Published February 18, 2009, 11:47 PM

Pheasant fortune

Dean Adams didn’t know what to do.

By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press

Dean Adams didn’t know what to do.

While hunting south of Richardton on opening day of the season last fall, the Dickinson resident shot a pheasant with a metal tag around its talon and when his friend hunting with him shot one as well they wanted to know what was up.

“It was kind of a strange thing,” Adams said. “We didn’t know what to think.”

As it turned out, the tag wasn’t put there by the Game and Fish Department as Adams originally thought. It eventually led to Adams being named the Grand Prize winner of the Windsor Canadian ‘After the Hunt’ contest.

Adams won a $500 Scheels gift certificate, a hunting jacket, a hunting duffle-bag, shooting glasses, a gun case, a t-shirt and hunting cap.

The two hunters had no idea about the contest when they shot their two banded birds and were going to contact Game and Fish, but upon further inspection the two hunters found a number on the tag and, after a quick phone call, found themselves entered in the contest.

A total of 300 roosters from a pheasant farm in Ellendale were released throughout the state the week before the opening day of pheasant season on Oct. 11.

“The guy that did it traveled like 650 miles that day and released pheasants all over the state,” Sobolik said.

About 70 entries came in from all across the country, said Dan Sobolik with Republic National Distributing Company, who sponsored the contest.

“We had entries from California, Virginia, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado,” Sobolik said. “Probably 20 percent of them were out of state.”

Even with all the out-of-state entries, all of the winners were from North Dakota. Second thru fifth prize went to Steve Schneider of Lincoln, Mark Wrage of Fargo, Robb Peterson of West Fargo and Shawn Geiszler of Bismarck, respectively. Each entry was awarded a hunting cap and t-shirt.

Along with the banded birds, an albino pheasant was also released, the harvester of which received a case of Windsor Canadian. Paul Holland of West Fargo was the lucky hunter. He also took his bird south of Richardton.

Sobolik said the contest is a way to get the Windsor brand out there and give hunters another incentive to get out.

“We got a lot of support from our customers,” Sobolik said. “It gets people talking about an established brand that’s been around for years.

Along with the prizes awarded to the hunters, Windsor also donated $1,500 to the North Dakota Wildlife Federation to help fund its annual Youth Conservation Camp at Garrison.

Any surviving birds with tags taken in future seasons will be eligible for that year’s contest, Sobolik said.

Mike Schroeder, western North Dakota sales associate with Republic National Distributing, said it’s exciting to have the first winner in the state be from Dickinson.

Adams said it was a nice surprise having known nothing about the event before hand.

“You don’t plan for some things I guess, they just happen,” Adams said.