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Anthony Hauck

White Bear Lake, Minn.

VIDEO: PF Habitat Project Keeps Sharptails Dancing

 These sharp-tailed grouse were videoed on their mating lek in late last April at the 1,285-acre property purchased last year by Pheasants Forever and the Minnesota Sharp-tailed Grouse Society with the help of a grant from the Outdoor Heritage Fund (recommended by Minnesota’s Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council). The Kanabec County parcel is now permanently protected habitat for wildlife and open to the public as a Minnesota Wildlife Management Area. Read more about this project.

If you’d like to reserve a viewing blind this spring, contact the Minnesota DNR’s Cambridge Area Wildlife at 763-689-7108 or via email.

Videography by Pheasants Forever’s Andrew Vavra and Rehan Nana

Anthony Hauck is Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email him at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

 

White Rooster Caps December Hunt

 

 

 

Jeff Smith and his son, P.J., first spotted this white rooster pheasant near Jeff’s home in rural Zumbrota on opening day of Minnesota’s 2012 pheasant hunting season. The bird flushed a few hundreds ahead of their hunting group, and with its mostly white color, they figured the bird would be too visible to predators and wouldn’t last long in the wild.

But this rooster had a knack for avoiding danger, Jeff and P.J. included. “He eluded our guns all season,” Jeff said, “The bird always jumped 50 yards ahead of the dogs’ initial points and flew around a brushy hillside near a river bottom. The bird would flush wild again upon our second approach.”

On December 28th, they tried a different strategy, with P.J. staying at the top of the hill while one of his friends circled the river bottom. When P.J.’s setters, “Bella,” a 9-year-old tri-color and “Penny,” a 10-year old lemon and white, when on point, the white rooster once again moved and busted out 150 yards ahead. This time, P.J. was right where he needed to be. “The bird made the mistake of flying over my son on the top of the hill,” Jeff said, “It was a good passing shot.”

Jeff and P.J. regularly hunt and train dogs in Goodhue County, frequently visiting publicly accessible wildlife management areas that the local Goodhue County Pheasants Forever chapter has contributed dollars and efforts to. But they’d never seen anything like this once-in-a-lifetime longtail. Other than a few black specks on the neck and breast, the bird is snow white, including the tail and legs. To commemorate the hunt, P.J. had the bird mounted in flight. “This is the only white pheasant I’ve seen in 50 years of pheasant hunting,” Jeff said, “It is a magnificent bird!”

Anthony Hauck is Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.