POLO LEGION #299 members, back l to r: Ray Zemlicka, Lornie Schlecter, LeRoy Schaefers, and Commander Paul Schaefers. Front Adjutant Eric Price, 2012 hunt winners Chris Martshinske, Chris Geiger, and organizer of hunt and Vice Commander Sam Schaefers.
Polo Legion members host varmint hunt
Polo’s Legion Richard Clement Post 299 sponsored their first annual Varmint Hunt January 27 through 29. The hunt was spearheaded by Vice Commander Sam Schaefers, who said, “We were very pleased and surprised by the turnout. We had 28 two-person teams register for our first hunt.”
Registration and a mandatory rules meeting were held on Friday night. South Dakota Game Fish and Parks hunting rules applied. Hunters were then free to hunt where they wished until 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, when they were to report back to Polo for the weigh-in. Four species were allowed, with each species given a point value: coyotes (10), fox and badgers (5 each), and rabbits (1).
Though many coyotes were spotted, the hunting was tough. Hunters used a variety of means to bag their prey, from sitting in a field calling them in to walking through sloughs, to driving around to spot them from a vehicle. The stories were more prolific than the final number of varmints. “It was a learning experience,” said Nathan Kolda. “We had fun!” “We chased 19 coyotes out of one slough” said DJ Yost. Others reported seeing packs of six to 12 coyotes, but very few rabbits. Most of the hunting took place in Hand, Hyde and Faulk Counties.
In the end, just five teams turned in coyotes and rabbits. Winning the competition were Chris Geiger and Chris Martschinske with five coyotes. Each man won a new Savage AXIS bolt-action rifle. Second and third place was a tie and winners were determined by drawing for high card. Brady Lammers and John Saienga brought in three coyotes and two rabbits and won $100 cash. Matt McCloud and James Carrey had three coyotes and two rabbits and won $50 cash. Fourth place prize of $25 cash went to DJ Yost and Joe Campbell, who had three coyotes and one jackrabbit. Fifth place went to Jon Schechter and Cole Baloun, who had one coyote.
Additional prizes were donated by area business and were awarded as follows:
All Girl Team: Lacey and Jamie Sprenger
Youngest Hunter: Daimyan Baxter
Traveled the farthest (to enter) Rory Wieseler, Rapid City
Biggest Coyote: Matt McCloud and James Carrey (35.6#)
Smallest Coyote: Chris Geiger and Chris Martschinske (28.5#)
Longest Tail: Jon Schechter and Cole Baloun
Shortest Tail: DJ Yost and Joe Campbell
Ugliest Coyote: Matt McCloud and James Carrey
Prettiest Coyote: Chris Geiger and Chris Martschinske
Legion Commander Paul Schaefers said, “It was a great weekend. The wind made it difficult to call in the coyotes, but everyone had a good time. We are definitely planning to do this again next year!” Eric Price, Adjutant, also expressed his gratitude to area businesses who donated prizes for the day. “The community support for the military is just wonderful. We appreciate all you do for us.”