AMA Sportsmen Association

AMA Sportsmen Association team with local children to build wood duck boxes



By Ron Giofu


An annual tradition continued at the AMA Sportsmen Association with the local wood duck population to benefit.

A group of local children, parents and grandparents were at the club Saturday morning and constructed 40 wood duck boxes. According to Todd McLeod and Kimberley McEvoy, both of whom are on the AMA Sportsmen Association’s conservation committee, approximately 27 local children came out to help build the boxes, thus continuing a tradition that has been going on for over two decades.

McEvoy pointed out that the wood duck boxes go in marsh areas and similar locations.

A group of local children gathered with their wood duck boxes after they were constructed at the AMA Sportsmen Association last Saturday morning.
A similar project is planned for next month.

“We have had people that have put them up in Harrow, Kingsville, Essex and Amherstburg, of course,” she said.

The club is looking at another project for next month, however a date has not been finalized. McEvoy said having local children as part of such conservation efforts is key, noting that some that came for the wood duck box building day last Saturday morning were also at the club’s recent turkey shoot.

“I think it’s important to be a part of these conservation projects,” said McEvoy.

Jason and Jesse Heaton build a wood duck box at the AMA Sportsmen Association Feb. 2.

McLeod pointed out that there were some returning faces and some new ones as well. He said there were older youth that returned and helped to guide the younger children through the process.

“There’s a lot of them out there helping,” he said.

Carl King helped found the project back in 1987 and said they average about 40 boxes per year.

“I’ve got some boxes that have been out there that are 30-years-old,” he said.

Annette Pettypiece (right) helps granddaughter Addy Kidd build a wood duck box at the AMA Sportsmen Association Feb. 2.

King said he read about it in a sporting magazine and brought the idea to the AMA Sportsmen Association and the rest is history. He recalls having as many as 36 eggs in one box one year. Modifications over the years have included additional ventilation holes and metal being put around the openings to prevent predators from entering.

AMA Sportsmen Association host popular “Turkey Shoot” again this year



By Ron Giofu


A popular event at the AMA Sportsmen Association continued again this year with local youth and adults taking aim at some prizes.

The annual “turkey shoot” was held last Wednesday night with a total of 151 shooters using air rifles and aiming for paper targets all to see who could compile the highest score. The event was assisted by the AMA Longbeards with that organization donating the funds to let the “turkey shoot” happen.

There was no cost to the participants, noted air rifle co-ordinator Jim Fox.

“It’s all free,” he said.

Fox indicated the goal is to welcome adults and children to the AMA Sportsmen Association to try out air rifle and see what the club is all about. He added that it was to “get them off the couch and away from the video games.”

Many participants came from the Scouting and Guiding movements and all participants received some sort of prize. Winners received a gift card for a free night of shooting at the club and an order of fries, though all are welcome to attend Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. to shoot for $3.

“It’s a full night of shooting,” said Fox.

Peyton Fox-Thomas is instructed by Felicia Georgiu and Kimberley McEvoy during the Jan. 16 “turkey shoot” at the AMA Sportsmen Club.

Archery is Monday nights and the public is welcome to that as well.

“Our main objective is to get kids back to basics,” said Fox. “It’s a family thing.”

There were only two entrants in the 0-5 age group, both girls. Avery Deslippe won first prize while Marli Miller won second. Winners in the 6-10 age group included Eddie Vigneux, Andrew Dinney and Josh Shepley on the boys side while Lucy Goulin, Sophia Harlow and Alivia Cossarini won on the girls side.

The top shooters on the boys and girls categories came from the 11-15 age group with J.D. Alferd and Kendra MacKinnon winning it respectively. Other boys winners, first through third, included Aidan MacKinnon, Brady Buchanan and Steven Reaume while Mia Cossarini, Phoebe Trealout and Sydney Harlow were the girls’ winners.

The top adult was Felicia Greory. Steven Reaume won the air rifle raffle.

The AMA Sportsmen Association will also be hosting parents, grandparents and children Feb. 2 for the annual building of wood duck boxes. That is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.


ACRG hosts the candidates, public asks their questions



By Ron Giofu


The group known as the Amherstburg Citizens for Responsible Government (ACRG) hosted an all-candidates event last Thursday night at the AMA Sportsmen Club and the public got to ask their questions.

The 20 candidates vying for spots in the 2018 municipal election met with voters and voters seemed to like the opportunity.

“I think it’s OK,” said Jean Allen. “It’s hard to get to talk to some of them. I learned a few things about a few people that I didn’t know so it’s good.”

“I thought it was good,” added Wayne Marenger. “I got to meet a lot of people didn’t know and got to ask questions.”
Marenger said he found it more personable than the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce “Meet the Candidates” nights as there was more of an opportunity to discuss issues with the candidates.

“You get to meet the people,” he said.

Mayoral candidates Aldo DiCarlo (above) and Glenn Swinton (below) chat with voters at an all-candidates event put on by the Amherstburg Citizens for Responsible Government (ACRG). That event was held Oct. 11 at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association.

