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Coconut Thai Curry Mussels

Sossy Outdoors: Coconut Thai Curry Mussels

Ingredients:

2 kilograms Mussels (cleaned, scrubbed, de bearded)

¼ cup Basil Olive Oil

1 tsp Fennel Seed

1 tsp Cumin Seed

1 tsp Mustard Seed

1 large Onion diced

4 tablespoons Garlic diced

2 tablespoons Ginger paste

2 tsp Turmeric

Kosher Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

One package colored Cherry Tomatoes

1 can Coconut Milk

1 cup Chicken broth ( or half wine and half broth)

4-6 tablespoons Garam Masala ( mixture of black and white peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cumin)

ingredients

Heat up large skillet style pan with deep sides with Basil Olive Oil. When the oil starts to heat up, add fennel, cumin, and mustard seed. When the seeds begin to pop and become aromatic, add onion, ginger and garlic. Mix well and add a ¼ cup of chicken broth. Allow spicesit to steam, turning the heat down to medium. Slowly add coconut milk to mixture.  Begin slicing the cherry tomatoes and adding them to sauce, mixing them in so they are immersed in the liquid. Add carrot strips. Sprinkle Garam Masala over the sauce and gently whisk in, continuously till it is all gone. Add Kosher salt and pepper. Continue to cook on medium heat till the cherry tomatoes are well broken down. Add the rest of the chicken broth and stir.  Take a spoon and test your sauce to make sure you have enough salt and spice. Feel free to add whatever you believe you need as everyone has a slightly different palate than the next person!

Now it is time to add the Mussels. Add them to you sauce, gently evening them out around the pan. Place a secure lid overtop. As the steam builds, the Mussels will begin to open. After about five minutes, remove from heat and lift the lid. Gently stir the Mussel mixture.

 

mussles

There are different ways for presentation to your family or guests. You can pour the entire skillet onto a large platter, so all can take from the same plate. Or, you can have individual bowls. I scoop the Mussels out evenly into 6-8 bowls and then pour the sauce with a ladle overtop.

Garnish your platter with fresh cilantro or scallions and lime wedges. Don’t forget your sliced Ciabatta Bread to soak up that amazing broth!

 

Platter of Mussels

 

The Jurassic Classic

BC’s Full Curl Fishing Experience!

Jurassic Classic 5

The countdown is on for the 2018 Jurassic Classic Fishing Experience! This year, the Jurassic Classic 1event takes place Aug 17-20th, when sportsmen and women from across North America make their way to Chilliwack, BC to fish the Fraser River for white sturgeon, all while raising funds and awareness for wild sheep populations in British Columbia.  This collaborative effort between the BC Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitter Association of BC, and the Wild Sheep Society of BC is an annual event that’s becoming a household name in wild sheep conservation across North America, and is being noted as a model for conservation minded groups working together in the name of wildlife.

2018 marks the 3rd year for the Jurassic Classic and so far it’s shaping up to be one of the best years yet!  This year, SITKA Gear stepped up to support the Jurassic Classic as the “Signature Sponsor”, bringing a connection to the mountain hunting community that come together with a passion for wild sheep.   SITKA is also the Official Sponsor of the WSF “Sheep Show” and therefore has strong connections to the various Chapters and Affiliate members who attend the Jurassic Classic.  Having SITKA Gear support the Jurassic Classic fundraising efforts serves to elevate our event to higher peaks.

“SITKA Gear exists to elevate the standard against which all other hunting brands are measured – in product design, content authenticity, customer service, and environmental stewardship.”

Jurassic Classic 4

The mission of the Jurassic Classic fundraiser is to put fundraising dollars to on-the-ground conservation work that benefits the various wild sheep herds across the Jurrasic Classic 7province.  In 2017, over $42,000 was raised and almost all funds have been committed to sheep conservation projects in all areas of the province.  It is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of the 60 attendees and volunteers who help put the event on each year.  While the goal is wild sheep conservation, the Jurassic Classic committee has noted the connection that many feel with the white sturgeon, thus this year the committee is also dedicating a fundraising item (a BC First Nations sturgeon art piece) to be auctioned off, with all proceeds returning to the sturgeon fishery that so many enjoy each year.

The extensive reach of the Wild Sheep Foundation has ensured teams from various Chapters and Affiliates come up to support the event each year, bringing fundraising dollars into the province that were not available before the creation of this event. Teams for the Jurassic Classic are marketed to various WSF Chapters and Affiliates, Canadian wildlife conservation groups, BCWF affiliated clubs, SCI chapters, and sold as well at the WSF Sheep Show.  The value that groups have seen by supporting the Jurassic Classic has been great and only builds further on the collaborative efforts that the Jurassic Classic brings.

