Hunting Heritage Success in the Mount Rushmore State

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EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Twenty-one hunters and over 30 volunteers recently gathered at Sioux River Wildlife near Flandreau, South Dakota for the 19th Annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Rooster Round Up pheasant hunting event.

This year’s event was made possible by the South Dakota NWTF State Chapter and South Dakota Game Fish and Parks.

Sioux River Wildlife is a family-run hunting preserve, with hundreds of acres of hunting land on the bluffs of the Big Sioux River. The preserve’s native prairie grasses, food plots, shelterbelts and ponds provide the perfect assemblage of habitat for native wildlife and upland game. In support of the NWTF’s Wheelin’ Sportsmen program, Sioux River Wildlife owners Tad and Kathy Jabobs hosted the Wheelin’ event at the preserve for the 10th year this year.

Hunters and volunteers watch for pheasants as walkers push through a field during the 2023 SD NWTF Wheelin Hunt near Flandreau, SD on September 30, 2023

The event brought together participants from previous years as well as many new faces. NWTF volunteers and dog owners helped work the fields, moving the birds towards the hunters.

A volunteer takes a break after walking a field along with his dog during the 2023 South Dakota NWTF Wheelin Hunt near Flandreau, SD on September 30, 2023

Despite the unseasonable temperatures (reaching into the 90s), everyone had fun enjoying the beginning of hunting seasons and the foreseeable temperature drops. Altogether, hunters harvested 94 birds.

The hunt was followed by a lunch, banquet dinner, raffles and silent auction to raise funds for the NWTF mission.

In addition to the partners mentioned, the 19th Annual Rooster Roundup was made possible thanks to County Fair Food Store, Rysavy Excavating, Central Valley Struttin’ Gobblers, Morning Optimist Club, Pendar Properties, Dell Rapids Ace Hardware, Tom Kromminga, Mike McKernan and Holly Hilbrands.

The Wheelin’ Sportsmen program began in October 2000 as the NWTF recognized the need to help people with mobility impairments enjoy the outdoors by participating in hunting and shooting sports.

Wheelin’ Sportsmen events provide participants an opportunity they may not be able to have on their own due to the lack of hunting land access, lack of knowledge of how to return to the field after an injury or lack of necessary assistance.

Often, the knowledge and experience gained at an NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen event allows the participants to continue hunting on their own throughout the year.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.

2023 is the NWTF’s 50th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF’s people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.

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