O’Brien County Pheasants Forever Banquet – belltimescourier.com

Pheasants Forever board member and treasurer Doug Harms presents a Mossburg Maverick 20-gauge pump action rifle to Hoyt Ahrensdorf, who is accompanied by his father Paul during the 2024 O’Brien County Pheasants Forever Annual Banquet in Hartley on April 13.

by Eric Harold
The 2024 O’Brien County Chapter of Pheasants Forever banquet provided fun for children and adults alike on an evening dedicated to the chapter’s premier annual fundraising event.
Chapter President Terry Morris praised the efforts of everyone involved, including donors, raffle and auction participants, and Pheasants Forever friends and supporters.
Morris said the increase in sponsorship for this year’s banquet shows that community members have a growing awareness of adding habitat to the landscape. This year’s banquet included eleven platinum sponsors contributing $1,200, 16 gold sponsors donating $600, and 51 silver sponsors contributing $300.
“Thanks for a great evening,” he said.
Of the 85 guns given away at this year’s banquet, 14 were given to youth under the age of 15, a number that reflects the organization’s emphasis on promoting a hunting heritage for the future.
Ten children won a Mossburg Maverick 20-gauge pump action rifle. Four “commemorative weapons” were won by youth, including a 1022 Ruger .22 caliber rifle and a Winchester SXP 12-gauge pump action rifle donated by Chris and Andrew Erdmann, Remington 870 Express donated by Deb Jurgensen’s family, and an O/ U Acruis 20-gauge donated in memory of Duff Tewes.
Children couldn’t have as much fun winning new weapons. Sponsorship winners Cristina Larson, Jim Thomas, Chris Erdmann, Drew Erdmann, Mike Egdorf, Randy Paulsen, Shelly Mortensen, Steve Prins and Jeremy Stewart all won Hatfield 410 pump rifles.
In addition to raffles and auction items, special awards were given to a number of individuals during the evening. The Polaris Habitat Award was presented to Chuck Getting by Tracie Meyer of C&B Equipment of Spirit Lake.
Proceeds from the banquet will be used for a variety of expenses to promote habitat and hunter education for youth. Since 2007, chapter contributions have helped cover the costs of seed for food plots, CRP plantings, PF grant funds, No Child Left Indoors, PF Legislative Action Fund, and for the purchase of land for pheasant habitat.
Scholarship recipients for 2024 include Dana Konz and Anthony Courtney of Sheldon High School, Mitchell Enger and Jinger Nieuwenhuis of South O’Brien High School, and Kinsey Schirmer and Adamn Schierholz of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School.
More than thirty board members and volunteers assisted with the banquet. Seven members of the Spencer Archery Club performed various tasks throughout the evening.