Justin Wright of Central Lee High School, receives the first Great River Quail Forever Scholarship in memory of Jim Wixom, a founding member. Justin is being presented with the scholarship by Steve and Lois Wixom, Jim's son and widow at the 11th Annual Great River Quail Forever Banquet held April 9th, 2016.
Great River Quail Forever Chapter 3021 and Nauvoo-Colusa Pollinator Habitat Program
The Great River Quail Forever chapter and the Nauvoo-Colusa 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students and teachers will plant a ½ to a 1 acre pollinator field on the Nauvoo-Colusa School property on the afternoon of Thursday, April 28. The school administration has agreed to not mow this site for a minimum of five years to allow the site to establish. After that time, the school district will work with GRQF to manage and maintain the site.
The afternoon will begin with each of the students receiving a 2016 GRQF Pollinator Habitat t-shirt and having a group photo taken. The students will rotate through educational stations where they will learn more about conservation, habitat, pollinators, etc. Each student will then get a cup of seed that is a custom mix that provides the best wildlife habitat possible created based on our location and soil type. They will line up along one side of the field. As the students walk across the field in a straight line, they will be evenly broadcasting the seeds as they walk to the opposite side. The students will repeat this process until the field has been efficiently covered.
The classroom teachers, Rena Rose, Brenda Adkisson and Kelly Patrick, will use the Pollinator Gardens and Habitat Program Curriculum and Activities from the PF/QF Habitat Education Blog. The Nauvoo-Colusa 4th grade teacher, Rena Rose, 2015 Illinois Farm Bureau AG in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Runner Up has been instrumental in working with GRQF members on this project. During each school year the teachers and the students will explore the pollinator field and maintain records of the plants growing and the variety of pollinators they observe.
The pollinator field will be located on the edge of the school property on Highway 96. Informational signs about the project will be placed by the project site to educate everyone on the importance of the project. Future projects include adding benches, bird feeders, shrubs, etc. This will hopefully increase the attraction of pollinators along with having a place for students and visitors to observe the habitat.
Great River Quail Forever Chapter received a $1000 matching grant from the National Pheasants/Quail Forever Organization for the Pollinator Habitat Program. Our chapter will pay for each student to have a Whistler membership along with purchasing a 2016 GRQF Pollinator Habitat t-shirt that will include names of local sponsors on the back. Local sponsors will be listed on the sign that will be placed by the pollinator habitat field.
Great River Quail Forever Chapter hosts Youth-Mentor Pheasant Hunt - The Daily Gate City, Keokuk, Iowa
By Brad Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:15 am
Bryce Finney takes aim at a pheasant with mentor Tony Sargent looking on during Saturday’s Great River Quail Forever Youth-Mentor Hunt Saturday at Glasscock Shooting Preserve. Finney shot down the bird, one of three put in the field to hunt.
The seventh annual Youth-Mentor Pheasant Hunt Saturday was the biggest one yet for the Great River Quail Forever Chapter.
Twenty-two kids between the ages of 12 to 15 who participated in a hunter safety course were signed up for the event held at Glasscock Shooting Preserve, 2359 320th St., Keokuk.
“We are usually around 15 to 17, and we had 19 last year and 22 this year,” said chapter president Walt Baker. “We made a couple of extra fields for the extra kids, but that’s what it is all about. We’re all about the kids.
“We’ve been trying to reach more kids, and I think we’ve done a better job this year. We have a new youth director (Dan ‘Bubby’ Glasgow), and he went out and beat the bushes a little harder is really what it amounts to.”
Each child was assigned a mentor for the day and then rotated through various stations offered by the Quail Forever chapter.
“Ben Slater, our DNR man, is here. He’s teaching the boys and girls how to clean pheasants and birds,” Baker said. “Erica Yost is taking them around, showing them the habitat — different plants of habitat we put in for the birds. They shoot targets at the clay birds station. Then when they get done from eating their pizza for dinner, they can go out and shoot clay birds as long as they want. It doesn’t cost them a dime. We pay for everything. I think we have 40-some boxes of shotgun shells for them, so we don’t want them to run out.”
The one station everyone looked forward to was getting out to the field to hunt pheasants. The youngster went out with his mentor, a dog handler and his hunting dog to find three birds to shoot at. Glasscock Shooting Preserve provided seven fields for the kids to hunt in.
Despite the sunny morning, the weather was a little warm for a pheasant hunt, but many shooters had success.
“Warmer weather is harder on the dogs,” Baker said. “That’s why we are switching the dogs out because the heat is harder on the dog, and the dryer it is is harder on the dog.”
The increase in the number of kids meant the chapter relied on a lot of help to make the event a success.
“We had pretty close to 50 to 55 volunteers,” Baker said. “With more kids, we have to have another dog handler and a mentor for every child we have.”
The number of kids for this year’s hunt may be pushing what the chapter can do, but Baker didn’t rule out the possibility of more kids for this event in the future.
“I’d say with 21 or 22 we are really pushing what we have,” Baker said. “I’m not saying we can’t make more fields, but that’s up to Mr. Glasscock at the shooting preserve. If he can find room, we’ll find kids. Kurt does a good job with the kids.”
