By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The 2017 Game Day Event took place at the Bell County Expo Center, from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29. The annual event was sponsored by the Belton and Temple Feed and Supply stores, Don Ringler Chevrolet and Toyota, and Texas Deer Association. Admission was free to the public and complimentary bottled water, and sausage wraps were provided.
Ron Lucksinger, the retired owner of both the Belton and Temple Feed and Supply stores, was handing out tickets, for door prizes, to the more than 800 attendees.
“We are a family owned business – my brother Adam and I run the two stores,” said Lindsey Strait, Ron Lucksinger’s daughter.
We put this event on for the public at no cost to them. We want to promote the sport of hunting, and we have been hosting the Game Day Event for 15 years,” said Adam Lucksinger. “It’s the unofficial kickoff to the hunting season. Lots of people look forward to this every year.”
Aaron Roberts, a nationally ranked competition rifleman and pastor shooter, is the owner of Roberts Precision Rifles, in Spring, Texas. He was attending the event as the keynote speaker for the first time. Roberts has served in the Army, worked as a state trooper, and been a staff firearms instructor for Blackwater.
“Tonight’s discussion is about long-range hunting and what it entails – basically a primer to get people interested it in. We build a lot of bolt-action weapons for law enforcement competition and long-range hunting rifles. When it comes to long-range hunting, aside from equipment and knowledge, it comes down to an ethical standpoint,” said Roberts. “We want people to have the right equipment and to know what they’re doing. I grew up shooting and gained more experience with weapons in the Army and while working in law enforcement. What formed me as a solid competition shooter was going out there and competing.”
Many of local businesses and vendors had a booth or table at the Game Day Event. The Bell County Friends of NRA was giving away free gun locks and chamber safeties.
“Safety is critical, and we are doing our best to pass that message along. Today we are also trying to get the word out about our upcoming banquet. All proceeds from our dinner go to local 4H clubs,” explained Tracie Wooley, Chairperson of Bell County Friends of NRA.
The Bell County Friends of NRA Annual Fundraising and Auction is Tuesday, October 24th, at Tenroc Ranch in Salado. Tickets are on sale now for $40 in advance, and they will cost $50 at the door. Table sales are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.FriendsOfNRA.org/TX.
Another vendor was Top Gun Taxidermy, owned by Randy Pistole, of Holland.
“I went to taxidermy school in Llano about 19 years ago. I worked for other taxidermists for several years before opening my own business. Top Gun Taxidermy has been open for about 15 years,” said Pistole. “We enjoy coming out here each year. It’s great to meet up with everyone before the hunting season starts.”
Attending the Game Day Event is great family time for the Halvorson family, of Temple.
“My husband, James, is a farmer and a hunter. My son, Landon, has completed the hunter safety course and got his first deer last year. The Game Day Event is a great family thing for us – we love coming here,” explained Amy Halvorson. “Dove hunting starts soon, and we can’t wait! This year the hosts of this event have done a fantastic job of making sure there is something here for everyone! There is information about youth hunts, women’s shooting and outdoors groups, and the standard hunter booths. This is awesome!”