Habitat & Conservation  |  01/14/2021

Pheasants, Turtles, and Friendships


Get Trampled by Thursdays this February

By Bob St.Pierre

When was the last time you added a new friend to your life?  

It seems to me that most folks create the bulk of their friendships during their school years.  As we start our careers and begin our families it becomes challenging to maintain our best friendships, let alone add new pals to the roster. 

One anomaly to that scenario, for me at least, has been bird hunting.  It seems each year I am blessed with at least one new friendship with a bird hunt serving as the responsible catalyst for the connection.  One perfect example occurred three years ago.  

It began initially through Twitter as unlikely as that may seem.  Dave Simonett, lead vocalist for the band Trampled by Turtles, and I started to tweet each other on Saturday mornings.  You see, for the last 13 years I’ve been blessed to serve as the co-host to my good friend “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand on KFAN’s FAN Outdoors radio show every Saturday morning from 6am to 8am.  To my great amazement, Dave had become a loyal listener to the show and would often tweet me during broadcasts.   As an unapologetic Trampled by Turtles fanboy, I was pretty flattered to be interacting with a guy who I’d admired for years.  

Fast forward a few months and I entered a public Waterfowl Production Area with Billy and his two terrific sons to mentor Dave on his first pheasant hunt in 2018.  You can read about the impression that hunt left on Dave through his “Trampled by Pheasants” blog.  

That day left an equally strong impact on me as I continued to invite Dave on hunts.  I was honored and humbled to be mentoring someone I admired into hunting and conservation, but I was also developing a new friend.  It may sound cheesy but think about the last time you truly became friends with someone new as an adult.  

From that point forward, I invited Dave on all sorts of hunts.  He bagged his first ruffed grouse over my shorthair, Esky, later that autumn.  The Hildebrand pheasant hunt has become a cherished tradition.  Dave has even taken his mixed-breed pup, Hrbek, to Tom Dokken for training and the photo pictured above is Hrbek’s first pheasant retrieve from last season.  Dave also joined my annual Wisconsin ruffed grouse camp and developed friendships with some of my other buddies in Matt Kucharski, Julia Schrenkler, and John Zeman.  

A Commitment to Conservation 

Dave has also developed a deep connection to Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and our habitat mission as well.  He’s become a dues paying Magnum PF member, contributed stories to our website and Journal, talked about becoming a new hunter on our podcast, helped us generate more than 300 new members through the limited-edition Trampled by Pheasants promotion, joined this year’s Rooster Road Trip to help promote our organization to fans of his music, and donated concert tickets to our online auctions and fundraisers.  He’s also been devouring Aldo Leopold’s writings and has become of voice for habitat and public lands on his social media platforms.  He’s truly become a conservationist who talks the talk and walks the walk.  

Trampled by Thursdays: Live at First Avenue Series

Today, I’m excited to announce a new collaboration with Dave and Trampled by Turtles.  In an effort to help generate funding for the #SaveOurStages initiative to assist independent music venues hit hard during the pandemic, Trampled by Turtles will be live streaming a concert each Thursday evening in February.  But helping out one cause was not enough for Dave and the fellas at Trampled by Turtles.  They also approached Pheasants Forever with a desire to donate $3 from each ticket sold toward Pheasants Forever’s conservation mission as well. Pretty. Damn. Cool!  

So, here’s how you can enjoy some great tunes and help create quality habitat this February.  Each Thursday night show will feature music from one of Trampled by Turtle’s specific albums or eras of music.  Check out this video trailer for a sample of what’s in store! 

Each live stream show starts at 8pm (central) and includes behind the scenes footage with each member of the band sharing stories and memories from the album’s time period.
  • February 4      Palomino album
  • February 11    Stars and Satellites album
  • February 18    The Pachyderm Sessions (recording studio in Cannon Falls, MN)
  • February 25    Old School (early Trampled by Turtles albums)
As you’ve likely seen on the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever websites, we have a MAJOR announcement for our upland habitat mission slated for 6pm (central) on February 25th.  Please consider this your invitation to the “After Party!” with Trampled by Turtles.

Purchase tickets to one show, multiple shows, or the 4-pack of Thursday night shows

By purchasing your tickets through this specific link, you’ll be generating a $3 donation to Pheasants Forever.  

We talk a lot about partnerships and collaborations at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.  Those relationships are simply critical to getting habitat on the ground and new hunters in the field.  Every PF & QF member should be excited about our collaborative partnership with Trampled by Turtles to reach a new audience of hunters and conservationists.  Personally, I’m stoked to call Dave a new hunting partner and an even better friend thanks to Pheasants Forever.    

Become a hunter mentor with our partners at ALPS OutdoorZ and you might end up with a new friend in the process. You never know what kind of impact introducing a new hunter to the outdoors might have on your hunting party or the conservation landscape.