Published November 15, 2012, 12:09 AM

Inaugural Mike Odermann Memorial Pheasant Classic takes shape

After Mike Odermann passed away in a hunting accident in 2009, his younger brother, Jacob, thought about never hunting with a gun again.

By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press

After Mike Odermann passed away in a hunting accident in 2009, his younger brother, Jacob, thought about never hunting with a gun again.

About a year and half later, Jacob was bailing hay on his family’s farm north of Belfield when he got the idea of creating a scholarship in his brother’s honor.

“I played with the idea in my mind, while I was bailing hay and I told my twin brother, John, about the idea,” Jacob said. “Mike was a special guy. He would always do what he could to help everybody out, regardless on how it affected his life. My family wants to do something that honors that giving person that Mike always was.”

About another year and a half later, Jacob Odermann’s idea is coming true as the inaugural Mike Odermann Memorial Trinity High School Pheasant Classic will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

“We’ve been hunters ever since we were a family,” said James Odermann, Mike’s father. “We’ve always loved the outdoors. We’d certainly like to see that legacy provided for lots of people in the future.”

The proceeds of the hunt will go to establishing a scholarship fund in the name of Mike Odermann, who graduated from Trinity in 1986. The scholarship will go to a Trinity junior and will pay tuition for the student’s senior year.

All eight of the Odermann children graduated from Trinity, Mike being the oldest and twins Jacob and John the youngest.

“My wife was in the first graduating class of Trinity,” James Odermann said. “For me personally, the fact that all eight of our kids graduated from Trinity High School is really a proud accomplishment.”

“Trinity has meant a lot to our family,” Jacob added. “If we can continue to help Trinity by helping another family, we absolutely want to do it.”

Jacob said so far there are eight teams, but the goal is 20 teams. However, Jacob would easily welcome more.

“I know both of the Odermann boys, Jacob and John, really well,” said Lane O’Neill of Williston. “I know they’ve been trying to get something going for the last couple of years. It’s finally taking shape and it’s for a good cause.”

The entry fee is $85 per hunter and teams are set at six people. Each team provides land to hunt and the first team to 18 birds wins. Each member of the team is allowed to shoot three birds, which is North Dakota’s daily limit laws.

“We wanted to do something where we could all get together, shake people’s hands, thank them for what they were doing, but also get together and share something that Mike loved,” Jacob said.

The Friday night before the hunt, there will be a Calcutta at the Eagles Club in Dickinson. During the Calcutta, teams are given their entry gift, a Trinity Titans hat. There will also be door prizes given away and a chance to win a shotgun.

The hunt begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and there will be a barbecue at Trinity High School at 2 p.m. The winning team receives 40 percent of the Calcutta pot.

Jacob hopes the memorial hunt can turn into an annual event and the ultimate goal is to fund a $1,000 college scholarship for any student in southwestern North Dakota.

“Depending on how many teams we get, we want to have a college scholarship that students in Western North Dakota, from any school, can apply for that would be in Mike’s name,” Jacob said. “That’s the big picture.”

For more information on the hunt or to register, contact Jacob Odermann at 701-269-9039 or at Jacob.Odermann@pason.com

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