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A father-daughter pheasant hunt

Last week I was able to bond with my daughter Elizabeth as we both hunted South Dakota pheasants for the first time.

I grew up hunting pheasants in Comfrey, Minn., and those memories are some of my fondest childhood moments. This was a work trip (as we were filming for the new show), but a fun one. Our destination was Akaska, S.D., where we were to hook up with Chad Schilling, his wife Shonda and their children Samantha and Beau. Oahe Wings and Walleyes is the name of their business and that’s exactly what we targeted. Walleye’s on Friday and ring necks on Saturday and Sunday.

I know Elizabeth had fun catching walleyes on Lake Oahe and she also had fun hunting but it was all of the extras that made this a special trip for both of us. There’s always that interesting camera crew from Lindner Media that will get you laughing a fair amount but I would like to say the Beau stole the show a little bit with his classic personality! This kid was something else (in a good way). Ryan, producer of the show and one of the film crew, said, “I would buy a kid like that.” Most people actually would (especially if you are the outdoorsy type), he was just a stud and he is only 6 years old.

The rest of their family ranks right up there, too. Elizabeth hung out with Samantha, got to play with the cats, dogs and hung out at one of the two establishments in town, the bar/bait shop/restaurant (yes, all in one!). She learned how to shoot darts and hung out with the “boys” for a couple of days in our humble abode. Oh, and she even got to clean a pheasant. Shonda brought our lunches to us in the field and at night she cooked for our whole crew plus about eight guys from another group that were in town from all over the country.

Our goal was for Elizabeth to shoot her first rooster and, of course, capture that on film. She and I doubled on one and as the weekend went on she learned a lot about the sport, her weapon and life in general outside of the Brainerd area. I was impressed with my girl and I am hoping that we can get back out in the field before the pheasant season comes to a close so she can bag her first bird — solo.

I’m sure Elizabeth will not forget this trip and it’s probably a good sign in the fact that she didn’t want to come home on Sunday (maybe she wanted to miss school on Monday). They have school buses out there too but these are the cool kind, with dogs, dead pheasants and uncased guns allowed on board!

Yes we did get a good show and you will be able to see the whole thing in 2013. Enjoy this awesome week to come, Walleyedan.

WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, or