March 26, 2009

Hunter feeds his quarry during rough winter

By ALLAN TINKER

Mike Bowers knew the birds were in trouble when he saw the November early blizzard arrive. The freezing rain followed by deep snow covered most of the crop residue that provides much of the winter feed for pheasants in North Dakota. "I couldn’t afford to buy the feed so I talked to Brian Larson (Co-op Elevator manager). He told me they had a big pile of bad wheat in the back and to go ahead and dig. Most of it was bad but I found packets of good wheat," said Bowers. From this source, Bowers took 15 to 25 five-gallon buckets a day to the ten feeding sites he located and got permission for. One was the long farm driveway of Mark and Cynthia Gahner, just a couple miles north of McClusky, another was by the cemetery and another by the McClusky canal. He guesses that he fed about 400 birds all winter. Those who would see him driving would note that his winter cap and parka and heavy winter clothes were standard gear for him this winter. "I have a tunnel vision for hunting," he smiled. "My wife tolerates my hunting." Occasionally other residents would accompany him, including Melvin (Doc) Schindler, a former hunting enthusiast.


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