On Saturday, November 3, 2012, SCI Badgerland again was the major sponsor of the 9th annual pheasant hunt at Smith's Pheasant Crest in Oxford, WI. The day began with the volunteers meeting with Wayne and Robin Smith, owners of Smith‚Äôs Pheasant Crest and coordinators of the event.
Hunters were checked in and sent to the trap range where Chapter members/ DNR Hunter Safety Instructors Ken Heim, Ray Anderson, Bill Hilgers and Scott Young evaluated the hunters‚Äô shotgun needs to ensure they were ready for wingshooting. To go afield, a special hydraulic lift seated the hunters in a quad. They were then strapped in and driven to their hunting areas. Chapter member Dan Jackson was one of the volunteer drivers for the quads loaned by area dealers Johnson Sales, Statz & Sons and Quam's Motorsports. I wasn‚Äôt trusted to drive, so I did photos and the story.
All the hunters were treated to a four-bird hunt. Most of the hunts were full free chase using well-trained pointers. When a dog went on point, the UTV driver got the hunter in position and the bird was flushed. Some hunted with the help of bird launchers donated by SCI Badgerland, which gave hunters more time to get set and a better idea of where the bird was going. These launchers helped several of the hunters harvest their first birds ever, or in many years.
We were pleased to accommodate four disabled United States veterans for the hunt this year. Two vets and several other hunters have hunted with us in prior years. We are pleased to help them for this unique annual event.
After the hunt, there were a lot of stories told. Their birds were cleaned and bagged for their ride home by 14-year-old Cheyanne Smith. Lunch was served, during which everyone could reminisce about his or her hunt experiences.
Special thanks to all of the individual volunteers–Dan Jackson and Kim Kelly for helping Robin with the meal, and everyone else who helped–the list is quite long. Our SCI Badgerland Chapter was excited to again be part of this opportunity at Smith‚Äôs Pheasant Crest Hunting Preserve. This endorsement is deserved because Wayne and Robin do this event as not-for-profit. Beyond the expenses, all income is reserved for next year's event.
Smith's Pheasant Crest is centrally located in the heart of Wisconsin's Prairie belt, four miles south of Oxford, WI, on County A. They offer a wonderful mix of prairie, brush and drainage fields to provide a challenging pheasant hunt under all conditions. They offer easy walking native cover such as grain sorghum tracks, marsh for tougher hunting and standing corn strips. They will set every hunt to the needs of the hunter. They also offer dog field training for pups. Trap is offered to warm up and they have a new bird-cleaning house for after the hunt.–Alan Heth