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Thompson Wildlife Association holds their biggest fundraiser yet!

The Wildlife Association has been active in Thomson since 1963 and has been playing a significant role in promoting conservation, angling, hunting, trapping, shooting sports, and outdoor-oriented activities.

The Wildlife Association has been active in Thomson since 1963 and has been playing a significant role in promoting conservation, angling, hunting, trapping, shooting sports, and outdoor-oriented activities. The organization has nearly 15,000 members in 100 affiliate clubs throughout Manitoba, making it the province's oldest and largest conservation organization representing the interests of Manitoba’s hunters, anglers, trappers, and sport shooters.


The Wildlife Association has been organizing an annual fundraiser for the past 36 years. It all started from a simple idea sparked by Ken McMaster, a member of the association. "We go out each year and approach businesses and community groups that donate various prizes like logo toques and mugs. It is then put out for display for people to bid a silent auction and raise funds for the Wildlife Association," said Nelson E. Pruder, President of the Wildlife Association.


Some bigger retail stores were also able to donate prizes of higher value such as fishing rods or duck finders and other tools of value to the outdoorsmen. The hub also catered the event bringing in 140 people who showed up. "This year we were able to acknowledge one of our long-time volunteers of 50+ years; Fred Palmer. His dedication to the Wildlife Association as Jr. Rifle instructor providing safe gun and hunting training for young people" said Pruder. Fred was nominated for the Outdoor Heritage Award provided by the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, and it was agreed that he was a worthy nomination.


Another long-time volunteer who was honored was Claton Bradburry, a very active member who also teaches kids safe marksmanship, being active with cubs getting people out, and enjoying the outdoors. "It’s great to acknowledge our volunteers because in the age we live in fewer and fewer people volunteer their time, so we appreciate those who have been faithful for so many years," said Pruder.


The Wildlife Association is now working on a new training program directed toward women, teaching them how to fire a gun, pitch a tent, and cook over an open fire as they are trying to work with the organizers in Winnipeg to come up to Thompson and put in a presentation that can get more people involved in the outdoorsmen.


In conjunction with the new training program, the Wildlife Association is also organizing a 50-50 draw of $2,500 towards the roof repairs. "One of the clubs than can pitch in some money to get the roof repaired," said Pruder. The fundraiser will be held behind the UCN at 100 UCN Dr. It's a fundraiser that helps the operation of the building remain maintained.


The Wildlife Association has a rich history in Thomson. In the 1970s, the local group had a shooting range on Nelson Rd. The city wanted the land for the Juniper Center and helped them move to the current location. The Club started the animal nite fundraiser, which has now completed its 36th year. "It’s all required volunteer hours," said Pruder.


The Wildlife Association has been fulfilling its mission to promote conservation, angling, hunting, trapping, shooting sports, and outdoor activities. It encourages membership within the Federation of those Manitobans that profess an interest in outdoor activities, including the protection of fish and wildlife habitat and resources.


The organization also promotes conservation among its members and protects the natural resources of the Province of Manitoba; its soils, minerals, forests, water, and wildlife. It promotes, encourages, and supports the propagation of game, fish species, and their natural habitat. It assists and encourages the enforcement of game laws, which are in keeping with the aims and objectives of the Federation, and strives for enhanced laws and programs when considered necessary.


The Wildlife Association works cooperatively with the government and like-minded groups towards common goals for the greater good of the greater number. It educates members and the general population of our province about conservation, habitat, and resources as well as outdoor and hunting safety. It promotes and practices ethical behavior at all times. It keeps members apprised of Federation-related news through the publication of its official magazine, Outdoor Canada West.


It’s clearly communicated openly and honestly with members in an environment of trust and understanding. It supports the objectives of the MWF Habitat Foundation and protects and enhances the privileges of its members in the wise and ethical use of our resources.


The efforts towards promoting conservation, angling, hunting, trapping, shooting sports, and outdoor-oriented activities, and educating people about the importance of protecting fish and wildlife habitat and resources, have been commendable. The organization's commitment to ethical behavior and the wise and ethical use of resources is a testament to its dedication to preserving nature.


With the new training program directed towards women and the fundraiser for roof repairs, the Wildlife Association is taking another step towards promoting conservation and preserving nature for future generations.


~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen.  The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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