PLEASANTVILLE — There's an annual event this weekend that tests marksmanship, make some farmers happy and provides “good, old-fashioned fun,” according to its chairman, Cody Whitman.
Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual Woodchuck Tournament on Saturday. The fire department has hosted the event for about the past four years, according to Whitman.
It's not the department's most lucrative fundraiser, but Whitman thinks it might be the most fun. “We're not out to make a killing,” he said. But, in a way, they are. Killing an animal deemed to be a soybean farmers worst enemy.
Here's how it works. Teams of two pay a fee and sign up. The first 30 people who sign up will get a hat.
Then those hatted hunters head out to find woodchucks. Whitman said that there are lots of farmers willing to let teams scour their fields.
There's no limit to how many woodchucks each team can kill, but only 10 will be weighed in order to determine the team with the heaviest overall weight. So, the object is to find fat woodchucks.
In fact, each woodchuck hunter can put $5 in the pot and the one who turns in the single heaviest woodchuck takes home the kitty. Not as in cat. The money in the pot.
There are lots of prizes to be won this year, according to Whitman. There are payouts for first, second and third place teams. Everyone who signs up gets a ticket for a chance at a Thompson Center Compass. There are also two rifles up for grabs. Winners must be present Saturday at 8 p.m. to collect their prize.
The hunt takes place all day on Saturday, with weigh-in at 8 p.m.
Teams can sign up tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pleasantville Fire Hall.
The dinner menu on tournament day includes hot dogs and burgers. No mention of woodchuck stew was made.