The group arrives on the Friday evening for a fun evening meet-and-greet.  From the Jurassic Classic 11moment they arrive, they are treated to an all-inclusive event. A full day of fishing (hosted by Great River Fishing Adventures) takes place Saturday.  Saturday evening finds the guests on the shores of the Fraser River for a BBQ of wild game and salmon, which has been a highlight for many.  Sunday brings another full day of fishing, followed by an awards banquet, guest speakers, and a live and silent auction fundraiser.  The guests depart Monday morning after an action packed weekend.

Guests return year after year and look forward to an event where they can laugh, fish, and enjoy a weekend discussing conservation topics with like-minded hunter/conservationists from various organizations.  The unique aspect of fishing while “Putting and Keeping Sheep on the Mountain” really makes the Jurassic Classic “BC’s Full Curl Fishing Experience!”

~ Trevor Carruthers, Jurassic Classic Committee

Jurrasic Classic 9

Great Canadian Giving Challenge

DSCN6368Summer is such a wonderful time in Canada – great weather and longer days mean more fun outdoor activities, weekends away, BBQs and much more. It’s easy for Canadians to forget to support their favourite charities and causes. To help save charities coast-to-coast from the summer-giving drought, CanadaHelps and The GIV3 Foundation have launched the fourth annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge. 

It is a national public contest to benefit any registered Canadian charity. Every $1 donated to a registered charity in Junevia CanadaHelps.org or GivingChallenge.ca, automatically enters the charity to win an additional $10,000 donation. The grand prize draw is on Canada Day and one lucky charity will receive the grand prize of $10,000.

If the BCWF was to win the $10,000 prize from the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, the funds would go towards the two youth summer programs we offer. The prize would allow us to expand these excellent programs to additional locations across BC, to a greater number of kids who would benefit from the experience while keeping the cost of our camps low to make the experience affordable.

In the last two decades, increases in technology and indoor entertainment have impacted the way children play and learn with many activities moving indoor.  Many outdoor childhood activities are not as accessible like they were in the past, and kids are missing out on vital outdoor activities that are essential to healthy childhood development.

The BCWF’s two youth summer programs, Wild Kidz Camps and Go Wild! Youth for Conservation, are designed to get kids outside to learn about the environment around them. Education is the critical difference that make our camps such a success that we have a 80% return rate. We believe that if we teach kids to care about the natural habitat around them, they grow up to teach their children to do the same.

WILD KIDZ PHOTOThe future of British Columbia’s natural habitat relies on educating the public – especially today’s youth – about sustainable management of our natural resources including fish, wildlife, and habitat. With more and more of BC’s natural resources at risk, it is imperative that we inspire future generations to care enough to speak up for fish and wildlife or to even choose occupations that help make a difference.

By providing hands-on educational experiences, the BCWF gives our youth opportunities to interact with the outdoors in new ways, providing them with lasting impressions on their important role in conservation efforts. BCWF Youth Camps are not only a fun experience, they help educate and inspire the conservationists and biologists of tomorrow.

Make your donations go further with Canada Helps starting June 1st! If you care to donate, please follow the link to our donation page through Canada Helps: http://bit.ly/donatetobcwf

Leaping towards a brighter future

DSCF5636Rick Simpson has been the Chair of the BCWF Region 8, fisheries committee from 2003 to 2018. He is also the Interior representative for the BCWF Inland Fisheries Committee.

He has been a member of the BCWF since September of 1981 when he and his family moved here from Edmonton. He has been a continuous member with the Federation for 37 years. The first club he was a member of was the Port Coquitlam and District Hunting and Fishing Club.

I went there originally to make sure my family had the proper safety and proficiency training for the firearms that were in our house.”

Some of the club members thought Rick would be interested in what they were doing in the Coquitlam Watershed  with the new hatchery.

“I did that with them from 1981 to 2003. I did things all over the Lower Mainland with that club. We got some amazing work on fish and habitat restoration done in that watershed. There were 12 or 15 really good projects that we were involved in.”  

When considering the BCWF, Rick believes it began with very noble intentions to do fish and wildlife conservation management, to conserve the resources as best they could. But he thinks there has been a evolution away from what it’s roots were and what the Federation believes their roots are.  Rick is hopeful though for a brighter and sunnier future for our fish and wildlife.DSCF1604

“I want to hear that the BCWF were leaders, were pioneers, were innovators, that you were out front, that they are looking straight into the future with a vision of where they are going to go.”

One of the reasons why Rick became involved was for the projects he did with the Coquitlam Hatchery.

