To The Daily Sun,
This past Sunday was the annual Take a Kid Fishing tournament hosted by the Belknap County Sportsmen's Club on Lily Pond in Gilford. This continues to be a great event as I witnessed many children with smiles catching fish.
However, this past Sunday I was quite dismayed by the actions of some members of the club. I am part of a group of people that rides our motorcycles on the ice. We spend many hours and a good amount of money to plow tracks as well as access to the pond and for the last couple of years we have plowed the "parking area" on Airport Road which is used by many as it is neither town or state maintained. We plow two tracks both encompassing a total of less than 20 percent of the farthest end of the pond.
On Sunday morning I showed up at 9:15 a.m. only to find our access routes to either track completely blocked by the Sportsmen's Club trailer and registration booth. We plowed plenty of room for them to set up without having to block anything. I unloaded my ATV to go scrape off the tracks and as I passed the club's trailer I noticed I was getting some, shall we say, "unwelcoming looks" I proceeded to the first track only to find multiple holes drilled into it. I was quite shocked as the tracks were well away from where most people were fishing. One of the holes had water bubbling up out of it leaving that area unusable. Sadly, this was the track the kids ride on to keep them away from the faster moving adults. I approached the club's trailer and calmly asked who drilled the holes in the track and got a blank stare from five men. Finally one responded saying, "They were here when we showed up." I knew this wasn't true as it was wet all around the holes and the temp was 10 degrees.
As the day went on some parents expressed interest in the bikes and studded tires and approached me at my trailer. Two different parents said the men at the Sportsmen's Club trailer "don't like you very much" and "had nothing nice to say about you." These parents expressed disappointment in the club's attitude and they said, "They probably wouldn't return." Funny thing is some of the guys I ride with and me have always been a supporters of the club. by buying raffle tickets, etc.
At noon they packed everything up and left. No one from the club policed the area for trash. I took it upon myself to collect trash that was left scattered around and brought home a bag full. The damage had been done. We couldn't let our kids on that track for fear they would hit the holes that were now frozen piles of ice and get hurt.
So with the lack of communication and frankly respect for others that we received from the club I have to say I was highly disappointed with the Unsportsman like conduct shown by the Belknap County Sportsmen's Club. As a result a number of people, as well as me, will no longer support anything that has to do with this club.
- Category: Letters
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