Pheasant Festivities Warm Dead of Winter

I traveled to Wisconsin Dells on the night of Jan. 22 to attend
the Pheasants Forever Wisconsin State Convention/Banquet at the
Wilderness Conference Center. I made the trip with Brian Ebben, of
Howard. Brian was on his way to the banquet to donate a charter
fishing trip to this conservation cause. Brian operates The
Predator out of Kewaunee. If you read the printed pages of
Wisconsin Outdoor News, you’re probably already familiar with Brian
and The Predator. He invited a bunch of mutual friends out for a
trip in August.

It sure was chilly over the weekend. The truck thermometer read
in the single digits when I met Brian in St. Point. The next
morning when we left Wisconsin Dells, the temperature was 16

In between, though, we had a good time at the banquet. Another
friend and hunting and fishing partner, Kevin Wallenfang, is the
Wisconsin Pheasants Forever director and he organized the banquet
and worked it with the help of several volunteers and Wisconsin’s
five PF Farm Bill biologists, who I met for the first time there
that night. I won’t be able to remember all of their names, but if
you own land and want to do some habitat work, get in touch with
J.D., Lori, Eric Krueger, Erin and one more biologist whose name I
didn’t catch. I’m sure they are listed on the PF web site, or you
can get in touch with Kevin Wallenfang at Brian and I also had a chance to
visit with DNR wildlife technician Brian Buenzow (southwestern
Wisconsin) and new DNR upland game ecologist Scott Walter. I can
tell you that both of these guys are avid hunters. I know Buenzow
works hard on behalf of Wisconsin’s natural resources and it looks
as though Walter will be right on his heals. It’s good to know we
have people like that working on the ground on our behalf.

I had a chance to visit with Howard Vincent once again. Howard
is a Duluth, Minn., native. He has been with Pheasants Forever for
more than 20 years and is now the PF CEO. I met Howard in South
Dakota two or three years ago during a pheasant hunt and saw him
again at the 2010 Pheasant Fest in Des Moines. I can tell you that
that’s a good crew over there at Pheasants Forever – what the state
DNRs and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can’t do, PF will step in
and pick up the slack.

A lot of people won a lot of prizes that night and, I’m happy to
say, Brian won a Benelli Nova pump 12 gauge that he’ll use for
turkey hunting, among other things. Now he won’t have to borrow his
son’s Nova.

Once Brian’s charter trip was auctioned off we went over to meet
the guys who bought the trip. Brian explained that they had the
option of bringing six fishermen, or, if they had four or fewer,
that he had offered up the services of Wallenfang and Yours Truly
to serve as first mates and bait boys on the charter. I can’t
recall their names, but they seemed like jovial fellows and I’m
sure we’ll have a good time if they decide they’d like Kevin and me
to join them.

WON contributor Tim Eisele, of Madison, was also at the banquet.
Tim had given a seminar earlier in the day on habitat management,
the benefits of having a forest management plan in place for your
property, and prairie restoration. Much of his knowledge has been
gained first-hand by working his 100 acres in Crawford County. Tim
is working on stories from the seminars that day, and he will also
be writing up a story on the state’s PF Farm Bill biologists and
the work they do.

No, I didn’t win anything that night, but I came close on two
guns. My number that night was 202. No. 203 won a number of prizes,
including two guns from one board on back-to-back drawings.


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