Posts Tagged ‘Rooster Road Trip’

Too Cool for School, But Not for Pheasant Hunting

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Nolan Benzing (left), 20, from Gilman, Iowa, and Brooks VanDerBeek, 19, from Oskaloosa, Iowa, head up the Iowa State University Pheasants Forever chapter in Ames, Iowa. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

Brooks VanDerBeek, 19, a sophomore at Iowa State University in Ames, wrote his paper ahead of the due date earlier this week so he could skip class, rope a buddy into doing the same, and join Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip for an afternoon of public land pheasant hunting in Iowa.

Brooks didn’t have to twist his friend’s arm too much. Nolan Benzing, 20, is also an underclassman at Iowa State, and he’d already been out duck hunting this morning. Both studying natural resources, VanDerBeek and Benzing are the president and vice president, respectively, of the Iowa State University Pheasants Forever chapter, which was the first college PF chapter to form in the country.

If VanDerBeek and Benzing had a Halloween party to get to later in the evening, they were already dressed for the occasion, though I get the feeling they pull this kind of stuff even when the Rooster Road Trip’s not in town. Hopefully your professor is a pheasant hunter, Brooks, and looks kindly upon you. But if not, you still get an A for the day in our book.

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.organd follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Rooster Road Trip Dogs of the Day: “Mojo,” “Chance” and “Jackson”

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013


This trio of German shorthaired pointers locked up on four roosters on a morning hunt at a South Dakota Game Production Area. Pheasants Forever has contributed to prescribed burns and tree plantings at this north-central South Dakota public tract. From left, Jim Ristau, Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, and his dog, “Mojo,” Mike Stephenson, Pheasants Forever Regional Representative in South Dakota and his dog, “Chance,” and Justin Derga, Pheasants Forever Habitat Specialist, and his dog, “Jackson.” Back right is Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever Marketing Specialist.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Bismarck: The Bird Dog-Friendliest City in America

Monday, October 28th, 2013


Lengthy and outstate pheasant hunting trips require soooo many details to come together to be successful, not the least of which is keeping your best hunting buddy in tip-top shape on the rooster road. After a long day of hunting, it’s nice to come back to a clean, comfortable and warm hotel room. Thankfully, despite being a city of 60K-plus people, such places are easily found in Bismarck, North Dakota

On our morning drives (including the weekend before the trip officially began), we spotted pheasants along roadsides just minutes outside of Bismarck, and found productive PLOTS lands and state wildlife areas not terribly far from town as well. At the end of a long day, we were able to return to one of the 15 or so dog-friendly hotels in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

While we had two hotel rooms which required us picking up the extra pet fee (typically a nominal amount at most hotels), the clerk waived the charges by claiming one of our dogs as a “service dog.” “Any dog that hunts is a service dog in my opinion,” he said with a wink. The wallet was left a little fatter, and today we proclaim Bismarck, North Dakota as “The Bird Dog-Friendliest City in America.”

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.organd follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

The Single Most Important Thing I’m Bringing on the Rooster Road Trip

Sunday, October 27th, 2013


Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

Despite a full-size SUV full of pheasant hunting gear and nice shotguns, the most important thing coming with me on this year’s Rooster Road Trip is a piece of paper. Printed on that sheet are the phone numbers and addresses for every veterinary office in the locations of each of the five states we’ll be hunting in the next week.

Last year as a first-time dog owner, my eagerness to hunt with my own dog, combined with my novice skill level, left me woefully unprepared for a dog emergency in the field. With a full offseason to reflect – not to mention a few summertime trips to the vet – I vowed this season to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I’ve gone ahead and picked up a Sporting Dog First Aid Kit, but it’s not going to just sit in the truck. My vest pockets are now stuffed with the essentials to deal with minor issues and buy precious time if a major one arises.

And that’s where the paper in the glove box comes in. Whether it’s a slight sprain or a major cut from a barbed wire fence, the sooner you get your dog to a vet, the sooner professional treatment begins. In the vast regions of pheasant country we love to visit most, vet offices are frequently more than 30 miles from your location. Cell service is spotty. When minutes, maybe even seconds matter, you have to know where to go and who to call. We’ll be using technology to bring you the best of the Rooster Road Trip this year, but if the worst arrives, I’ll be counting on a paper trail.