“It made me feel like I was giving back. I had been a hunter and an angler, and I was given the opportunity to do habitat restoration, and salmon enhancement work, I was given the opportunity to give back to the resource. I could do hands on stuff and see the results. It’s very gratifying.”

Rick hopes the future will hold more projects that will help conserve B.C’s resources for his children, his children’s children, and his children’s children’s children to enjoy.

“I want to make sure that we leave this place that we’re in right now in a better state. I’m talking about the environment, I’m talking about fish, and I would like to see gender equity and equality in the Federation. When I die I want to be able to say to St. Peter, ‘I got a lot of black marks, but I really did try hard to make this a better place for my children.’”

~By Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen

Teaching youth responsible fishing and hunting

Brian Atherton has been the president of the Smithers Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club for the past 4 years. The club is approaching 94 years and in the past has been active in activities such as stocking lakes and introducing Pheasants into the wild. They have worked with several outfits, including the BC Wildlife Federation, to promote conservation and safe, ethical, and responsible fishing and hunting.

For the past three years, Brian has spearheaded several programs to get the youth in the community involved in the Rod and Gun Club and to learn about safe gun use. As president, Brian wanted to make the Rod and Gun Club a fun and safe place to be. He wanted to create a safe learning environment that parents could bring their children to and know that they would be led by responsible people.

Here are a few initiatives Brian has worked on with several other volunteers at the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club in Smithers.

School involvement:

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Students learning to trap shoot.

In Brian’s second year as president of the club, he started reaching out to several local high schools to have the students try out trap and .22 rifle shooting. Hunting and fishing are the cultural norm in Smithers so these programs were well received by the school board, principal, outside educators, parents and students. The club has also hosted .22 rifle shooting programs with the Wet’suwet’en First Nations high school. On one occasion the club brought Pan-American games gold medal trap winner and ladies trap shooting event from Alberta to do work with the high school students in preparation for a trap shooting event.

Girl Guides:

In the summer of 2017 the Girl Guides of BC had their SOAR (Spirit of Outdoor Adventure Rondevu). This event brought over 2,000 Girl Guides to Smithers. The Rod and Gun Club was able to take 150 of the girls and showed them how to shoot .22 rifle and trap, they saw how a trapper skinned and mounted a marten on a board, and the girls helped with some projects around the club property. In April, the Rod and Gun club will be hosting a regional Girl Guide event.

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Girl Guides 2017 Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous at the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club.

.22 Rifle and Trap Shoot:

During the winter months the Club runs an indoor .22 rifle shoot for youth once a week. The club is able to host as many as 10 kids at a time. They put an emphasis on teaching the kids safe, responsible, and ethical use of firearms in the indoor environment. Currently the club is starting a youth trap shooting program. This comes after a generous donation from a club member of 7 brand new shotguns. The club is working on subsidizing the cost of shells in order to make this program affordable for youth. Brian hopes through this new program they can teach youth how to shoot trap and get them involved in competitions, while building an enjoyment for the sport.

Other Events:

Family Fishing day is always a big event. Volunteers take youth out to the local lake to show them how to bait a hook and cast a line. The club also hosts an annual Easter egg hunt. This years egg hunt is not cancelled, but will be delayed due to snow.

What the Future Holds:

Brian says he’s recently been contacted by a local elementary school with a request to bring in  grade 6 and 7 students to learn about .22 riflery. A program is in the works to educate the elementary students on proper gun safety. In addition, the club is looking into putting together a willow hinging project for moose habitat on crown land. This project will hopefully help the moose populations, which have drastically decreased.  Brian hopes down the road the club can do more programs in the way of conservation and restoration in order to echo the club’s motto: Protect to Enjoy.

Brian says their goal with these programs is to offer youth an opportunity to not be intimidated and to have a chance to get into a sport that members at the Rod and Gun Club find enjoyable.

“As I sit back as club president and reflect on, are we doing a good job in terms of what we’re offering our members and what we’re offering the community, I feel quite comfortable that we are offering something very solid in terms of introducing and enforcing safe, responsible, ethical use of firearms, whether it is in sport shooting or hunting.”

Brian says all of these initiatives aren’t without the support of the community. Local sporting goods store, Outdoor Essentials donates all the ammunition for the .22 rifle shooting programs and they also donated two firearms to the club. McBike and Sport of Smithers also assist the club’s activities. Parents and club members invest a lot of money to support the youth programs. Not to mention, the dedicated volunteers who give hundreds of hours of their time to make these programs possible.

“All volunteer organizations are built on the backs of the members and the enthusiasm, energy and dedication of the members, so the more of those we can get the more that we can do.”

