Posts Tagged ‘Nobles County Pheasants Forever’
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Five days and 2,200 miles after we left Minnesota, the Rooster Road Trip crew made it back to where it all began; Pheasant Run #1 in Nobles County, Minnesota – the first property purchased and made open to the public by Pheasants Forever – and there couldn’t be a more fitting way to end this trip.
Hunting this notable public piece was on all our pheasant hunting bucket lists. And, at nearly 30-years-old, Pheasant Run #1 still looked prime thanks to the volunteers with the Nobles County Pheasants Forever chapter who use funds they raise to keep the grass growing here and at the other 29 land acquisitions the group has participated in during the last three decades.
This state Wildlife Management Area started as a 40-acre property and has expanded over the years. In fact, this area is in part of a stretch where, if a pheasant hunter was so inclined, he or she could walk nearly seven consecutive miles of public land. These add-ons are also attributed to the efforts of Nobles County Pheasants Forever.
We were joined by chapter board member Nathan Holt and his two black labs, “Nitro” and “Phelps;” board member Chad Nixon and his two yellow labs, “KC” and “Molly;” and board member Bruce Amundson his black lab, “Jackie.” As it turns out, Bruce actually helped start the chapter (#013), so I felt confident with him as my “guide.”
As we spread out across the rolling hills of bluestem, with cattails filling the depressions between, Pheasant Run #1 proved the old adage once again: “Where there’s quality habitat, there’re birds.” Unfortunately, the pheasants were doing what they do best on extremely windy days, flushing wild out of gun range.
Somehow, I was still completely content walking out of that field without a bird. Just knowing the pheasants were there – and will continue to thrive – was enough to check this off as a highlight of my pheasant hunting career.
As the years pass, hunters like us will come and go, bird dogs like “Annie,” “Sprig” and “Beau” will find their first birds here and some, inevitably, will find their last. But, the grass and pheasants will remain thanks to chapters like Nobles County Pheasants Forever. It will be here for the next generation of wingshooters, always calling with opens arms to those who are willing to put on the miles and chase these beautiful birds.
Sadly, time catches up with all of us, and Rooster Road Trip 2013 has to come to an end. From North Dakota to Iowa, we’ve met and hunted with some of the finest volunteers PF has to offer, and I thank each and every one of them for the memories.
It has been an experience of a lifetime for all of us.
Thank you, readers, for supporting Pheasants Forever, our wildlife habitat conservation mission, and for riding along with Rooster Road Trip 2013.
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Nathan Holt, a board member with the Nobles County Pheasants Forever chapter, and his black Labrador retriever, “Nitro,” prepare to hunt one of the wildlife complexes his group has helped create.
Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
The Nobles County Pheasants Forever chapter has a longstanding history of habitat protection, with more than 2,000 acres in the southwestern Minnesota county protected as habitat and open for public hunting because of land purchases the chapter has participated in. Now the chapter is expanding its efforts in youth conservation education under Pheasants Forever’s new “Adopt-A-Team” program.
Under the Adopt-A-Team program, a Pheasants Forever (or Quail Forever) chapter takes a local shooting team under its wing. The reason is simple – a young person with an interest in shooting is likely to have an interest in hunting and conservation, and an interest in Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation mission. And the shooting sports are growing in popularity with youngsters. In Minnesota, for example, there were just 54 kids from three schools in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League in 2008; this year, 1,500 kids from 100 schools shot clay pigeons. In Iowa, the number of boys and girls participating in shooting sports increased 28 percent in 2012 versus 2011, with nearly 1,800 shooters and 300 volunteer coaches registered with the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
The Nobles County Pheasants Forever chapter adopted the local Worthington Trojans High School Trap Team, making a $1,000 contribution to Pheasants Forever’s FOREVER Shooting Sports Endowment. Each chapter that does this receives a package of five Remington guns, which are given to the selected shooting team for them to raffle off in the hopes of raising at least $5,000. As part of the endowment, Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA match three-to-one whatever each team raises ($5,000 becomes $20,000), and teams are allowed to draw up to 5 percent from their fund annually to cover expenses like uniforms, ammo, clay birds, etc.
Instead of raising just $5,000, the Worthington team went door to door and business to business in their community, raising donations and selling tickets for the raffle. When the last ticket was sold, the team notified John Linquist, Pheasants Forever’s FOREVER Shooting Sports National Coordinator, that they had raised more than $18,000. With the generous Potterfield match, the team will have a trust deposit of over $72,000, meaning it can draw more than $3,500 per year to keep the team functioning.
Considering the strong nature of the local Pheasants Forever chapter, it’s no surprise the high school team rolled up their blaze orange sleeves and set to work raising money to ensure the program continues not only through their graduation, but the next generation’s.