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Otter Tail County Pheasants Forever - Youth Page

Minnesota's Next Pheasant Hunters

Welcome to the next generation in conservation and pheasant hunting enthusiasts. In efforts to help our younger generation play a larger role in our efforts to conserve and provide habitat for upland game, our chapter provides today's youth with opportunities to learn about what Pheasants Forever is truly about. The Otter tail County Chapter provides conservation educational materials, safety of firearms and mentor youth hunts for those kids who may not have the same opportunities as most. Take a moment and read about our youth events or find out how you can become a key component of helping future Pheasants Forever Members.

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Women's Only "Firearm Safety Plus" Class

Are you an area woman who wants to learn about gun safety but uncomfortable thinking about taking a firearms safety course? Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions: Would I be the only woman in class? Will I be the only person who has never used a gun before? Do I really want to sit through a class with twelve year olds? Will I be surrounded by a bunch of intimidating men? Well if you have, you may be interested in attending the Women’s Only “Firearms Safety Plus” Class.

The Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club and Otter Tail County Chapter of Pheasants Forever have teamed up to offer a unique firearms safety training opportunity for area women. The class has been termed “Firearms Safety Plus” because the course will not only provide training for firearms safety certification but also includes a clay pigeon shoot and a two bird pheasant hunt.

This course is being offered for women 16 years of age or older. You will learn about hunter responsibility; gun parts; rifle, shotgun and handgun operation; safe firearm handling; fundamentals of shooting; wildlife conservation; and hunting opportunities. You will get hands-on experience with firearms prior to any shooting activities. Several area sportswomen will be on hand to help guide participants through course activities. Cost of the firearms safety portion of the class is $24.95 for on-line course work and $7.50 for certification, both payable to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The clay pigeon shoot and pheasant hunt are provided courtesy of the Fish and Game Club and Pheasants Forever.

An organizational meeting will be held Monday, March 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Otter Tail Power Community meeting rooms. At that time we will outline required course work and schedule dates for field and range activities, clay pigeon shoot, and pheasant hunt.

For more information or to pre-register for the Women’s Only “Firearms Safety Plus” class, please contact: Tony Rondeau, Lead Instructor (218-739-2034); Mick Siems, Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club (218-739-4803); or Steve Pletta, Otter Tail County Chapter of Pheasants Forever (701-388-8089).


Youth Hunter Safety and Education

While we all like to have fun in the field and chase pheasants for miles, safety is one of the most important aspects. We promote and encourage hunter safety in the field. Through these classes and education we show both youth and adults the proper ways to hold, maneuver and proper gun care. Getting those who are not familiar with a gun, comfortable with handling their firearm so that they can enjoy their hunts successfully. For more information when or where our hunting safety classes can be found, please follow the links below.

Annual Youth Mentor Pheasant Hunt

Pheasants Forever mentored pheasant hunts are the ideal way to introduce kids and teens to hunting, as experienced volunteer hunters from Pheasants Forever coach youth on the importance of firearm safety, wildlife habitat and hunting technique.

2010 MNDNR/PF Youth Mentor Hunt a Success

The MNDNR/PF Youth Mentor Hunt was conducted on a cool and rainy October afternoon (23rd). This year we had 5 youth participate in the hunt and everybody shot at least one pheasant. Nine birds were taken in total throughout the afternoon, with four youth bagging their limit of two birds. The hunt took place at the Orwell Refuge south of Fergus Falls, MN. Orwell Refuge is owned by the Army Corp of Engineers and is managed by the MNDNR. After the hunt birds were cleaned by the youth with assistance and guidance from mentors/guides who accompanied them on their hunt afield. Pizza and pop was provided before the hunt and all pizza left over was devoured by hungry, tired and wet hunters and guides returning from the hunt. We would like to thank the MNDNR and USACE for allowing us access to the refugee. Also, a big thanks goes out to the chapter members who made this day a success.

2010 Youth Hunt at Viking Valley Hunt Club

A warm and breezy day greeted the twenty-one young hunters at our yearly youth pheasant hunt at Viking Valley Hunt Club in Ashby, MN. The twenty-one hunters ages twelve to seventeen, from throughout Ottertail and Grant counties were accompanied by twelve volunteer guides and dogs. Tony Rondeau did his usual great job of explaining how to hunt safely behind a gun dog. His ten minute presentation was listened to intently and the hunt went very well.There were reports of some excellent shooting as Mike Rheault reported that one person in his group went two for three, missing only a very tough third opportunity. We had one young lady who participated in the hunt and was able to bag two birds. The weather was warm so the dogs had to be watched closley for overheating. When the hunt was complete, the pheasants were field dressed by the young hunters, some beginners and a few that were very experienced at their task. Pizza was the order of the day after the chores were complete, thanks to our friends at Pizza Ranch and Ilga for saving the day when there was a mix up on the pizza order. Thanks also to all the volunteers who helped create a great hunting experience for our next generation of hunters. Also thanks to Les Bensch and Viking Valley Hunt Club for allowing us access to their property for this wonderful hunt.
Mark Graff/OTCPF Youth Co-Coordinator.

2009 Youth Events

The summer and fall of 2009 has been a great success story for youth activities in Otter Tail County where 45 young men and women were given the opportunity to participate in three shooting sports programs.

August 22nd was the date and Viking Valley Hunt Club near Ashby MN was the setting for our youth only sporting clay shoot. Gun safety, pheasant biology and shooting tips were presented to the 20 participants. These young hunters were most attentive, and some quite proficient with the shotgun. All who attended were qualified to return for a guided pheasant hunt later on in October. A big thank you to Viking Valley and the chapter volunteers who made this such a enjoyable experience for these young guys and gals.

Sunday, October 11th was the date of Otter Tail County Pheasants Forever youth pheasant hunt. Again, there were presentations on gun safety, shooting tips and hunting behind a gun dog. Also, quite an assortment of gundogs accompanied the 17 youth hunters as they took to the fields. All of the young hunters were able to shoot a bird or two, and afterwards the cleaning of their game birds turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. Pizza Ranch in Fergus Falls helped us feed the hungry young hunters and provide a special blaze orange cap to each youth who participated. Once again Pheasants Forever would like to thank Viking Valley Hunt Club for hosting the event, as well as the many guides and volunteers that made this hunt possible.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) along with the Otter Tail County Chapter sponsored a youth mentor hunt at Orwell State Wildlife Refuge on October 24th. Eight young hunters, who had applied through a MN DNR lottery system, received “hands on” experience in hunting pheasants in the wild. Gun safety was again the focal point of our pre-hunt orientation. The rain held off and all who participated had a very enjoyable day. Once again Pizza Ranch of Fergus Falls helped us out as the fresh air and time afield made everyone a little hungry. A big thank you to the volunteers who guided these young hunters as well as those who worked behind the scenes to make this event a huge success. Special thanks go out to the US Army Corps of Engineers who hosted this event at their Orwell Dam headquarters.