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~By Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen

Guardians of B.C.’s Wildlife

IMG_0072Allen McEwan is the president of the Pemberton Valley Wildlife Association. He is a fourth generation Pemberton valley resident. Allen got involved with the Pemberton Valley Wildlife Association as a child.

“It’s been a lifetime involvement for me. I’ve served with the club in various roles. It’s the fish and wildlife interest that brought me to the club and that is why I am still here.”

Allen was lucky enough to start tramping in the woods in Pemberton with his grandfather and his father when he was barely old enough to stagger along behind them.

“Prior to 6 years old, I was out there. It’s become a part of my life. I don’t feel satisfied looking out the window. I want to go out and hear the birds, see the tracks in the snow or mud, see the deer on the hill sides, hear the wolves, and see a grizzly bear track. It’s part of our fabric. It’s something we grew up with and it’s really, really important to us.”

Allen says for the most part the club serves as guardians for the local fish and wildlife resource. Everything they’ve been  involved in revolves around protecting the local fish and wildlife resources.

“When the club was still very young and so was I, there was an issue with moose conservation here. We have a very small population of moose on the southern boundary of moose habitat in the province. The club called the provincial government to stop the hunting season because they felt it was unsustainable. We’ve done our part ever since to speak up for the moose and put signs up to warn people not to hunt them.”

Allen says the most important land use decision in the valley that the club has been involved in is the decision to set aside a major tract of land for deer winter range. The biologists that work for the government identified the land and pushed the planning for it to be conserved. The club was behind it from the start .

“We feel pretty darn good about having that deer winter range really well protected now through a legislated wildlife act plan.”

The club has also worked with ministry biologists on collaring projects with both deer and mountain goats.

“Rather than having a government employee for months trying to collar deer, the biologists had confidence in us and asked us to put the collars on. Those projects have been really satisfying because we had a lot of people go out onto the land and got some first hand experience with some wildlife capture, collaring and what not, but also to sit back and see the results afterwards. To marvel at some of the distances these animals migrate, the fact that they can go back and  find their home range when the time comes.”

Allen and the club also have had a long connection with salmon and steelhead resources in Pemberton.

“It’s been discouraging in many respects because we’re slowly losing them. We had some amazing years when I was a youngster fishing for chinook salmon and steelhead. Those days are gone, we’ve lost  that opportunity.”

Allen believes there are two important points to push forward. One is that the BCWF and clubs associated with the BCWF should work to build stronger relationships with the local first nations and work together on common interests. The other point is to highlight the term guardian:

“I think the term guardian is a very important concept for us to continue to put forward. A lot of us are hunters and anglers, but the more important role is that of the guardian, to make sure those populations do well and any fishing or hunting that is done is sustainable.”  

~By Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen

A Fisherman’s Passion

Dave Carleton 10

David Carleton is president of Region 8, Okanagan BCWF and is president of the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association. He has been with the federation for about 26 years. He first came into the federation so he could find out more about the area and to meet more people.

Dave was born and raised in the Similkameen Valley, and has spent all his life hunting, fishing and being outdoors. He is passionate about protecting our outdoor resources, and
promoting conservation and sustainable use to ensure that these important resources are available for future generations.

“I love what I do. I am a fisherman and I love the outdoors.”

Dave Carleton 8At the 2018 BCWF AGM in Kamloops, Dave was elected as a Vice President of the BC Wildlife Federation. Through his involvement in his local club, the Region and the BCWF, Dave does a tremendous amount of volunteering. He looks after the archery division of the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association, represents both the club and the region at numerous meetings, committees and working groups, as well as continuing to spearhead club projects. With Dave’s help and leadership, the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association have successfully completed several notable projects, including the Garnet Valley Habitat Restoration Projects (ongoing), Mule Deer Habitat Projects and wetland restoration projects at Ritchie Lake and McCollough Lake.
While Dave has been involved in many projects, he is most proud of the wetlands projects he has helped with. These projects entailed restoring areas that had been impacted by recreational use back to their natural state.

“We’ve brought lots of areas to their natural state. These are some of the projects that I’m most impressed by. If I can keep doing projects like that, I would.”

Dave continues to dedicate his time and energy to volunteering because it is his passion.
Dave believes that the BC Wildlife Federation is about looking after wildlife, habitat and
conservation. He feels strongly that the BCWF is the only organization that looks after the resident hunters and anglers, and that is why he continues to focus his efforts and dedicate his time.

Dave is proud to be a part of the BC Wildlife Federation and looks forward to continuing to support the federation projects and initiatives.

~By Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen