By Caitlynn Canfield

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Caitlynn Canfield, and I love spending time outdoors. I like hiking, hunting, and my hometown. I grew up watching my grandpa and father do all the things I love to do now. I also watched them introduce others to an appreciation of the woods.

That included being members of our very own Tahquamenon Sportsman’s Club. My grandpa cooked for all their events and helped out any way he could. He assisted with countless Tackle Parties, Big Buck Nights, and Whitetails Banquets.

As a kid, I remember watching all the hard work that went into putting these events on, and then I got to see how happy the community was with what we were doing. Kids would go home with new tackle, deer were being fed during the winter due to our deer feed funding, and people would have a place to celebrate their deer harvest for the year.

I remember being proud that my family was taking part in all these positive things, which were done for everyone. Eventually I grew and started volunteering some time to this club.

The Tahquamenon Sportsman’s Club is ultimately a club designed to maintain and conserve the land and wildlife that we are surrounded by, as well as teach others the importance of that goal. We’ve helped replant trees, donated to clubs and organizations with like-minded goals, and hosted activities to show others why we must protect and conserve the outdoors. We have someone from the DNR attend our monthly meetings to talk about wildlife populations, information that corresponds with land in our community, and basically stuff they think we should know.

As an active member, I have seen the membership dwindling. There are fewer members, fewer resources, and in turn, fewer opportunities to complete our goals as a club. We’ve had to limit activities due to a lack of funding and membership, not to mention COVID.

As our meetings become smaller, we realize that it’s time to reach out to the community.

We need you. We wish for the citizens of this area to become part of something bigger than just themselves. Help keep our club alive and join us. We need more people if we are to continue the activities our community enjoys—like banquets and the tackle party—and the things we do behind the scenes, like winter deer feed and replanting trees.

We’re looking for fresh perspectives at our meetings, and people who are just willing to lend a hand. If you have any questions, please contact our club president, Terry Trepanier.