By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
ERATH COUNTY (March 29, 2017) – The Stephenville Evening Lions Club’s Upland Bird Extravaganza is set to take flight April 1 and 7. This year’s event promises to be the biggest and best ever with shooting events, a wild game dinner and auction.
Not only are event organizers shooting for the best event ever, they are also hoping to raise a record $220,000 with all of the money slated to be pumped back into local organizations like the Stephenville ISD Education Foundation, Backpack Buddies, Erath Junior Livestock Show and many others. Every cent raised through the event is used to help people locally.
More than 25 different organizations benefit each year from the Upland Bird Extravaganza which started out with a very humble beginning in 1996 and has grown into a mega event fundraiser since that time.
April 1, will be a day of competition at Lone Star Shooting Sports in Glen Rose and the evening of April 7 will be filled with a Wild Game Dinner and Live Auction of donated items. Live auctions and word being spread via social media is a big change from those aforementioned humble beginnings when the event was first hosted at the ranch of Stephenville pharmacist Ed Horton.
The first event included three competitions involving retriever trials, pointer trials and multi-station skeet shooting and raised $1,400 for Comanche Trail Boy Scouts Council. There have been several changes from the original event trials which involved dogs, have given way to competitive shooting events.
While there have been changes in the format, there are no changes when it comes back to the goal of helping the local community and its various nonprofit organizations. The format features multi-station skeet shooting, business/corporation skeet shoot, individual skeet shoot, five-stand, sporting clays and the Annie Oakley Knockout Competition.
The format also allows for plenty of time to bask in victory and to prepare a story or two about the competition before the Wild Game Dinner which has “regular food” like prime rib and brisket but the real treats is the food harvested and prepared by the hunters themselves in a menu that range from armadillo to red stag to wild hog. Past menus for the dinner have included rabbit, rattlesnake, dove, quail and even raccoon.
In addition to helping raise money those attending also have chances to win some really great prizes themselves especially if they purchase a $100 chance in the UBE Rell of a Haffle (raffle) that features a grand prize Kubota RTV 1140 RLH ATV power by a diesel engine, 4×4 in Realtree AP camouflage. The runner prizes are pretty nice themselves and include a Beretta A350, Ruger M77 Hawkeye and a Yeti Tundra 35-quart cooler.
Word on the street is last year’s business shooting champion Pal-Con is looking to take on all challengers and teams of three (must be employed by business or corporation). The shooting event starts at 8 am April 1 and breakfast and lunch will be available.
To register a team or individual for the shooting event or to gain more information individuals may contact Shane Pack at 254-434-1378.