Group works to maintain ecosystems
Pheasants Forever is a grass roots organization that promotes habitats for wildlife to grow a healthy ecosystem. With several levels within the non-profit group, there are many opportunities for people to support their missions which are beyond the care of pheasants.
One of the biggest projects is the distribution of food plot seed mixes in the spring. Pheasants Forever joins with Quail Forever to offer 10 different grain mixes and six “browse and brood” combinations. Most of the bags are sold in 25 pound bags with some weighing between five and eight pounds each.
The grain mixes make good use of sorghum with different varieties being appreciated. Many of the seeds grow and mature between 85 and 100 days and provide enough to plant 4 – 5 acres. These are especially good as cover crops, winter food sources, and windbreaks. A mix of sunflowers is available as well as a combination of four millets and provide diverse offerings.
For those in Michigan, there is an unusual mix made just for the chapters located in the Great Lakes State. It is called the ‘Michigan Mix’ and the 28 pound bag plants one acre. The blend of corn, sunflowers, buckwheat and jap millet provides for the state’s population of quails, pheasants and doves.
The ‘Bird and Buck Browse and Brood’ mixes are intended for deer and turkeys as well as the aforementioned birds. These seed combinations incorporate millet, grasses, legumes and root plants for the animals to forage as sources of protein. They also offer mixes for chicks to encourage the bug population, therefore an additional option of protein intake.
The organizations also use partnerships to accomplish their goals for the year. A regular on the list is the local Conservation Districts. In Coldwater, MI, the Pheasants Forever chapter has worked with the District on some projects. The groups will offer services to each other, providing support for one another. The District’s Spring Wildlife Habitat workshop had several Pheasants Forever members presenting, answering questions, and discussing future collaborative plans.
Educating the youth about the importance of conservation is a very important part of their work. The group has donated to the local shooting sports program within the 4-H. They have financially supported the timely training of those interested in the proper use of and care for guns. Another program they are involved in is “No Child Left Inside.”
Pheasants Forever is finding ways to also promote the growth of habitats for bugs, butterflies, and other pollinators along with community services. A fascinating practice done in Three Rivers, MI is the use of a 10 acre parcel of grassland that is burned annually. The group works with a local fire department to do the job of the burning and offer training for the personnel so they are prepared and ready to deal with an unexpected field fire.
While Pheasants Forever does a lot of good for communities and ecosystems, they could use support for what they do in the form of monetary donations and volunteers. For more information about this worthy organization, the website is www.pheasantsforever.org.