About Pheasants Forever Brown County - 166
A Local Minnesota Chapter
Welcome. We are Brown County Minnesota (PF), a nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1987 dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasants and other upland bird populations in North America.
The Brown County Chapter No. 166 was founded in 1987 by Lannie Zarn; Dale Trebesch and Jim Bertrand. The first banquet was held the following year in 1988. The first emcee was Joe Le Tendre at this banquet. Was held at the Orchid Inn where it held 30 banquets until the Orchid Inn met its demise. The national director of Pheasants Forever at that time was Robert Brengman.
Pheasants Forever is the only national organization with a model of chapters keeping 100% of the funds they raise. While belonging to a larger national organization that has a voice on federal and state conservation policies, chapters are tasked with finding projects for their funds. Minnesota takes full advantage of this model using funds raised for projects locally as well as other areas in the state of Minnesota.
Greetings from the Banquet Committee. On March 18th, 2023, the Brown County Chapter of Pheasants Forever held our 32nd Annual Banquet & Family Fun Night at the Sleepy Eye Event Center in Sleepy Eye, MN.
Attended by nearly 350 or more people each year, our Banquet is our primary fundraising tool. 100% of these funds stay with the Brown County Chapter, to be invested by Brown County Pheasants Forever (BCPF). Our banquet is wildly successful and has resulted in Pheasants Forever, Inc., investing over $4 million in Brown County since our founding 3+ years ago. Of course, we owe the success of our organization to our donors, volunteers, and most importantly, members like you.
We’d like to take this opportunity to briefly describe what your investment in our Chapter of Pheasants Forever means, and has meant, to Brown County. Although our name implies that a gaudy game bird is the primary benefactor of your membership, the benefits extend beyond our favorite game bird to other wildlife, soil and water conservation, and the quality of life in Brown County, too. Brown County Pheasants Forever has contributed to the completion over 500 habitat projects on nearly 3,000 acres in Brown County. These projects benefit not only pheasants, but deer, turkeys, and all other wildlife, and help reduce soil erosion and protect our waters.
Although private projects are an integral part of our mission, our major focus has been on the acquisition and maintenance of public land. Brown County Pheasants Forever has participated in the acquisition of over 2500 acres of land that all varieties of game and non-game wildlife call home, and which are now open to the public for multiple uses, particularly hunting, as part of the state Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) program.
Some facts on Brown Counties habitat and what we impact as an organization:
- Brown County has over 24,000 acres in habitat.
- We currently have 33 WMA/WPAs encompassing over 4600 acres in the county.
- We are an active member of the MN Department of Natural Resources “Adopt-a-WMA program.
Brown County Pheasants Forever is in a unique position among conservation organizations. Through your membership and our relationship with Pheasants Forever, Inc., BCPF’s parent organization, your chapter has access to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars for habitat acquisitions and restorations. Pheasants Forever, Inc., has proven itself capable of delivering low-cost, high-quality conservation results and for that reason, is entrusted to administer millions of dollars of Outdoor Heritage Fund (dedicated sales tax), North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) and other grant funds each year. This is particularly important in times of high land prices and declining governmental conservation commitments. If Brown County Pheasants Forever identifies a project, Pheasants Forever, Inc., will likely find funding, as it did most recently with the acquisition of the Schultz addition to Rosenau-Lambrecht WMA. With your continued support, that $10 or $20 you spend on a raffle can by leveraged by Pheasants Forever to create $100 or $200 in grant funding for projects right here at home.
We continue to evaluate potential conservation projects in an ongoing basis. Several potential projects have recently been brought to the chapter by the Regional Wildlife Manager that BCPF and Pheasants Forever national will evaluate.
We continue to improve and expand our youth and hunter recruitment programs as part of the R3 effort. R3 stands for “Recruit, Retain and Reactivate”. In the past several years, we have supported youth outdoor programs countywide, and this fall we hope to hold a youth mentored pheasant hunt. We support many of the high school trap shooting teams (New Ulm, Springfield, Sleepy Eye High School) in the county.
We encourage winter food sources or food plots for wildlife. We have many resources for anyone who wants to learn and participate in this type of effort.
We have made regular contributions to the Pheasants Forever Legislative Action Fund to advocate for conservation funding.
If you’ve made it this far we hope you are pleased what you’ve accomplished as a member of Brown County Pheasants Forever. It is important to remember our goals and what we are really working for when we attend the next banquet. We do our best to assure you a good time while at the same time raise money to accomplish these objectives. This year there were many guns and prizes valued at over $40,000 awarded. There was truly something for everyone. From the hunter to the fisherman to the camp cook, men, women, children, and everyone in between, we really tried to put together a good variety of prizes.
As you can see, your investment in Brown County Pheasants Forever has a large and lasting impact.
We hope to see you in March, 2024 for the next Banquet.
Our Chapter Mission
Protect, restore, and enhance wildlife habitat by establishing and maintaining local projects.
- Create, improve, and preserve upland bird habitat
- Foster youth hunting and outdoor activities.
- Develop, distribute and foster conservation education.
- Introduce and advance prudent management of conservation policies.
