I just returned from a weeklong safari with my 16-year-old son in South Africa. He actually purchased the donated hunt with Limcroma Safari’s/Koeshall’s World Hunting Adventures during our Badgerland Chapter Hunting Expo and Banquet last year. Continue reading The Many Benefits Of Going On Safari
During the past 19 years, the Badgerland Chapter of Safari Club International has had in place a scholarship program with the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources. Scholarships have been awarded to more than thirty eight students. SCI Badgerland is pleased to announce in 2013 scholarships were awarded to two students attending the College of Natural Resources.
Newest recipients are Eric VanNatta and Leah McSherry. Badgerland has also sponsored Eric for the AWLS program in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this July.–Alan Heth, SCI Badgerland Education Chair
The Wisconsin DNR’s Learn to Hunt program and SCI Badgerland provided financial support for Wayne and Robin Smith, owners of Smith’s Pheasant Crest in Oxford, WI, to host a pheasant hunt for recent graduates of DNR Hunter Safety classes. The twenty hunters who took to the fields on Sunday, November 4, had attended safety classes taught by members of SCI Badgerland. Volunteer instructors from the participating groups were on hand to mentor the hunters in the field, to ensure the graduates remembered the four rules of firearm safety, and the correct methods of carrying their shotguns so that the muzzle would be pointed in a safe direction at all times. All the students performed admirably, and everyone enjoyed a safe hunt.
Prior to heading to the fields, the new hunters tried their shotgun skills behind a trap thrower. Instructors gave tips on how to bring up the gun to the correct shooting position, how to lead the targets, and how to follow through for a successful shot. Once everyone had a chance to break some clay birds, they were ready and eager to go after the real birds.
Volunteer guides brought various breeds of dogs, all of them highly trained and great hunters, and the grads were treated to the thrill of watching the dogs work the scent. The excitement built when the dogs got “birdy.” When they locked up on a pheasant, the mentor helped the first-time hunters get ready for the flush. The Wisconsin State Game Farm at Poynette provided two pheasants per hunter through the Learn to Hunt program. An extra surprise was provided by the Smiths who donated additional birds. All the hunters experienced the thrill of birds flushing in front of them, but they also discovered the excitement generated by the pounding wings and how the cackle of a rooster bent on escaping could affect their marksmanship.
While not all hunters harvested a pheasant, everyone came back from the fields with a priceless grin. All agreed that the experience was great, and they were eager to go hunting again. For those skilled enough to bring back a bird or two, 14-year-old Cheyenne Smith was on hand to teach them how to quickly clean a pheasant. Stand on the wings and pull on the legs, and soon you can bag those delicious pheasant breasts for the ride home. After the hunt, the Smiths provided a delicious lunch of turkey sandwiches, barbecue sandwiches, chili and desserts.
Conservation Safety Warden, Judi Nigbor, came to observe the hunt. She spoke with several of the students and congratulated them for not only completing hunter safety class, but also for participating in the Learn to Hunt event. She expressed her thanks to the Smiths and to SCI Badgerland for the opportunity they provided the grads. Judi noted, “It is this kind of effort that is needed to keep our great hunting heritage alive and well.”
This is SCI Badgerland’s second year sponsoring this new event. It certainly seems to be a great success. Without the help of groups like this, our hunting heritage could be lost. My hat is off to SCI.
Alan Heth, SCI Badgerland Chapter’s President commented, “Thank you to the volunteer DNR Hunter Safety Instructors / SCI Badgerland Chapter members, Ray Anderson, Bill Hilgers, Ken Hei, and Scott Young. They spent a whole day of their time doing what is one of SCI’s pillars–education. They are also part of an elite instructor group that just received this award from the DNR. On August 4, 2012, their Madison Area Safe Hunters Group was presented the 2011 DNR Hunter Education Administrator’s Award for their willingness to change, and their desire to improve themselves.
“Special thanks to Chapter member Wayne Smith and his wife, Robin for working on this event and the Disabled Hunter Event, as not-for-profit, the first November weekend each year.”– Ken Heim
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’s 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’ 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’t 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’s 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