Every fall many hunters prepare themselves for the pheasant hunting season. Some people have tournaments or challenges while others prefer to hunt by themselves or with a few choice friends. Nearly every year Luke Dreckman or his brother Nick have sponsored a tournament for the younger hunters. This year Luke decided to have another hunt, but unlike all the other hunts, this hunt would be in memory of Michael Letsche who passed away in the fall. Michael's love of the outdoors and how much he liked to hunt encouraged Luke to honor him with the event.
The hunt originally was just for high school hunters but then, as more and more attention was received, it widened to all ages of youth and elder hunters. The rules for the hunt included having teams of four people with an entry fee of $20, or $5 a person. The winning team received a cash prize of 80 dollars. As more and more hunters signed up more money was donated, such as the donation from Erdman Farms. They sponsored a prize of $50 for the hunter that shot the bird with the longest tail feather. Another donation of $20 was received from the Shawn Brady family.
When the hunt was over, the winning team had the limit of 12 birds. Members of the team were Jordan Rasmus, Eric Ogren, Jamie Rueter, and Kelly Sheets. The longest tail feather contest was won by Mitch Erdman with a tail feather measuring around 22 inches. All the winnings from the teams and participants were donated back to the cause. After the hunt the teams were joined by the Letsche family and friends. They ate a meal at the Dreckman home consisting of pheasant nuggets, baked pheasant, cheesy hashbrowns, and a number of other dishes.
When all was over, the hunt gathered $210 to be donated in Michael's memory. The money will be used for a youth hunt, youth shoot, or donated into the Pheasants Forever general fund to help projects being worked on now such as expanding Martin's Access.
No matter what the money is used for, it will be earmarked in memory of Michael. Next year Luke plans to have another hunt and hopes to raise more money and have more and more hunters involved.
(Editor's note: Tucker Petersen is a student at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn)