I want to get ahead just a little bit and inform you of an upcoming event. Thursday, Sept. 13, is the date I want you to mark on your calendar. This will be the fall banquet for Pheasants Forever at the Bureau County Metro Center. It will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour, with the dinner following at 6 p.m. The auction will follow at 7 p.m.
As per usual, there will be a lot of outdoor items and several guns and raffles. PF will also have a shotgun for some lucky Ringneck who has the winning ticket.
The gun that has me very excited is the “Dinner Gun,” which is a Browning A5, “Sweet 16,” semi-automatic shotgun. It comes with three chokes and a hard case. There will be only 200 tickets available at the cost of $20. This gun retails for well over $1,000.
If you have any questions or want to register, I have several committee members for you. They are Rick Robosz (815-303-7825), Scott Wright (815-303-7626), Kurt Freeberg (815-875-4089), Bill Brandt (815-878-8740), and Eric Paull (815-878-4132).
Iáreally feel good about Pheasants Forever because they give back to our county. Last spring, they sponsored a youth trap shoot in which they paid for the birds, shells, and range time. Several Bureau County youths spent quite a bit of time trying to bust the clay targets. I have included a group picture of them in this article.
• Another raffle I would like to support is the Spring Valley Walleye Club’s Annual Raffle. There will be 500 tickets available, and the draw date will be Oct. 12. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets or info.
In other news from the SVWC, the club has just announced the Veteran’s Fishing Day has been canceled for this year and will return for 2019.
• Ducks Unlimited has just published the 2018 Waterfowl Report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They show the entire population (41 million) down somewhat but still healthy. The projected mallard rate is 11.4 million, down from last year’s 12 million plus.
Most species are down somewhat except for wigeon, which showed a 2 percent increase. The USFWS stated it was due to a drier spring, cutting down on some species nesting.
Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoors columnist. Email him at email@example.com.