Cleaning pheasants

The young hunters at the Northwoods Chapter of KAMO’s pheasant hunt were taught how to clean their pheasants.

Hello friends,

One of the original three chapters of Kids And Mentors Outdoors is the Northwoods Chapter, which is headquartered out of Florence, but covers the general area of upper Michigan and Wisconsin.

Mick Milnar is the only original KAMO Chapter President still standing and Mick and the dozen or so members in the Northwoods Chapter do one heck of an excellent job of helping local kids experience the great outdoors.

For several years I have been hoping to witness their annual pheasant hunt and trap shoot, and this past week I did just that.

Saturday, Oct. 21

High 69, low 46

So for myself, the day started out with kind of a bummer, and as everyone would witness, it stayed that way. I woke up at my good friends Jeff and Sue Moll’s home near Niagara with a bad case of the flu that just got worse as the day went on. The flu was not going to stop me from at least witnessing the Northwoods Chapter at work, and meeting several new friends.

First, we headed out to Shady Game Farm, which is owned and operated by my new good buddy Howard Reed. Howard runs this 400-acre piece of paradise that borders the Brule River, and knows how to have fun, including doing a lot of fishing and hunting.

So back to the event. I am the president of KAMO (, and I was really impressed at how down to Earth and smooth this event went. There were 16 kids who took part, and by the end of the day, 1,000 shotgun rounds had been fired and 700 clay pigeons went to heaven along with several pheasants.

What really impressed me is that their plan for this entire event is very systematic. Please forgive me if I make a mistake, as I was all over the property, but Tom Jonet and Keith Davis, along with our good buddy Tom Oravec ran the clay pigeon shooting end of this deal, and each kid had to hit five birds before they could hunt pheasant.

Next, and one at a time, the young hunters, who all seemed to be really good shots, went on their hunt.

Jim LaBeske is a hunting and fishing guide from the area that has a German wirehaired pointer named Heuver, and each young hunter got to flush and hopefully shoot one pheasant.

There are two wingers on the far outside of the young hunters, and I was so sick that I did not feel I could handle being a winger, which is a very fun job.

Everything is about safety, common sense and having a good time. The kids were from schools such as Niagara, Iron Mountain, Florence and Kingsford, and several of them were veterans of this event and really into this special day.

After the hunt, a meal was provided and Jeff Moll — a KAMO original from Day 1 — gave a class on pheasant cleaning. All the kids were able to go home ready to bring a feast to their family.

Everything about this day was super impressive. I want to let you parents, kids and potential mentors know, in this part of Wisconsin and the U.P., the Northwoods Chapter of KAMO rock and rolls. The organizers could use mentors and they appreciate all of their sponsors. Bring on the kids, as they have a predator hunt coming up in January that I wish I could make.

In closing, I want every one of you to try to talk my buddy Mick Milnar into becoming KAMO president. I have had the job for 10 years, and this spring chicken is a far better man than me.

Milnar for president!