AMA Sportsmen Association

Local children helping to boost wood duck population



By Ron Giofu


Members of the AMA Sportsmen Association are reporting seeing evidence there is a growing number of wood ducks in the area and local children have helped with that.

The club’s annual wood duck box building day was held last Saturday morning with about 41 children along with their parents and grandparents turning out to build 40 boxes. The number of children was about the same as it was in 2017.

Local children helped to build wood duck boxes last Saturday at the AMA Sportsmen Association. Most of the 41 children who attended show their boxes.

“They range anywhere from six months to 16-years-old,” said Brian Beattie, AMA Sportsmen Association member and also a member of the club’s conservation committee.

Beattie pointed out that 14 grandfathers gathered a few days before to prepare for the assembly day.

“We cut out all of the wood for the boxes,” commented Beattie. “It was like a kit for them to put together.”

The wood duck boxes were taken home by some children with others leaving them at the club so that members could put them up around the community. Beattie said some wood duck boxes on the AMA Sportsmen Association property need replacing while others will be taken to local marshlands.

Nash and George Garant work together to create one of the 40 wood duck boxes that were built at the AMA Sportsmen Association last weekend.

“They last about ten years, then they have to be replaced,” he said.

Beattie added there is a noticeable difference in the wood duck population, pointing out that they like to nest in trees that are rotting out or in the boxes. The boxes are deep so that raccoons can’t reach in and get at the eggs with metal plates being screwed on near the box openings to further deter raccoons.

Those who maintain the wood duck boxes, including those who installed them in marshlands, report cleaning out egg shells every year, a sign that more and more wood ducks are hatching and going into the wild.

Justine Varney helps daughter Rylee construct their wood duck box.

The AMA Sportsmen Association is planning a similar event March 3, only with bat boxes. The bat box assembly day will also start at 10 a.m. with Beattie explaining that the bat boxes are smaller and flatter than a wood duck box. There are also more places bat boxes can be installed, he added, noting that bats are good because they eat mosquitoes.

The club’s conservation committee gets $2,000 per year, Beattie said, with plans for next year calling for wood duck box construction as well as boxes for screech owls.

What’s happening at the AMA Sportsmen Association this winter



Construction to the back of the clubhouse at the AMA Sportsmen Association is almost complete, adding more storage and clearing the back hall of clutter.

The archery program is continuing every Monday from now to April and is going very well with up to 40 kids and up to 20 adults shooting each week.

Our 2018 3-D season kicks off with the first of five shoots on our annual “Big Buck Sunday” March 11. Anyone wishing to have a set of horns measured can bring them to the club on this day. There will also be local vendors and fellow sportsmen displaying and selling their goods.

The air rifle program every Wednesday is doing well with up to 30 shooters coming out regularly. The annual “turkey shoot” took place Jan. 17 and this event had 175 shooters from age three to grandparents.

Euchre is still being played every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Again this year, the AMA Sportsmen are showing their commitment to conservation by making 40 wood duck nesting boxes and 40 bat boxes. The club is asking for the help of the boys and girls from the club and community to assemble these boxes. It is a fun day to learn a little about building and the importance of preserving wood ducks and bats.

The wood duck boxes are to be assembled Feb. 3 starting at 10 a.m. and the bat boxes assembly day is March 3 at 10 a.m. Lunch will be provided for all helpers on both days.

The AMA Longbeards, our local chapter of the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation, is holding its first banquet Feb. 10. There are still a limited number of tickets available for this event. Call Brian at 519-736-2221 for tickets.

On Feb. 17, there is a chicken wing dinner from 5-7 p.m. You can either eat in or get take-out. After you eat this dinner, you will not have to stop for a burger on the way home.

March 10 at the club is the seasonal Easter Craft Sale with 30 local vendors displaying and selling their crafts from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Our annual pot luck dinner this year is March 24 at 6 p.m. Tickets will be going on sale soon so get your tickets early because this event is a sell-out every year.

Plans have begun for this year’s 35th annual Walleye Tournament, which will run June 22-30. The wrap-up party is July 1. The Bob Meloche Kids Fishing Derby is Father’s Day, June 17.

As always, every Saturday, lunch is available at the club from 12 noon-2 p.m.

So what are you waiting for? With all of these events, there is something for everyone so visit the AMA Sportsmen Association at 468 Lowes Side Road. Anyone with questions can call the club at 519-736-5706 and leave a message. The call will be returned.

People can also visit us on Facebook or check out our website at Hope to see you there!


—Prepared by Brian Beattie

AMA Sportsmen Club holds annual turkey shoot



By Jolene Perron


Crowds flooded the AMA Sportsmen’s Club to take their best shot at the annual turkey shoot last week.

Once a week on Wednesdays, the club holds air rifle nights where kids can come in and learn about gun handling, safety, and learn how to shoot for less than $5. Each year, they also hold a special free night to bring people to the club who may have never shot a gun before, with the ability to earn prizes.

Jim Fox, coordinator of the turkey shoot and volunteer with the club said no one ever leaves empty handed.

