20080909_pfsquarelogo

Mitchell, SD – February 25, 2009 – Pheasants Forever (PF) is proud to announce that the 700-member strong organization Pheasant Country, LTD of Mitchell, South Dakota, has converted to a PF chapter and is now known as the Pheasant Country Chapter of PF. The chapter will continue its tradition of holding its annual banquet on the eve of the South Dakota pheasant opener at the World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell.

PF is the only national conservation organization that empowers local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally-raised conservation funds are spent. This local control allows chapters to see the fruits of their chapter efforts in their own communities.

“We feel that after twenty-four years of success as Pheasant Country LTD-Mitchell, we want our organization to move up another step on the ladder and grow bigger and better,” said David Allen, Pheasant Country chapter president. “By uniting with the other 34 Pheasants Forever chapters in South Dakota and the 600-plus chapters nationwide, we belong to a larger national organization with a voice on federal and state conservation policy while maintaining our local habitat and youth program efforts.”

Mike Kuchera, Pheasant Country chapter board member and owner of Mike Kuchera’s South Dakota Pheasant Hunting and Guide Service, says the group can enhance its habitat efforts as a PF chapter. “We will benefit from PF’s expertise. Their wildlife professionals, including Ben Bigalke¬† and Farm Bill biologists will work directly with our members and landowners to keep habitat at the forefront of our mission.” The Pheasant Country chapter works with approximately 300 landowners a year to create pheasant habitat, including nesting cover, food plots and winter cover.

“Pheasant Country has a tradition of doing great habitat work, and we know the chapter can build on that foundation as part of Pheasants Forever,” said Howard Vincent, PF President and CEO, “South Dakota remains the ‘Pheasant Capital,’ but like the rest of the pheasant range, the state faces serious challenges in terms of expiring Conservation Reserve Program acres and other losses of habitat. Having a Pheasants Forever chapter in a pheasant stronghold such as Mitchell adds numbers to our cause and strength to our voice.”

In addition to the annual banquet, the Pheasant Country Chapter of PF also plans to continue other programs, including the annual Landowner Appreciation Banquet in Mitchell, youth pheasant hunts and the annual seed give-away. This year’s seed give-away will be Saturday, April 4th, at Big Green Fertilizer beginning at 8:30 AM.

The Pheasant Country Chapter of PF has also elected Rick Herrold of Dimock as treasurer, Marc Bernard of Mitchell as habitat chair, Casey Thompson of Mitchell as youth/education chair and Mike Anderson of Mitchell as secretary. For more information about the Pheasant Country Chapter of PF, log onto their website at www.pheasantcountry.org or email them at info@pheasantcountry.org.
For more information on PF in South Dakota, to start a chapter or join an existing chapter, contact Ben Bigalke at (605)350-2409 or via email at bbigalke@pheasantsforever.org . The first South Dakota chapter of PF formed in 1986, and today the state is home to 35 PF chapters and 5,000 PF members. Those chapters have spent over $3.1 million to complete 16,000 habitat projects benefiting 200,000 South Dakota acres for wildlife.  Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 130,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.