It’s squirrel hunting time again at Mechanicsburg Christian Church.

The church will sponsor the popular event Friday and Saturday. The excitement begins at 6 p.m. Friday when hunters and their families will gather at the church to register, hear a short devotional and enjoy a meal of soup, sandwiches, drinks and dessert.

Also at that time, the hunters will go over the rules for the contest. During the evening, church members will give out door prizes, including a .22-caliber rifle.

The free tournament begins Saturday morning at daybreak.

Hunters can hunt wherever they like, but have to return to the church by noon, said Pastor Thomas Maurer.

At that time on Saturday, officials will take the combined weight of the squirrels each hunter killed. The limit is six squirrels per hunter.

The highest combined weight wins $100, second place is $50 and third place is $25. There is also a $25 prize for the largest, single squirrel.

The annual squirrel hunt began several years ago after the church sponsored a bass fishing tournament at Claytor Lake. Maurer wondered how to get hunters involved and came up the idea for the squirrel hunt, which is part of the church’s outreach ministry.

“We just want to get the gospel of Jesus to people in general,” he said before last year’s hunt. “This has become a good medium by which we can do that.”

The hunt has become a fun way for family members to come together. Dads bring children to the hunt and grandparents bring their grandchildren.

Hunters who enjoy the hunt, but do not want to take their squirrels home, can donate them to the church for one of its biggest events of the year, its annual Wildlife Dinner held each spring.

The church address is Mechanicsburg Christian Church, 10744 East Blue Grass Trail. For information, call Maurer at 308-539-1764.

To reach Millie Rothrock, call 228-6611, ext. 35, or email mrothrock@wythenews.com.

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