The AMA Sportsmen Association held its annual turkey shoot last Wednesday night. An estimated crowd of 175 shooters participated in the air rifle event.

“Once a year we have the turkey shoot, which is a free event just to promote the club and get everyone interested in the area, and promote shooting,” said Fox. “We are trying to get the kids to get off of the computers, the phones, and do something else. It’s been going on for a long time, and we’re just trying to keep it going. It’s one of the biggest events we have here.”

The ad read “no turkeys will be harmed at this event,” and they kept true to their promise, with just the photo of a turkey printed on a sheet to see who takes the best shots.

On hand were a number of volunteers just like Fox who teach the importance of gun safety and ensure everyone who handles a gun not only has fun, but also learns how to shoot properly and safely.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger, and that’s the biggest thing is trying to keep the kids involved,” said Fox. “There was a time when kids weren’t doing much and for a couple of years things were dying down and now it’s really picking up. I enjoy doing this. This is my relax time. It’s good when you see the kids having fun.”
For more information about the AMA Sportsmen Club and how you can get involved, visit

Local student organizes cancer fundraiser, donates hair in memory of friend



By Ron Giofu


The AMA Sportsmen’s Association was buzzing Saturday with hair cuts, food and music all to aid the fight against cancer.

It was also a chance to remember Carol Fryer, a local hairstylist who used to organize a similar fundraiser before she lost her battle with the disease.

Cassie Major holds up four of the ponytails she had snipped off during a fundraiser that Major herself organized at the AMA Sportsmen Association Oct. 14.

“Carol Fryer used to organize Wigs for Kids in Amherstburg,” explained Major. “She used to cut my hair when she did it. We’re continuing to do it in her memory. I was going to cut my hair this year anyway.”

The ponytails that were cut off were donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, with the goal of turning the hair into wigs to assist those who lost their hair due to cancer treatments. They teamed with local salon I Dare Your Hair and they ended up with over 90 ponytails.

The youngest person to get her hair cut was five-year-old Charlotte Hill, a friend of Major’s.

Doing the cutting at Saturday evening’s event were Jen Moceri and Brooke White from Ritual Salon in LaSalle.

Charlott Hill smiles as she looks at the hair she is donating. Doing the cutting is Brooke White.

The event picked up two corporate sponsors, with Major pointing out that Hawk Plastics and Domino’s Canada each donated $500. A 50/50 draw and toonie toss also raised funds to support seven-year-old Amherstburg Public School student Brock Hasson, who has been battling a form of cancer known as Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).

“We came in with $5,268.73 for the cancer society and $726.95 for Brock Hasson of Amherstburg,” Major told the RTT.

Action picking up at AMA Sportsmen Association


Special to the RTT

The last 3D archery shoot for the 2017 season was held last Sunday and it was a beautiful sunny, warm day.

This brought out 40 shooters from ten-years-old to seniors. They came out to shoot for fun or to prepare for the upcoming hunting season. Their reasons were not as important as getting out for some fresh air and exercise walking through the trail and taking a shot at the 30 life-sized targets.

Meanwhile, back at the clubhouse, a fine lunch was prepared that was enjoyed by the shooters and anyone else who dropped by. Also at the club, some of the members and a local archery dealer brought out some of their gently used hunting gear to sell or trade with people who attended. There were guns, traps, fishing gear, decoys, hunting stents, arrows, bows and too many other things to list.

Our 2018 3D season will start with a shoot on “Big Buck Sunday” in March 2018. Watch this paper for the date or come out and see us at the club.

The AMA Sportsmen are getting ready to open their doors once again for this year’s kids archery season, which starts Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. We welcome all kids from 7-16 to learn the sport of archery. At 8 p.m., anyone over 16 can shoot, If you don’t have your own bow and arrow, don’t worry as we have lots of bows and arrows. If you have never shot before, don’t worry as we will attempt to teach you.

If archery is not for you or your kids, come to the club Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. to try the sport of air rifle shooting. This is for children seven and older and, of course, adults come out to give it a shot or two. All guns, pellets, safety equipment and supervision is supplied.

Bob Dube, the long time chair of the air rifle program is stepping down this season. Bob will be missed and we thank him for his leadership.

On Nov. 18, the club is hosting a craft show with 30 local crafters displaying and selling their crafts. Watch this paper for times or call us at the club.

Euchre has started again on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

There are 15 members of the AMA Sportsmen Association working on forming a local chapter of the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation. This group will be holding an annual banquet to raise funds and will be involved in educating the people in the area about the care and management of the wild turkeys in Essex County. They will also being doing some work in the area helping to supply a healthy habitat for our wild turkeys.

Speaking of turkey, we hope you can join us Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. for a deep fried turkey dinner. These are not wild turkeys.

So what are you waiting for? Get out this fall and visit the AMA Sportsmen Association at 468 Lowes Side Road. With all these events, there is something for everyone. If there are any questions, call the club at 519-736-5706 and leave a message. Someone will call you back.

The public can also visit the club on Facebook or check out our website at

See you there!


—Prepared by Brian Beattie