun.
  • Next General Meeting: 7:00 pm March 18 at the Clubhouse 11188 McGowan Road– Topics will  include: review of draft BCWF resolutions (if available),…..