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Bucks Night raises funds for numerous projects

Star Prairie Fish and Game member John Bush (right) found this dead fisher along a roadside this summer. He received permission from the DNR to have it mounted. SPF&G agreed to cover taxidermy costs with the caveat that the mount be donated to an area school. New Richmond High School science teacher Jeff Albarado attended Bucks Night to receive the mount for the school. (Photo by Dave Newman)1 / 3
The dozens of raffles are one of the highlights of the annual Bucks Night event. Seventy guns were raffled off, along with many other items during the evening. (Photo by Dave Newman)2 / 3
Star Prairie Fish and Game members Dan Bygd (left) and Jason Eccles discuss plans for the program in the moments before the Bucks Night program. (Photo by Dave Newman)3 / 3

Bucks Night is the biggest fundraising event of the year for Star Prairie Fish and Game.

The event continues to flourish, with a sellout crowd of 275 attending this year’s Bucks Night at Ready Randy’s in New Richmond on Nov. 14.

Star Prairie Fish and Game has been conducting Bucks Night for more than 20 years and the event has channeled thousands of dollars into numerous efforts that enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of outdoor activities in the area.

One of the biggest projects for SPF&G over the past year has been the construction of a pavilion at McMurtrie Preserve. The 30-by-40 foot structure was built in partnership with the Star Prairie Land Trust and turned out as an impressive structure. McMurtrie Preserve is a 63-acre piece of land on the southeast shore of Cedar Lake, with Cedar Creek running through the land. The preserve facilities are available for educational purposes. The Land Trust is planning to send invitations to school groups and youth organizations next year to make them aware of the new facilities. Anyone seeking to use the McMurtrie Preserve facilities can apply through the Star Prairie Land Trust website.

Work on the pavilion began last fall. Two of the SPF&G members, John Peterson and Erv Erickson, stepped to the front to lead much of the work on the project. A general contractor was hired to oversee the project, but SPF&G members did much of the finish work, oversaw the cement work and other tasks in the construction. In addition to the pavilion, there are picnic tables and grills available for visitors.

The preserve didn’t have electricity, so the Menke family made a large donation to get electricity to the pavilion. A donation from the Stuart Nelson Memorial Fund also helped get the project completed.

This is one of the many projects SPF&G accomplished during the year. Many of them are annual events, like the senior pontoon ride in June, which had its biggest attendance ever this year with 125 people receiving boat rides. SPF&G also puts on an annual youth hunt at Forest Ridge Hunt Club. SPF&G is strongly supportive of education, including sponsoring a scholarship each year.

Much of this is accomplished with the funds raised each year at Bucks Night. The people attending Bucks Night have the opportunity to win any of 70 guns, which averaged in cost at $450. Attendees are also treated to an outstanding meal prepared by the Ready Randy’s staff, along with hors d’oeuvres supplied by Star Prairie Trout Farm and Deer’s Food Locker.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

(715) 426-1051