For Tiffany Cote and Sandra Fox, it was a chance to see where candidates stood on whether or not to build a new pool locally.

“It’s been very good. I got to ask all of my questions,” said Fox. “They answered them pretty well. We’re trying to keep a pool if it’s not at the same location.”

Cote agreed that they were looking for a replacement for the Lions Pool, which is expected to have a new public high school built on that part of Centennial Park. Cote said they were able to get some answers and talk to the candidates face-to-face.

“It’s going well,” said ACRG member John McDonald. “It’s interesting to see the candidates speak to the crowd. I thing people are getting their questions answered.”

McDonald said that the event gave people a chance to speak with candidates that they’ve been following and get answers. He hoped the event would return in four years and thanked fellow ACRG members Beth Hobbs, Jennie Lajoie, Marcie Graham, Jim Broderick and Tim Brown.

“Hopefully, we’ll find a way to keep this going,” McDonald stated.

Roughly 700 people attend wrap-up party for AMA Sportsmen Association’s walleye tournament


By Jonathan Martin


The AMA Sportsmen’s Club’s 35th annual walleye tournament drew around 700 people out of their air conditioning for the event’s wrap-up party, according to Luc Tremblay, chairman of the club’s fishing committee.

The tournament runs for 10 days and participants can win awards for the largest walleye, sheephead, catfish and perch.

One of the event’s largest attractions, though, is the final day’s draws.  First prize, as in previous years, was a whopping $10,000, which comes from the event’s ticket sales.  Second prize was a fishing kayak, two fishing rods and all the trimmings, valued at around $4,000.  Third prize was a selection of door prizes.

Doug Mackenzie (right) accepts his winnings from AMA Sportsmen’s Club fishing committee chairman Luc Tremblay. Mackenzie won the draw at the club’s annual walleye tournament.

Tremblay said he’s “extremely grateful” for the support the club’s sponsors afford the organization.  He lauded the way local businesses and community members come together.

This year, first prize went to Doug Mackenzie, who said he’s been attending the tournament for around 20 years.  With the money he plans to do “a whole lot of fishing.”

“This is a really great club,” he said.  “I like to support them every year.”

Larry Muller reeled in the event’s largest fish, which stretched out to 30.5 inches.

Charley Akers’ fish caught him second place and Alyssa Little swam into third.

The 2018 walleye tournament winners pose with their trophies outside of the AMA Sportsmen’s Club in Amherstburg on Sunday, July 1, 2018.

Full results are:

Grand prize: $10,000 winner was Doug Mackenzie

2nd big prize was : Fishing kayak Ron Mitchel

1st place winner for the longest walleye: Larry Muller, June 22, 30.5”

2nd place winner for the longest walleye: Charley Akers, June 25, 29 ¾”

3rd place winner for the longest walleye: Alyssa Little, June 29, 28 ¾”

ladies winner: Nancy Ridsdale, June 23, 28”

Youth winner: Tyler Gignac, June 25, 27”

longest catfish: James Miller, June 24, 29”

longest sheephead: Tracey Bezaire, June 29, 29”

Longest perch: Mike Boussey, June 26, 12.5”




Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby popular again with kids


By Jonathan Martin


By now, local fish must shudder at the mention of the name Bob Meloche.

According to Meloche’s son, Gord, the annual Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby has been going on since he was seven or eight.  That means the derby has been an ongoing tradition for around half a century.  Still, it shows no sign of slowing down.

According to Luc Trembley, chairman of AMA Sportsmen’s Club fishing committees, over 250 kids signed up for the Father’s Day event.  The young fishers packed King’s Navy Yard Park, which the Town of Amherstburg offered up for derby use.

For the first time, fish were measured on-site at the Navy Yard Park, which allowed for fish to be released back into the Detroit River.  In previous years, measurements took place at the AMA Sportsmen’s Club facility, which sits a few kilometres away on Lowes Side Road, a long journey for a fish out of water.

(From Left) Olivier Gemus, Shanell Schmidt, Sebastien Gemus, Archer Schmidt, Aubrey Schmidt, Avery Semitic, Avery Maiter and Tom Mailloux pose for a photo in King’s Navy Yard Park. The youths fished out of the Detroit River as part of the Joe Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby. Avery Semitic caught the fish pictured.

The sportsmen’s club is still the place to be after fishing is done, though.  Free food, free games, contests and awards kept excited children busy into the afternoon.  Trembley said the event was funded through donations and sponsorships from local businesses.

“We couldn’t do this without the generosity of the community,” he said.  “We’re truly grateful.”

Gord Meloche said the AMA Sportsmen’s Club’s generosity shouldn’t be understated, either.

“The club has always been good about giving to the children,” he said.  “They have so much youth programming here.  Every year I see club members work harder and harder to give these kids the best experience they can.”

This year, the children laughed as they watched their released fish zoom off into the river.  Tembley said it was an opportunity to teach the kids about environmental preservation.

The children seemed to love the idea.  After having their fish measured on a little table set up on the lawn, they waddled over to the railing to launch their catch into the river.

A little blurp and the fish were gone, off to tell the Legend of Bob Meloche to all their fishy friends.