Big buck contest to help feed hungry

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 22, 2011

The Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce will host a big buck contest this fall to benefit not only the local chamber of commerce, but two well known charities as well—the Catch-A-Dream Foundation and Alabama Hunters Helping The Hungry.

Chamber member Andrew Clark is heading the event.

The Hunters Helping the Hungry program provides a way that Alabama hunters can give thousands of pounds of ground venison to needy families and individuals in the state. Since the program’s beginning in 1999, approximately 450,000 pounds of ground venison have been donated to Alabama Food Banks.

“It is a good way to take one of the state’s best natural resources and put it back in the community,” Clark said. “One doe will give you about 35 pounds of meat, so if you multiply that to 100 does, that is 3,500 pounds of meat for meals. So that is one of our local charities we targeted.”

The biggest recipient will be the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, which provides outdoor activities for children who suffer from life-threatening illnesses.

There are three contests in the chamber event: a big buck contest; a match weight competition; and a raffle.

“We are having a normal big buck contest,” Clark said. “The second is a unique contest that we are calling ‘match weight contest.’ We understand that people in Escambia County who hunt on government land are not going to kill a buck as big as someone maybe on private land here or in Monroe County or somewhere bigger. We want to include everybody. The match weight contest will allow you to submit two deer and we will take out, at the end of the season, out of the pool, the match weight contestants. Say we have 500 people, I will draw a name and we will take the weight of the deer say 100.2 pounds. We will take the last two numbers, which will be 02. We will draw at a banquet and a promotional company will send us a sealed envelope with a two-digit number on it from 00-99. If your number matches that, you will win a new vehicle from Peach Automotive valued at $25,000.”

Clark said participants would have a 1-in-100 chance at winning the prize in this contest.

The third contest is a raffle. Clark said the raffle is for everyone who does not go hunting or wants to contribute to the cause.

“The raffle winner will receive a three-day rut hunt or January hunt somewhere in Alabama,” Clark said. “We don’t have an outfitter yet, but we have three and it will be one of the better outfitters in Alabama.”

“We will draw a name at the end of the year and that person will hunt somewhere in Alabama for three days,” Clark said.

“Most contests give away a four-wheeler. That is standard,” he said. “We decided since this is about charity and experiences, we will give the winner an experience. The winner will get a free, three-day muzzleloader hunt in Pike County in Illinois. That is the No. 1 county in the country to kill a big buck. That is where you want to go. Eagle Lake outfitters in Illinois donated the hunt.”

“Scott’s Outdoors in Jay is going to outfit the hunter for that trip from the muzzleloader to the clothes, the boots and everything for that weather,” Clark said. “We are going to give him a $250 gas card and buy his license. The guy that wins that trip will have a trip of a lifetime. We want him to kill a big buck and see why this contest is different because of the cause and experience. We will have second and third place winners, gift cards and monthly winners.”

The big buck ticket has to be purchased before the season starts, Clark said, and the deer must have been killed in Escambia County or a surrounding county.

The contest starts Oct. 15, when the season starts and runs through the end of the Florida deer hunting season. The winner will be announced by a banquet or at the Wild Game Supper or the Chamber banquet.

Tickets to enter any of the three contests are $20 each.

Tickets will be available Aug. 15 and will be available at locations throughout the county. Anyone interested can call the chamber at 251-867-3224.