Local Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation committee member Emily Depugh, a past chairman of the organization, is pretty excited about the prospects of having a banner RMEF big game banquet July 24 at the Mazatzal Casino.
Depugh says the prize and auction list is growing each day and now includes 48 guns, five compound bows, a handmade cedar chest, loads of ladies jewelry and various other items.
Depugh has rounded up Dave Yoke to be the auctioneer and Randy Roberson the master of ceremonies.
She promises a fun night.
The banquet will be able to accommodate 250 persons, and tickets -- priced at $85 per couple and $55 for single attendees -- are still available.
The admission price also includes a membership in the RMEF organization and a subscription to the Bugle magazine.
For those unfamiliar with the RMEF organization, officials describe it as a foundation that works to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.
The Payson chapter was founded in 1985.
Nationally, RMEF boasts over 110,000 members who work as volunteers hosting more than 100,000 people at nearly 500 local big game banquets throughout the United States and Canada.
More than 2.4 million acres of wildlands have been conserved and enhanced in the U.S. and in Canada since 1984. RMEF has spent $85 million on habitat conservation.
One of RMEF's most heralded projects took place in Wisconsin where elk hadn't lived for more than 125 years. In 1992 Wisconsin wildlife enthusiasts expressed a vision for returning the animal to the state. In May of 1995, the residents saw their dream come true when 15 cow elk and eight bulls were released in the Clam Lake area of Chequamegon National Forest. A year later, researchers following the herd discovered the first Wisconsin-bred elk calf born in the 20th century.
Call Depugh at 474-9120 for banquet tickets or for more information about RMEF.
Registration for the town-sponsored men's and women's softball league began Monday and will continue through 5 p.m. today, Friday, at the Parks and Recreation Department, 1000 W. Country Club Drive at Green Valley Park. The entry fee is $275 which includes ASA registration. Call Beth Kreider at 474-5242, ext. 272 for more information.
Don't forget this is National Fishing Week and tomorrow, Saturday, has been designated Free Fishing Day to celebrate the occasion.
Saturday, anyone can fish without a license at public waters in the state except on Indian reservations, unless those tribes have specifically adopted a free fishing day of their own.
Game officials say the day represents a once-a-year opportunity for people to get out and experience the joys of fishing.
After a banner spring, the fishing prospects at all five Rim lakes -- Chevelon, Bear Canyon, Black Canyon, Willow Springs and Woods Canyon -- are now only rated as "fair" for rainbow trout. Except for Chevelon, which is artificial fly and lure-use only, anglers have had some luck on salmon eggs, worms or green Power Bait with glitter, fished on the bottom in deeper water in either early morning or late afternoon. Spinners like Mepps or Panther Martins have also produced results.