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.organd follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Pheasants Forever Visa Card Passes $600,000 Mark in Funds Generated for Habitat

Thursday, October 10th, 2013


The Fall 2013 issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal is landing in members’ mailboxes right now.  The entire magazine team is thrilled with this issue. From its stunning cover of a flushing rooster to a behind-the-scenes look at the Rooster Road Trip, this issue is filled with great photography and fun stories from pheasant country.  It also features a new advertisement from U.S. Bank, one of our organization’s most generous corporate partners.

U.S. Bank is the official credit card provider of the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Visa program. And thanks to 2,200 active users of our special Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Visa cards, U.S. Bank has donated over $600,000 to “The Habitat Organization.” That’s a lot of funds generated for habitat by 2,200 card holders in an organization of more than 135,000 members.

We all have credit cards for our daily purchases – fuel, groceries, Prairie Storm ammo, hunting licenses, Irish Setter boots, etc. – so, why not use a credit card that gives back to the same mission you give so much passion towards?  A new couch purchase helps us fund a shelter belt planting project. Your monthly car insurance payment helps us introduce another youngster to the outdoors.  A new shotgun at Gander Mountain leads to a new public hunting area.

It’s true. Every time a Pheasants Forever Visa Card application is approved and activated, Pheasants Forever gets paid. Each time a Pheasants Forever Visa Card celebrates another anniversary, Pheasants Forever gets paid. And, each and every time any Pheasants Forever Visa Card is used to make a purchase, Pheasants Forever gets paid. You can make a difference for wildlife through the act of simply putting your Pheasants Forever Visa Card in the front of your wallet and using it for all your purchases. Imagine how many habitat dollars we could raise if 10 percent of our members carried the Pheasants Forever Visa!

And one final point, the folks at U.S. Bank are avid hunters just like you and me.  They share our same passion for days afield with bird dogs and flushing roosters.  Simply put; they get it!  Help us support our shared goals by signing up for the Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever Visa Card today and join us on this year’s Rooster Road Trip beginning on October 28th.

U.S. Bank also happens to be a proud sponsor of every Rooster Road Trip because they agree with our habitat mission and our desire to create public access for all bird hunters.  Thanks U.S. Bank and thanks to the 2,200 Pheasants Forever Visa Card holders.

Support Pheasants Forever today and apply for your own Pheasants Forever Visa Card.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

Blackened Quail

Monday, November 26th, 2012

A trio of blackened quail breasts complimented by Brussels sprouts and mushrooms

A few months back, a friend of mine opened up to me about his secret passion for woodcock hunting.  I, too, have an undeniable love affair with the American timberdoodle.  This migrating aspen and alder tornado is an awesome game bird for pointing dogs and an under-appreciated challenge for wingshooters.


This same anonymous friend shared with me a woodcock recipe to transform the timberdoodle from a meat equated to flying liver into a white linen delicacy.  I’ve bagged 15 woodcock this season and sautéed every single one to rave reviews employing his recipe.  Unfortunately, I’ve exhausted my timberdoodle freezer reserves; consequently, last evening I substituted Nebraska’s Rooster Road Trip quail for woodcock in my newfound favorite recipe.  Whether you’ve got timberdoodle, quail, ruffed grouse or a pheasant breast in the freezer, I believe you’ll find this recipe easy, tasty and addictive.





1)      Brush the quail breasts generously with olive oil

2)      Liberally sprinkle the breasts with Chef Paul Prudhommes blackening seasoning

3)      Sauté the breasts on medium-high heat in a frying pan for 3 or 4 minutes

4)      Flip the breasts over and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes

5)      Serve with a side of Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and wild rice



The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

The Quail Quest Starts in Nebraska

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Pheasants Forever’s Bob St.Pierre and his German shorthair pup, “Izzy,” with a trio of public land Nebraska bobwhites. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

The opportunity to hunt quail in Nebraska and Kansas has been one of my favorite aspects of the Rooster Road Trip over the last three years.  As I’ve blogged about many times, I grew up hunting ruffed grouse in the “Northwoods,” and when I encounter a covey of bobwhites I can’t help but draw similarities to ruffs.   Both birds only give you a split second opportunity and their flush is often heard before viewed.

There are definitely unique aspects of bobwhites too.  A bobwhite’s covey rise is a whirl of motion challenging the wingshooter to select a single bird without falling into “flock shooting,” in which you simply look at the entire flock without properly aiming at an individual bird.  “Flock shooting” will almost always result in a miss.

However, it’s the sound of a bobwhite’s covey flush I enjoy most about the bird.  Unlike the chainsaw-like explosion of a ruffed grouse or the cackling bad-ass attitude of a ring-neck, a bobwhite covey sounds like twenty throwing stars whirring threw the air if an army of ninja warriors had just entered the scene to fight Chuck Norris.  (Obviously, Chuck Norris could triple on bobs with one shot).

