MANITOWANING—Bustling crowds flowed through the doors of the Assiginack arena to attend the 5th Annual Manitoulin Deer Show, taking in lectures on subjects ranging from predator control to women in hunting and visiting the vendor booths that offered up everything you need for a successful hunt.

A sizable crowd assembled for the door prize draws, conducted under the able hand of Steve Wood and assisted by his daughter Peggy, who gave a shout out of thanks for all the hard work over the weekend of the volunteers and especially to organizers Mike Sprack and Jackie White.

The winner of the two firearms were Jeffry Charles Dorland Hartin, who took home the rifle, and Gary Desabrais, who snagged the shotgun (both were required to present a valid PAL certificate).

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Bob and Jaime Radojcin, hosts of WILD Televison’s ‘Homemade Hunters’ television program were on hand for the Kids Wilderness Challenge and gave a talk to the youth about hunting before the contest.

In the lecture series, WILD Televison ‘Just Hunt’ host Amanda Lynn Mayhew presented ‘Women and Kids in the Outdoors.’ Ms. Mayhew explained that “‘Just Hunt,’ the television series, started on WILD TV under Canada Hunts in 2016 and now I am filming my first full season this year under ‘Just Hunt’.”

The impetus behind her starting up the program was “my passion and drive to showcase and share my hunts and what they mean to me and how I was raised.”

“Women in the industry and how the numbers are increasing (are what my lecture was about). I founded The Women’s Hunting Association in 2011 and organize and host Take Me Hunting, Take Me Fishing and Range Day events to teach women about firearms, hunting and fishing,” she said.

As to whether more women are taking up hunting generally, Ms. Mayhew was adamant. “Yes,” she said, putting a decided emphasis on her answer. “I have numbers from my classes of girls who move forward into the industry after participating in a range day, whether it be competition shooting, solo hunting or a career change. I know a lot of women hunt on the Island but in southern Ontario the demographic is very different.”

While Ms. Mayhew’s talk did focuss on hunting, ‘Just Hunt’ is more than that. Ms. Mayhew stressed that it is “a brand that focusses on chasing lifestyle passions.”

Ms. Mayhew was raised in Northern Ontario and now takes out guided hunts as well as hosting her television series. She can be contacted at hunt@amandalynnmayhew.com.

Well-known Island hunter Ian Anderson of Kagawong presented a lecture on predator control later in the afternoon.

The day included a Wild Game cook-off, won by Barb McMurray whose venison loaf took top honours out of 17 entries, a mounted head competition and a game camera contest. Tristan Eadie won the game camera photo contest.

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