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Pheasants Forever Banquet Is This Saturday Night

By Staff | Mar 27, 2008

The 23rd Annual Palo Alto County Pheasants Forever fundraising banquet is set for this Saturday evening in Emmetsburg. The annual fund raiser will be held in the ballroom of the Wild Rose Casino and Resort with the doors opening promptly at 5 p.m. The Social hour will continue until the auction begins at 8 p.m., with the Wild Rose staff serving the self-serve banquet meal starting at 5:30 p.m. and continuing through 7:30 p.m. The fund raising auction, under the call of Tom Eberle of Eberle Auction Company, will start at 8:00 p.m.

With the National Pheasants Forever organization celebrating its Silver Anniversary this year, several milestone anniversary items will be found on the auction block during the local event on Saturday. Special commemorative belt buckles; knives and prints will be up for bid, including the 2008 Pheasants Forever National Print of the Year, featuring 25 pheasants lurking under cover, with a hunter in the background.

Along with the National Print, sponsors of the event have special sponsor prints exhibited in their respective places of business.

Among the artworks to be featured on the live auction will be a hand-crafted throw, special sculpture piece, and of course, numerous shotguns, toys and other prints from renowned wildlife artists.

Special raffle tables will be featured at the event, each with a different theme. The theme will carry through to the items on the table, and the lucky winner of the draw receives all of the items on the table their name is drawn for. Theme tables will include one for ducks, big game, turkey, a ladies table, a kids table and a table of general items. Each table will feature a specific gun and appropriate hunting equipment to fit the theme of the table.

The younger set is also encouraged to attend the annual banquet and join the “Ringneck” ranks of the Pheasants Forever organization. Youth 18 and under are eligible to win a special shotgun, and all Ringneck youth will receive a prize for attending the event.

Pheasants Forever is a conservation organization devoted to the preservation of wildlife, with an emphasis on the ring-necked pheasant.

All funds raised through the annual banquet and auction are directed to the ongoing efforts of Pheasants Forever.

The Palo Alto County Chapter of Pheasants Forever has generated over $147,000 in its nine years of existence, with those proceeds being used for both habitat acquisition and restoration projects throughout the county, as well as educational efforts. Funds have been used to purchase: $31,000 nesting cover, $85,000 land acquisition and native seedings, and over $20,000 for educational efforts.

One of the ongoing goals of Pheasants Forever is to continue fund raising efforts for a matching funds program. Through this program, the Palo Alto County organization hopes to continue developing conservation buffer strip programs in the county. One example of the matching funds program through Pheasants forever was the acquisition of the “Hauschen Wildlife Area”, five miles west of Emmetsburg. The area includes 150 acres of prairie cover and wetland restoration. Future hunting on the tract is excellent.

Palo Alto Pheasants Forever recently donated funds to the Palo Alto County Conservation Board to be used towards the purchase of a field sprayer unit. The sprayer can be used for food plots, prescribed burning and spot treatment of weeds in habitat areas, as well as tree and brush control in ditches. The local organization has also donated over $1,000 towards the buffer strip initiative in Palo Alto County through a partnership with state, local and federal agencies. That donation has netted an additional 1,000 acres of Conservation Reserve Plan buffers and habitat in Palo Alto County.

In recent years, Pheasants Forever-Palo Alto has also funded workshops for IOWATER, a volunteer water quality monitoring system in the state, as well as providing funding for the Iowa Lakes Birding Pamphlet for tourism purposes. The local organization has also funded three participants participation in the Pheasants Forever/Department of Natural Resources Hunting and Conservation Camps and provided $1,000 for Habitat 2000, an initiative to create habitat on private lands, as well as expanding Pheasants Forever’s Native Seed Grass Harvest Program, promotion of buffer programs and the PF/DNR Conservation Camps.

For information or banquet tickets, contact any Pheasants Forever Board member: Darrin Adams, Todd Ditch, Tim Stowell, Aaron Steffen, Art Hampe, Steve Pitt, Paula Peters, Speed Bachman, Sam Henkelvig, Tom Buss, Ritchie Berkland and Dr. Dean VerMulm.