Last weekend, Erin & Pat, my nephew, wife and I participated in the annual Michael Odermann Memorial Pheasant Hunt. The primary objective of the hunt and banquet is to raise funds for scholarships for area youth in memory of Mike Odermann. The result is one of the most enjoyable get togethers you could ask to be part of . It was another incredible outing.
We headed for North Dakota on Thursday for an extra day of exploring the sights before the hunt. On the way out of town Friday morning, we spotted a herd of over 40 antelope just off the interstate which set the trend for the rest of the trip. After the antelope we passed several herds of wild horses in the Badlands. And it just got better and better starting with a self tour of the Sentinel Butte cemetery and ended with a fossil hunt prior to the Friday nite banquet.
In between we stopped at the Little Missouri Saloon in Medora for a lunch of Buffalo and Elk burgers. We had a little trouble getting in, but once we figured out the door opened “in” and not “out”, all went well! Lunch was fantastic and worth the struggle with the door.
Friday evening we got to meet up with members of the Odermann family and the festivities were off and running with the banquet. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. This family is the most big hearted, generous group of people you could hope to meet. Of course it didn’t hurt that Pat also won a new Glock pistol in one of the numerous raffles.
Saturday morning we headed out with Charlie (part of the Odermann family) as our guide. Understand, no one else had a guided hunt on private property like our team. This is part of the special treatment we’ve received from the Odermann’s for the past three years and is greatly appreciated.
When lunch time rolled around, Charlie took us out to the edge of the Badlands and we set up in a great old shack. We were on a spot across from some larger buttes and had an elk watch us set up our kitchen. Great company, good scenery with wildlife to boot.
While the birds weren’t cooperating and the wind didn’t help, we had a great outing. Plus, we did get to flush 3 flocks of partridge and a couple of big jack rabbits. The dogs got a good workout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Erin jumped right in with one of the Trestle Pine Buddy’s and took care of the birds. She did most of the field testing and was happy with both the White River Backpacker Pro and the Buddy.
Saturday afternoon the hunt wound down with a final get together. A great lunch was served and more gun drawings were held. For a third year I was lucky enough to go home with one more gun then I came with. There was a subtle threat made we may be banned from future gun raffles due to our past good luck. I think this is a total of 6 guns our team has won in the last 3 years.
And getting to see the antelope, elk, mule deer, pheasants, gray partridge, turkeys and jack rabbits…. I saw more wild life (and that’s not counting going out for appetizers Thursday and Saturday nites!) in two days than a lot of folks see all year.
One of my hopes is that all of you at some point have the opportunity to meet a family or group like the Odermann family. This is a family that’s taken an incredibly tragic accident and turned it into something positive. It’s a privilege and one of the most enjoyable events I get to participate in each year. And the team is already looking forward to the next get together!!