Thursday April 24, 2014

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Snowmobile club has been waiting for snow

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Members of the Estevan Snowmobile Club spent much of December waiting for the region to have enough snow so that they could start to use their sleds locally.

President Darcy Yergens said some people tried to snowmobile in the Estevan area, but he believes Estevan needed a few more inches of snow for good sledding. The club tried to groom trails early in the month, but the groomer suffered some mechanical problems.

"Everyone's excited at this time of the year," said Yergens. "Coming up to the Christmas holidays, everybody is looking forward to getting out. Regardless of whether you're on a new machine, or if you want to get back on your old snowmobile, everybody's anxious in December."

The snow conditions are more favourable in other parts of the province, he said.

The club has had two meeting thus far, and Yergens noted that both attracted a really good turnout.

They'll have more than 200 kilometres in groomed trails this year. A new trail will extend from the Benson area to Lampman and Wilmar, and then north to Arcola.

"We're looking forward to that," said Yergens. "We have some new guys that are helping us with that trail."

Only licensed snowmobiles are allowed on the trails, and Yergens said all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not permitted. Those who snowmobile without a license, or who ride ATVs on the trails, will be subject to a fine.

Once there is enough snow, Yergens said they'll need help to stake the trails and tackle other tasks so that the trails are ready.

This is likely going to be a normal year, he said. Last year the club was very fortunate, and had one of its best years ever, as they started riding in mid-November, and enjoyed a season that continued into April.

"Historically, we barely get our trails going by Christmas time, and I think there have been quite a few years where we didn't get it going until the early part of January," said Yergens.

Volunteers have been cleaning the shelters and stocking them with wood, Yergens said, so that they're ready for the start of the season.

The club also has a couple of poker derbies scheduled for 2014. The first is tentatively scheduled for February 8 and the other would happen March 1.

The Estevan Archery Club's indoor range, located south of Estevan, will be the starting point for the poker derbies for the second consecutive year.


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