Pheasants Forever is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education.
Brown County PF Life Members
- Jim Thomas
- Tom Zuhlsdorf
- Dale Trebesch
- Jason Weinzetl
- Kurt Haroldson
- Ralph Grundmeyer
- Dr. Phil Gill
- Ron Haugen
- Terry Trebesch
- Jeremy Berg
- Tim Kraskey
- Dave Huhn
- Larry Kastner
- Greg Cook
- Allan Johnson
- Clark Lingbeek
- Jan VanSickle
- Steve Windschitl
- Joe Gonsior
- David Johnson
- Jeffrey Sieve
For information on becoming a Life Member or any level of membership in Pheasants Forever, see https://pheasantsforever.org/join
About Brown County Pheasants Forever
Our local chapter in Minnesota was founded amongst those upland hunters and sportsmen and women in your community. Our goal is to provide those avid outdoormen and women an opportunity to assist in the protection and enhancement of pheasants and other upland bird populations around the local area. Some local highlights are:
- Over 3000 acres bought for pheasant habitat with over 4600 acres now public lands in WMA/WPAs.
- All procured acres are open to the public for hunting.
- Over 500 habitat projects benefiting over 10,000 acres. Brown County has over 24,000 acre in some sort of habitat.
- Hosts and participates in annual youth events with more than 200 kids participating.
- Support local high school trap shooting teams.
- Over $4 million has been spent on land acquisitions and conservation in Brown county.
- Taking a lead role in the MN "Adopt-a-WMA" program.
- All proceeds/donations stay in the county.
Pheasants Forever was co-founded in 1982 by co-workers at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch, outdoor editor Dennis Anderson and national advertising director Jeff Finden. Both recognized a need for habitat restoration and preservation to ensure the future of pheasants and other wildlife.
PF's first publication entitled "Rooster Tales," published in February 1983. This became the forerunner of today's Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation. The fledgling PF held its first banquet on April 15, 1983, drawing 800 people at the inaugural banquet. In January 2007, PF's third-ever National Pheasant Fest in Des Moines, Iowa, became the largest event in PF history, drawing over 24,500 attendees over a three-day span.
Twenty-five years after its inception, Pheasants Forever has become a grassroots, nationwide upland conservation movement - a national conservation powerhouse. The organization has grown to 110,000 members with over 600 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Nationwide, Pheasants Forever has spent $260 million on program expenditures, which have helped fund 347,000 habitat projects affecting 4.4 million acres across North America. Along the way, PF has continued to employ the same unique organizational model of empowering local chapters 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.
Brown County Public Hunting
Brown County PF has donated many dollars through its members for public hunting. Check out some of the WMA locations at your disposal.
Our Local Habitat Projects
We actively partner with other chapters and Minnesota organization of MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on many habitat projects.
- Habitat field days are conducted when opportunities arise. See "Events" to participate.
- We involve young people through activities such as youth hunts and habitat projects.
- Habitat projects and efforts to restore and preserve public lands through the Adopt-a-WMA program.
- Contribute to funding purchasing and restoration of local land throughout our community.
- Our annual fundraising banquet & raffles which is attended by more than 350 people, generates thousands of dollars. The banquet is held in the spring of each year.
Brown County Walk-in-Access Sites
Brown County MN Walk-In-Access sites are open during any legal hunting season from Spetember 1 to May 31. See website for specific locations and maps.
Who Is Pheasants Forever?
About Pheasants Forever
In 1982, a group of pheasant hunters saw the connection between upland habitat loss and declining pheasant populations. An organization dedicated to wildlife habitat conservation was needed, and Pheasants Forever was formed. Pheasants Forever’s mission work quickly garnered it a reputation as "The Habitat Organization," a tagline the nonprofit conservation group uses proudly to this day.
Pheasants Forever's mission is to conserve pheasants, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public access, education, and conservation advocacy.
- Over 130,000 grassroots members and volunteers who have developed more than 10 million acres of pheasant and other wildlife habitat since inception.
- 750 chapters completing over 35,000 projects annually.
- Over 175 biologists on its staff.
Pheasants Forever is a grassroots, volunteer, membership-based organization. Members are a diverse group of hunters, farmers, ranchers, landowners, conservation enthusiasts, and wildlife officials. The common thread is all want to make a difference for wildlife by conserving or creating habitat. Become a Pheasants Forever member here.
Pheasants Forever, Inc. is tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax identification number is: 41-1429149. View our financial information here.
What Can You Do To Help?
Please explore our website and discover more about the Brown County Pheasants Forever. You'll find detailed information on all our activities and upcoming events. Let us know what you think; we appreciate your feedback. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact us. We welcome people interested in the Pheasants Forever mission to attend our monthly meetings, listed on our events page.
- Become a Pheasants Forever member or sponsor
- Volunteer your time or resources to our chapter
- Attend and contribute to the annual fund raising banquet
Ladies to Hunt
We are actively seeking a PF Lady or two, three, etc... to help invest in more activities for women and girls in Brown County PF. If you would like to get involved and take part, please let a PF Board Member know.