A brightly-coloured pheasant rooster is in no hurry to fly away and hide after being released from its cage during a past Pheasant Festival near Stettler. file photo

Stettler Pheasant Festival a ‘unique opportunity’

This year’s Festival is slated to run Oct. 18th, 19th and 20th

By Jessica Jones

For the Stettler Independent

The sixth annual Stettler Pheasant Festival on Oct. 18th, 19th and 20th is more than just a bird hunt.

The large, three-day celebration of pheasant conservation, hunting, and “field to fork” culinary education brings a unique opportunity to the local area, said Donna Morris of the Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development.

The Stettler Pheasant Festival began in 2013 with the partnership between the Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development, the Canadian Badlands Tourism and several dedicated volunteers.

Throughout the years it has grown to offer three days of privatized half or full day hunting on private lands inside Stettler County, with the opportunity to learn alongside educators from the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association, as well as chefs who teach registrants how to prepare and cook pheasant.

Morris said there is even a beginner hunt on Friday, Oct. 18th, free of charge, with the help of Harold Fakuda of Coulee Game Birds. She added that Fakuda will help interested registrants get started, showing them how to shoot, what to look for in the bird, “the whole basics.”

People interested in this opportunity should reserve their spot by calling 403-742-3181 or emailing info@stettlerboardoftrade.com.

Following the Festival, a release of 300 Chinese Ringneck pheasants, the most popular breed, will be performed to help improve conservation within the County of Stettler, as well as to increase the pheasant population, said Morris.

“Southern Alberta was one of the largest areas for pheasants and so we are also trying to bring the birds back,” she said.

“We track where they are and how many roosters are harvested and how many are still remaining so there are further improvements for conservation,” Morris said, adding that they’ve noted baby chicks being born in the areas that the hens were released.

To date the Festival is responsible for releasing 1,500 of the strikingly colourful birds, which are trucked in from MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. located in Wisconsin, U.S. The idea is to try and get them, “Around the entire county,” Morris explained.

People also have the opportunity to aid in the conservation of pheasants by donating $25 to the adopt a pheasant program.

Morris said that there are a couple other pheasant festivals around the province but the Stettler Pheasant Festival is getting to be one of the larger ones.

She recalls a family coming every year, making the Stettler Pheasant Festival a part of their family reunion and tradition.

“It’s more than just a hunt, with a lot to do. Some people have come back since the beginning. It’s more relaxed because you have private land and so you can hunt, enjoy each other’s company, while also enjoying a favourite pastime,” Morris said. She also mentioned that they are very grateful to the landowners who have donated their land for the hunts.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Registration for the half-day sessions include privatized hunting grounds in pre-assigned areas for up to four hunters and their dogs.

Each half-day hunt will be $250, which pays for eight pheasants that are released prior to the hunt.

Registration for the Pheasant Festival go until it is sold out. Morris said they are starting to fill up and suggests registering sooner rather than later.

To register, and for more information as well as a list of activities, visit www.stettlerpheasantfestival.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summer Villages halt Stettler County’s Buffalo Lake amendment request

White Sands and Rochon Sands oppose density increase at Buffalo Lake RV Resort

Central Alberta’s Gord Bamford adds Bashaw and Hanna dates to the #REDNEK Music Fest

The tour features Jess Moskaluke and other special guests

The Stettler Board of Trade welcomes 2020 board of directors

The board is an organization comprised of business owners and municipal representation

On Feb. 26th, practice kindness and wear pink to symbolize that you do not tolerate bullying

Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online

Working Well Workshop coming to White Sands

Informative water well management workshop will help residents protect their drinking water

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Shooting incident in Poplar Grove

VW sedan may be linked to Wetaskiwin gun incident

Wetaskiwin RCMP seeking witnesses to car-jacking

Armed theft resulted in two subjects facing multiple charges

Most Read