So with each visit to “quail country,” my affinity for bobwhites grows more intense.  As today’s Nebraska hunt produced more coveys than ring-necks, my mind started to wonder about the public land quail hunting version of the Rooster Road Trip.  I can pretty easily come up with Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas as four states on a hypothetical Quail Forever “Quail Quest,” but the fifth state is a bit debatable.  Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama are all conceivably doable based upon geography, but I have not personally experienced a quail hunt in any of these states.

What do you think the fifth state on a “Quail Quest” would be for the best public lands quail hunt?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

New Indiana PF Member Wins Rooster Road Trip Citori

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

David Schager joined Pheasants Forever during PF’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 last month. The Carmel, Indiana resident’s name was randomly selected as the grand prize winner from the online event’s membership drive for a Browning Citori 12 gauge shotgun.

David Schager, a new Pheasants Forever member, proudly shows off his new Browning Citori, which he won by following along and becoming a member during PF's Rooster Road Trip.

Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 visited five states in five days, including lands that Pheasants Forever has played a significant role in opening up to public access; either through land purchase, restoration or legislation. The effort focused on how important pheasant hunters that are Pheasants Forever members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat.

Special thanks to Browning, one of the sponsors of Rooster Road Trip 2011, for providing Browning PF hats to those who joined Pheasants Forever during the event, and the grand prize. Congratulations David, enjoy your new shotgun, and thanks to you and all members who signed up during the Rooster Road Trip for supporting Pheasants Forever and wildlife habitat conservation.

If you’d like to join Pheasants Forever, the nation’s leading upland conservation organization, visit No organization does more to improve wildlife habitat for pheasants and quail, and we can only do it with your support.

Field Notes are written and compiled by Anthony Hauck Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Minnesota Preview – Day 5 of the Rooster Road Trip

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Friday, November 18th – Minnesota

Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 concludes today in Minnesota. It’s the 35th day of Minnesota’s pheasant hunting season, and we’ll be hunting in the west central part of the state, including Stearns and Douglas Counties.

Shooting Hours: 9AM to Sunset

Daily Limits: 2 rooster pheasants per day / 6 in possession (changes to 3 and 9, respectively, on December 1 through the remainder of the season)

Minnesota PF chapters, like the Wright County PF group, have been actively in public land purchases for almost three decades.

Public Hunting Land

Minnesota Pheasants Forever chapters have put a premium on purchasing lands for permanent public protection, and the Rooster Road Trip will be checking a few of these out. Last year alone, Pheasants Forever in Minnesota participated in 14 land acquisitions totaling 1,312 acres (all land acquisitions are accomplished in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and/or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and opened to the public for hunting and outdoor recreation), and the organization expects to eclipse that mark in 2011.

Nonresident Licensing

Minnesota’s nonresident small game license is $84.50 and is good for the entire season. Residents age 18-64, and all non-resident hunters, must have a Minnesota Pheasant Stamp validation. The $7.50 pheasant stamp – Pheasants Forever’s first organization goal which came to fruition – is required of all Minnesota pheasant hunters. Since 1983, stamp sales have generated more than $15.5 million for habitat enhancement efforts on both public and private lands in the pheasant range of Minnesota.

Pheasants Forever’s Impact in Minnesota

Pheasants Forever Chapters: 77

Quail Forever Chapters: 2

Pheasants Forever Members: This will be today’s Pheasants Forever trivia question on Facebook

Quail Forever Members: 103

Habitat projects completed by Pheasants Forever in Minnesota: 24,277 wildlife habitat projects

Total habitat acres improved by Pheasants Forever in Minnesota: 214,812 acres

My Minnesota Memories

Born and raised in Minnesota, this is where the bulk of my pheasant hunting has taken place. I bagged my first rooster here, and hope decades from now to bag my last one here too (not that I’m in a rush). This won’t happen for me or other hunters from my generation without the continued support of Pheasants Forever.

Follow Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 at, on Facebook , YouTube, and Twitter (#rrt11). 

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauck.

One Dirty Rooster Road Trip Truck

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Thanks to everyone for following along with Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 so far. We’ve put on over 2,000 miles in pursuit of public land pheasants, and hit the dirt back roads to some phenomenal Pheasants Forever wildlife habitat projects. And getting there is half the fun:

A dirty truck, the mark of any good Rooster Road Trip.

Follow Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 at, on Facebook ,YouTube, and Twitter (#rrt11). 

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauck.