The chef at the High Country Inn is getting very excited.

It is time, once again, for the Yukon Fish and Game Association’s Banquet, Award and Auction Night, Jan. 24.

“It gives him the opportunity to show his creativity with musk ox, white tail deer and mussels,” says Director Joe Iles, explaining that the mussels are from a sister organization in Prince Edward Island.

“It’s a chance for him to showcase his talents.”

So, the annual banquet won’t just be attended by hunters and anglers. Since it is open to the public, there will likely be those who just want to taste a variety of fish and wild game.

This is just fine by Isles as his organization hopes to expose more and more people to the sport of fishing and hunting.

“This may encourage those who don’t fish or hunt to start,” says Isles, “because most hunters are subsistence hunters.”

To further entice the general public, Isles says there will be artwork for sale and the band, CHS, will be playing for the dance.

To attract more young people, their tickets are only $20, which is less than cost. There is also a youth essay contest.

And someone will be recognized for their contributions to helping youth with the Alex Van Bibber Award.

Women are encouraged to take part in fishing and hunting, too, so there is a Female Hunter of the Year Award.

And, of course, there is the Clay Pugh Award to recognize those who contribute to the organization.

Tickets for the Jan. 24 dinner are available at the association’s office at 1-4078 4th Avenue, or at Arts Underground, or from directors or by calling 667-4263.

And the dress code? “Oh, casual,” says Isles. “The theme is fishing this year and we encourage people to come dressed up to fish … you know … hip waders, fly vests.”