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PF: Bringing bird numbers back

By Staff | Nov 13, 2009

John Linquist is regional representative of Pheasants Forever for western Iowa. He poses for this photo with his Gordan setter.

Pheasants Forever is a conservation organization working to improve the habitat of pheasant, quail and other native wildlife throughout the country. In Iowa there are 106 local chapters.

“Pheasants Forever is unique in that all fundraising dollars within each chapter are used locally and put back into their economy,” said John Linquist, Pheasants Forever Regional Representative for Western Iowa. “My job with Pheasants Forever is to market and promote our organization.

“I enjoy educating the public on the importance of habitat improvement. I am very excited about two new programs that PF is working on to implement across the state.”

One of these programs is Reload Iowa, he noted, adding that challenges to wildlife and their habitat have never been greater. Pheasant numbers are decreasing in Iowa, which once was a top pheasant hunting destination.

In 10 years the number of licensed hunters across the state has decreased by 47 percent. The loss of CRP acres has played a huge roll in this loss, Lindquist said.

“Flooding, in our state over the past few years has resulted in poor water quality. Without buffer strips along our streams Iowa will continue to have water quality issues which directly affect not only wildlife but Iowa’s people.”

In order to turn these problems around, Lindquist said, Pheasants Forever plans to hire 50 biologists who will help resident and non-resident landowners in the pheasant quail range of Iowa by offering them conservation plans.

Four of these biologists have already started work, he claimed. “PF’s goal is to improve 1 million acres of wildlife habitat on private and public land in our state,” Lindquist said. “It will also establish a Landowner Stewardship Fund to improve existing wildlife habitat and establish high quality nesting and brood-rearing habitat.”

Another important program is IwiLL, which stands for Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy, which is comprised of a coalition of conservation members

who support amendment HJR1.

“This is a proposed constitutional amendment,” Lindquist explained, “that insures that if the legislature raises the sales tax, 3/8 of a cent would be dedicated to enhancing our state’s natural resources. The bill would not raise taxes or give voters the ability to raise the sales tax, only legislators can do this.

“It would provide a permanent and protected funding source for Iowa’s natural resources.”

This amendment is expected to be on November 2010 ballots, he said.

“These are big projects that PF is working on at this time,” said Linquist.

Currently, Pheasants Forever chapters are entering their major fundraising seasons.

He urged Iowans to support their local PF chapters.

To read more about Iowa Pheasants Forever or either of the above programs visit: www.iowapf.com.

Lindquist offered several recipes for those who enjoy preparing pheasant or quail.

Pheasant and Rice

Flour (enough to flour fowl)

Choice of seasoning

2-egg wash

4 tablespoons butter

3 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon green onions chopped

Sliced Portobello mushrooms

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 package of wild rice

Cook rice according to package directions

Cover pheasant breast (bone out) and or leg and or entire quail in egg wash

Cover with flour (pre-seasoned to taste)

Lightly brown in butter (real butter is key)

Place in deep casserole dish and cover with sliced Portobello mushrooms

Saute garlic and green onions in butter and pour over pheasant and portabellas.

Pour heavy cream into 2-quart casserole dish

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes

Place bird on a bed of wild rice and cover with content of casserole dish.

Pheasants with bacon and sour cream

1-2 pheasant breasts

2 slices bacon, thick fat ones halved, with rind removed

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup light sour cream

salt and pepper

1/4 cup cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Carefully loosen the skin over the breasts of the pheasants and insert a rasher of bacon under the skin over each breast.

Pull the skin back over the breasts and brush the birds liberally with melted butter.

Fold the wings under the body of the birds, tie the legs together loosely and place the birds in a casserole dish. Roast, uncovered in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, until the birds begin to brown.

Pour the sour cream over the birds and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook for 40 to 55 minutes.

Transfer the birds to a heated serving platter and keep hot.

Stir the cream into the pan juices, on top of the stove.

Simmer gently until the sauce has thickened, adjust the seasoning and serve with the pheasant.

Pheasant in wine sauce

4 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 pheasant

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup clear stock

1/2 cup white wine seasoning

Melt butter or margarine in a heat-proof Dutch oven. When hot, saute the pheasant gently until it’s golden brown.

Remove the bird.

Add flour, stock and wine, blend smoothly.

Bring to a boil and add seasoning.

Return bird to the Dutch oven and cover.

Cook in preheated 350 degree oven, turning bird while cooking, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bird is tender.

Contact Robyn Kruger by e-mail at rangerob@hickorytech.net.

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