NEW ULM – The Brown County Chapter of Pheasants Forever will hold its 26th Annual Banquet at the Orchid Inn in Sleepy Eye. The banquet will be held at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 16.
The banquet is attended by more than 300 people every year and is a primary fundraising tool for the club. One hundred percent of the funds stay with the Brown County Chapter.
It’s the primary fundraiser for Pheasants Forever each year, according to club secretary and Vice President Jeremy Berg.
“The primary purpose is first it’s for membership and second it’s to raise money for the chapter,” Berg said. “The unique thing about Pheasants Forever is that it’s a nation-wide organization, but local chapters are able to help out with things locally.
“The second thing is we raise money through charitable gambling and different types of games that are offered throughout the venue,” Berg added. “We give away about 30 guns and $6,000 worth of projects.”
The club itself has raised nearly $3 million in Brown County in the 26 years of existence.
“In 2009, we bought approximately 164 acres in Mulligan Township here in Brown County,” President Dan Braulick said. “In that case, we were able to able to leverage approximately $40,000, the lion’s share of that came from Brown County Pheasants Forever, but we had numerous other people who helped, which is important because the dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. We had a lot of local groups that helped out and chipped in.”
Although the name implies that they raise money for pheasants, they in fact help benefit other wildlife, soil and water conservation as well as the quality of life in Brown County.
Brown County Pheasants Forever has contributed to the completion of about 300 projects in Brown County. The projects benefit all wildlife and help reduce soil erosion and protect the waters.
Brown County Pheasants Forever has participated in the acquisition of more than 2,000 acres of land that all varieties of game and non-game wildlife call home, and which are now open to the public for uses such as hunting as part of the state Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) program.
Through membership and the relationship with Pheasants Forever, Inc., the Brown County Chapter has access to hundreds of thousands of dollars for habitat acquisitions and restorations.
“To me, the land purchases have been the most significant,” Braulick said. “It’s really trending to be more about us identifying properties and being involved in the purchase and restoration.”
They had a purchase of land in Mulligan Township, which is south of Sleepy Eye.
“We had an acquisition of approximately 480 acres out in Mulligan Township, that was a large one and that was property that was already in the conservation process,” Berg said. “That’s probably the largest project, but it seems like every year, we have about a 200-acre project that we’ve been working on for purchases.”
While the chapter does emphasize purchasing more land for improvements, they realize that they have to take care of what they have too.
“One of the things that we have started to focus on, is taking care of the properties we have acquired,” Berg said. “With the land that we have purchased, we’ve tried to identify where those lands need work and where there could be improvements for habitat purposes.
“Last spring, we paid a habitat specialist to go out and do prescribed burns in a hunting area by Comfrey,” Berg said. “Right now, we have a contract that we can do a some restoration on a public hunting area near New Ulm to get rid of some non-native grasses and trees.”
The local organization also acquired 145 acres along Coal Mine Creek in Section 7 of North Star Township in Brown County. The property will be restored to a native state and turned over to the state and will be open for public hunting as part of the WMA program.
The organization is also actively pursuing youth hunters and trying to expand the youth hunter programs. Some of the activities they do include a youth pheasant hunt and they make regular contributions to the PF Legislative Action Fund.
The organization is trying to not only make sure that the lands in our area are preserved for the future, but its also trying to make sure there are plenty of future hunters and that means getting the young hunters involved now.
“We funded a youth hunt in Courtland and I think that’s been a pretty big deal for us,” Braulick said. “I take a lot of pride in funding these public areas, especially because I know the kids are going to have a place to go for generations. The youth hunt hopes into that, hopefully we’re able to reach out to some kids that wouldn’t have access.”
“It’s kind of a mentor thing for the youth age 11-15,” Berg said. “Half the time they spend it hunting pheasants and the other half is with gun safety and sporting clays. We have a range in Courtland and we give away some prizes.”
Tickets are still available for the banquet March 16. Anyone interested in attending can call Dan Braulick at 507-227-2349 or Jeremy Berg at
On the web: browncounty.pheasantsforever.org/