Second Annual Pheasant Fest Raises Funds for Local Organizations
Shown left to right are Pheasant Fest “Six Shooters” team members Troy Pieper, Ted Robinson, Dana Fagerhaug (dogs Bo, Riley) Chad Olson (above) Mike Newman, Dr. Eric Gilbertson, landowners Gerry Orth with son Micah and score keeper Nantie Bothma with son and assistant Heyns Bothma.
 
A race for the roosters 
While “pheasant opener” in South Dakota typically captures the most excitement in regards to the rooster rush, the Jerauld County area offered one last celebration over the weekend before the season ends January 31.
 
Hosted by the Wessington Springs Area Chamber and Development (WSACD) board and the Wessington Springs Volunteer Fire Department, the Second Annual Pheasant Fest took place January 8 and 9.  
 
Friday night kicked off with a Calcutta of both the teams and the locations.  Ten teams constructed of locals, those from out of town and even out of state folks made up the group of contestants.  To provide a fair playing field, ten different land owners offered prime hunting real estate to be randomly drawn for each team.  The morning of the contest, ten pen-raised birds were released, a donation from Spring Valley Colony, onto each landowner property — one of which was labeled with a red band and worth the score of two birds.
 
Loree Gaikowski, WSACD Director and coordinator of the event praised sponsors, land owners and local volunteers for their willingness to offer places to hunt, set up for the banquet and awards, host a meal and offer to keep score. 
 
“Once again our community is blessed to have people jump in and help where needed to help keep this event going.  It’s been a fun weekend to put together,” stated Gaikowski.
 
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