Anya Tikka | Democrat
Sportsman of the Year Harvey Dickens proudly shows his award which he received at the Federation of Sportsmen’s Club Annual Dinner.
Sportsman of the Year: Harvey Dickens
Story by Anya Tikka
ROSCOE October 18, 2013 Retired schoolteacher Harvey Dickens was named 2013 Sportsman of the Year by the Federation of Sportsmen’s Club of Sullivan County at a packed Rockland House Restaurant in Roscoe.
The club’s most prestigious award is presented once a year and all the past Sportsmen of the Year lined up behind the newest recipient for the presentation. In the words of the club’s president Jack Danchak, Dickens “has hunted caribou in northern Quebec, moose in British Columbia, deer in South Dakota, bear in Maine and hunts and traps locally.”
More recently, “he’s gone to Albany ‘to take part in pro-gun rallies and to defend our 2nd amendment,” Danchak continued. “He helps at many Federation functions and always volunteers to go that extra mile for this Federation, He’s truly a dedicated sportsman and we are proud to have him as a member.”
Dickens also belongs to Woods Pond Rod & Gun Club, Ulster Heights Gun Club & Pistol Team, is an Endowment Member of the NRA, NY State Rifle & Pistol Association, Sullivan County Shields Pistol Team, Treasurer of the Sullivan County Trappers Association, member of Furtakers of America, member of the Patton Woodridge Fire Department, hunter education and bowhunter instructor the chairman of the club’s NRA and Pro Hunting Committee, and the club’s Big Game Chairman.
Dickens also received awards from Congressman Chris Gibson’s representative Chrissy Schiff, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, and Sullivan County Legislature Chair Scott Samuelson.
Danchak also gave out a number of President’s Awards to:
• Ray Herbert, who takes care of Eddie Eagle program, is the Chair of Scholarship Committee, the Club’s Treasurer for the past 12 years, and sold over 500 raffle tickets this year for the Coyote Hunt.
• Sullivan County Demo-crat for its support of the Federation.
• Judge Frank LaBuda. Danchak described how he ruled in favor of Robert ‘Jake’ Gabriel’s appeal for feeding deer, resulting in Sullivan County being “the only county in New York that can feed animals and birds and prevent starvation during the critical winter months.”
• Deming Lindsley, who retired this year from DEC where he served for 40 years as a Conservation Officer. Lindsley received a round of applause and Danchak fondly remembered his good natured joking with his cousin Carl that everyone came to expect and enjoy at meetings.
• Brian Bunce, who has worked tirelessly with his ‘Birds of Prey’ at the Grahamsville Fair and youth functions.
• Tracey Voges works quietly behind the scenes for the Federation, including at the Youth Day, Beanie Baby Pool and the annual Coyote Hunt Contest.
The Federation is the largest in New York, consisting of over 100 clubs and thousands of members. Its mission is “to promote fish and game in Sullivan County and try to make our county a better place for all to hunt, fish and live. To represent good sportsmanship and fellowship. To secure a means of better understanding and cooperation between our member clubs, The New York Department of Environmental Conservation, The New York State Conservation Council and the Legislators of Sullivan County.
To further the goals of conservation education at the adult and youth level through programs of promotional advertising, to enhance the attraction of tourism and to develop a public understanding of the advantages and complexities of proper conservation practices. To insure the future of conservation through extensive youth education programs.”
Among the club’s accomplishments this year were a Youth Ice Fishing Derby; its 6th statewide three-day Coyote Hunt Contest in which 755 hunters took part taking 53 coyotes; sponsorship of 21 children for a week at DEC Camp DeBruce; participating at the annual Youth Day Expo at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds; releasing 664 pheasants; and fish stocking $5,000 worth of smallmouth bass into White Lake, Lake Superior, and Lake Huntington.