EVART — It's that time of year.

The Mecosta/Osceola Chapter of Pheasants Forever is having its 23rd annual banquet on March 18 at the Eagles Hall in Big Rapids.

The banquet begins with the social hour at 3:30 p.m. followed by the dinner at 6 p.m. Local chapter officials, including Mark Sochocki and Charmaine Lucas, announced the banquet will highlight a selection of guns, wildlife print auction items and other prizes. A new feature will be a Browning gun raffle.

Tickets are currently available. Registration deadline is March 13. Anyone not able to attend can continue to renew their membership.

Attendances in the past have usually been around 250. Sochocki estimated the banquets usually raise in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.

“We're the only conservation group where 100 percent of the money raised locally stays locally for projects in our community,” Sochocki said.

For more information individuals can contact the local Pheasants Forever office at (231) 796-1844 or Sochocki at (231) 734-9826.

Sochocki is an Evart resident and executive director of the Big Rapids Housing Commission. He's been active in fishing and hunting in recent weeks.

“I made a trip out to Nebraska in January with my son and a friend and we had a good hunt,” Sochocki said. “We shot lots of pheasants and quail. We've been doing a fair amount of fishing, we were (fishing) through the ice, at Saginaw Bay with pretty good perch fishing. I was on the Saginaw River in a boat walleye fishing (in late February). It was wide open. Fishing is really good.”