Great River Quail Forever 3021 recently gave the Lee County Conservation a donation for their upcoming youth summer day camps for kids ages 3 to 8th graders. Kids' fishing tournaments are for youth ages 3 to 16. To participate, the dates, times and registration forms can be found on the Lee County Conservation website or call: 319-463-7673
Local Quail Forever chapter wins national award
The Great River Area Quail Forever
Chapter picked up a prestigious national award at Pheasant Fest, held this year
at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Quail Forever honored the local
chapter with the third annual No Child Left Indoors award Saturday, Feb. 27,
Quail Forever's No Child Left
Indoors initiative is the organization's national effort to engage youngsters
in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and camping. The award
recognizes chapters for their youth habitat projects, youth and family
community events and youth outdoor education programs.
“We consider this a great honor,”
said Reinie Dobson, youth director of the Great River Area Quail Forever
Chapter. “This is our fifth anniversary for our chapter. I've been involved the
last three. We've always been involved with stuff for the youth, but last year
it worked out that we were able to do a little bit more.”
The Great River Area chapter does
youth work on both sides of the Mississippi River. Chapter members used
presentations to high school kids, an FFA banquet and hunter safety programs as
ways to engage youth and talk about habitat and the needs of quail.
“Our particular chapter covers three
states and three counties, Lee County, Iowa, Hancock County, and Clark County,
Mo.,” Dobson said. “We try and get involved with the youth and the habitat in
all three states, and so far, we've been able to do a pretty good job thanks to
a ton of fantastic volunteers within our chapter. This is not a one-man show by
any means. It takes all of us to get this done, and we have some really good
volunteers within our chapter.”
In September, the chapter held its
first Youth Mentor Hunt at Glasscock Shooting Preserve, outside of Keokuk.
Eleven children, ranging in age from 12 to 15, who were certified in hunter
safety participated in the event.
Each youngster was assigned a mentor
when they checked in. Everyone enjoyed doughnuts and juice before watching a
short video. When the video was finished, the youngsters, with their mentors,
rotated through different stations.
Iowa Hunter Safety instructors Dave
Hinton and Steve Tabone recapped what the kids learned in hunter safety
classes. Joe Fordyce, game warden for Lee and Des Moines counties, talked to
the kids about game laws and possession limits. The youngsters also fired shots
at clay birds and went to a station that taught them how to clean the birds and
prepare them for the table.
The highlight of the day for the
youngsters was going out to the field with their mentors and a hunting dog to
flesh out live birds.
Each mentor was given a disposable
camera to take pictures, and the youngster was given the camera at the end of
Tim Caughran, Pheasant Forever and
Quail Forever regional wildlife biologist, asked Dobson to send him a yearly
report on what the chapter had done with youth.
The report, in effect, was a
nomination form for the national award.
“We were put in for the award by our
regional biologist out of Illinois, and it boiled down to 10 Quail Forever
chapters who were recommended for this award,” Dobson said. “When I submitted
my yearly report, I knew that was what it was going in for. To be honest, I
didn't think we had a chance, but as the time got closer there were a couple of
phone calls made and one in particular to our secretary through our regional
biologist, who said, ‘you better have your group (at Pheasant Fest) because it
is looking good for you.' He knew all along that we had won it, but he couldn't
Pheasant Fest is a trade show that
focuses on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting, dog training and
wildlife habitat management and restoration. In connection with the trade show,
Pheasants Forever held seminars on habitat improvement, pheasant hunting,
shooting sports, wild game cooking, dog training, conservation and more.
“We had members who volunteered
during Pheasant Fest. My wife and I one evening worked with the casting pond,
which was teaching little kids how to cast. It was quite enjoyable. We did it
for two hours. George Morgan did it for two hours ahead of us. My wife and I
and Jeff and George Morgan also were greeters to all of these hordes of people
who were coming in.”
A banquet was held at the Polk
County Convention Center on Feb. 27 where the No Child Left Behind awards were
announced. Pheasants Forever recognized the Mahaska County Pheasants Forever
chapter and the Illinois Pioneer Pheasants Forever chapter, while Quail Forever
honored Great River Area Quail Forever Chapter.
“I would like to thank the tri-state
area for their support through fundraising efforts,” Dobson said. “The banquet
is our big one. What we make at our yearly banquet is the funds we spend
throughout the year to buy seed, habitat cover and money we spend on youth
programs. It's all come together well for us, and I can't thank the tri-state
area enough for supporting us.”
Dobson said the chapter is exploring
more options to work with the youth this year.
“We've got chapter members who are
constantly coming up with new ideas as far as youth,” Dobson said. “As we
progress, the attitude of the chapter is this award was wonderful and we're
tickled pink to get it, but we don't want to rest on our laurels, we still have
more work to do.”
The chapter is currently working on
a fishing tournament for this spring.
“We'll probably have four or five
different classifications of age groups, so we can get some of the smaller kids
involved who were not eligible for the youth hunt,” Dobson said.
“The name of the game is to keep
plugging away. The award is great. We're all proud of it, but we know there is
still more work to be done.”