King Trapper posts 11th win

Gerald McKenzie won the race to boil water in frigid, windy conditions Sunday. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

The Winter Festival’s King Trapper crown went to Gerald McKenzie, who’ll take the honour back up to Grandmother’s Bay for the 11th time.

The weekend competition pitted 50-year-old McKenzie against three challengers. Prince Albert’s Cody Souter trailed him closely over both days. His youth and bulk gave him the edge in high-speed sawing and racing events.

But McKenzie drew on a lifetime of knowledge – three lifetimes, in fact. His father and grandfather lived off trapping.

“I grew up in a spruce-bough cabin,” he said. His new cabin, on a river near Grandmother’s Bay, is a bit more modern. But he still runs a trapping line, catching muskrat, marten, lynx and beaver.

McKenzie pulled away from his competitors early, placing first in the buckskin event. Competitors then mimicked animal calls so accurately that it threw a nearby pack of sled dogs into a barking fit. Souter took a heavy hit after passing on the calls, but roared back into contention with first-place finishes in the pack race and log toss.

For more on this story, please see the Feb. 28 print or e-edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.