VOHRINGER: October filled with outdoor activities

By on October 6, 2016
Customers to the new Bass Pro Shops in the Tsawwassen Mills mall are greeted by this impressive ceiling mural and wildlife display. (Photo courtesy of Othmar Vohringer).
Othmar Vohringer lives in the Nicola Valley. He is an animal behaviourist and outdoor writer for hunting magazines in Canada and the U.S.

Othmar Vohringer lives in the Nicola Valley. He is an animal behaviourist and outdoor writer for hunting magazines in Canada and the U.S.

This year October turns out to be filled with hunting and fishing events of some significance. Some of these events are of local interest and others are for North America or even globally.  

You may remember my column “Preserving the memory of a hunt” from February of this year. In that column I introduced Merritt’s first and only taxidermist Steven Beckley. Steven has learned taxidermy from the best teachers in that trade and his many awards on the wall are testimony to the excellent high quality work you can expect from him. Steven informed me a few days ago that he has opened his taxidermy studio full time now. To see some of Steven’s amazing work or book a consultation to have your trophy mounted contact him over Facebook at “Beckley’s Wilderness Taxidermy Studio.”

The Canadian National Fly Fishing Championship & Conservation Symposium will for the first time be held in British Columbia. More precisely, right here in Merritt, with another championship location in Princeton. The championship begins on Oct. 4 through Oct. 7. Fly fishers from across Canada, the USA and the world will come to Merritt to take part in this prestigious event.

Corbett Lake and 7 Half Diamond Ranch Lake will host the first six angling sessions and then the event moves on to designated sections of the Similkameen River. Forty-six competitors, and 45 volunteers will be attending. Between angling competitions there will be discussions to address problems concerning fish conservation, habitat loss, water quality and other environmental problems that adversely affect fish.

On Sept. 14 my wife Heidi, my brother Roland and I followed up an invitation to attend a media pre-opening tour of the first Bass Pro Shops in British Columbia in the newly built Tsawwassen Mills mall. Having visited many stores across America of this outdoor retail giant it never fails to impress me how every store is meticulously decorated with murals of local landscapes and displays of local wildlife in a natural setting. Here in B.C. it is no different.

Right at the entrance of the 145,000 square foot store you’re greeted by a massive overhead mural stretching the entire width of the store framed by a natural display of every wild animal species in B.C. I remarked that the entrance looks like the Sistine Chapel of hunters and anglers.

Bass Pro Shops is much more than just an outdoor retail store; it is also a recreational and entertainment center with a restaurant, archery shooting range, bowling alley and conference rooms. Oct. 4 was the grand opening with many celebrities from the hunting industry, sports and public life attending.

The store had its humble beginnings in 1971 when Johnny Morris, a professional bass angler, became frustrated with the lack of angling equipment at affordable prices. He decided to sell fishing tackle directly from the manufacturer out of his father’s liquor store in Table Rock Lake, Missouri, which still today is the company’s headquarters.

Thus, Bass Pro Shops was born and went on to become the world’s leading outdoor retail store with strong connections and support to the local hunting and fishing communities.

The biggest news of October, which came as a surprise to many, was the 3.5 billion dollar acquisition of the retailer Cabela’s (another large outdoor store retail chain) by Bass Pro Shops.

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