Where to Eat in the Heart of Pheasant Country

By Nick Simonson, LCPF President

It’s easy for me to remember when I moved to Marshall – pheasant opener weekend, 2009. In my five years here, I’ve made a good number of friends through my involvement in Lyon County Pheasants Forever (LCPF) both from the immediate area and those that look the chapter up on the web and contact me or other members with questions. Most of them generally run along the usual lines pertaining to hunting in Lyon County such as: “how do bird numbers look this year,” “what are the best WMAs to hunt,” or “are the hotels dog-friendly?” (Answers for this year: “better” “the bigger ones” and “absolutely, every one of them”). But there’s one interrogatory that leaves me with so many answers, I have to pause and think about it. That question is: “Where should we eat?”

Hunting hungry is no way to hunt at all, especially when the city of Marshall offers flavors and foods you won’t find anywhere else, from one-of-a-kind craft brews to the now legendary Panino sandwich, visiting hunters come away from this buzzing autumn community with memories from the field and their time at the table after the hunt. If you can fit them all in, these restaurants are the top spots for sportsmen hunting Lyon County and calling Marshall their home base during pheasant season.

5. Shay’s Restaurant & Lounge. Conveniently located in the Ramada on Marshall’s east end, Shay’s has arguably the best hot wings in town. Big meaty portions justify the price, and their spicy buffalo sauce will stick to your fingers and the corners of your mouth leaving you wanting more. The variety and size of burgers are good as well and the staff very friendly; a full-service bar helps you quench your thirst at the end of the day (1500 E. College Drive – 507-532-3224).

4. Mariachi Fiesta. Warning, this is authentic Mexican food, if you’re like my grandpa who thought ketchup was “too spicy,” you may want to move on down the list. But if you’re a veteran of Mexican cuisine and enjoy a little spice, Rosa and her staff have you covered with fajitas, tacos and enchiladas along with other less-mainstream Mexican dishes packed with so much flavor that you’ll feel like you’re dining at that incredible hole-in-the-wall joint that most of the tourists miss in Cancun. I highly recommend the mixed fajitas and a big blue tarantula margarita to wash it all down. Free chips and their homemade salsa hit the table as soon as you do, making for warm south-of-the-border hospitality right in the middle of pheasant country. (www.mariachifiesta.net – 329 W. Main Street – 507-532-2122)

3. The Wooden Nickel Burgers & Brew. Recently under new ownership, the bar food menu was gutted and replaced by an assortment of craft hamburgers so amazing, you’ll say you’re coming back to hunt, but it’s really just to try them all! Plus, with your choice of beef, chicken, bison or portabello mushroom (for you vegetarians out there) as your base, the options are limitless. Where to start? Order up the “Big Q;” it’s a quarter-pound burger topped with another quarter-pound of barbecued pulled pork (the best smell in Marshall when this is cooking in their backyard smoker), a massive onion ring and the Nickel’s secret barbecue sauce. Feeling a little sluggish from last night’s in-town adventures? Give the “Hangover” a try; it’s the staple quarter-pound burger adorned with bacon, a triangle hashbrown, a fried egg and a dollop of hollandaise mayo. Kiss your headache goodbye! (http://marshallmenus.com/woodennickel.html – 448 W. Main Street – 507-532-3875).

2. Brau Bros. Taproom. A new addition to Marshall in 2013, the Brau Bros. Taproom is an ideal post-hunt destination. Their unique sandwiches and burgers incorporate the flavors of their craft brews into each recipe. I highly recommend “The Classic,” a smoked pastrami sandwich that will fill you up, but leave you with a mouthful of rich flavor which  will make you think you could easily take down another one (hey, just get it to go: win-win). The best feature of the Taproom is the microbrewery and all the fun brew-ha-ha going on just behind the glass separating those big brewing tanks from your seat – a great deal of that locally-brewed goodness ends up flowing freely from the taps in the signature big red fire engine, brought over from the Brau Bros. home in nearby Lucan. Pick from over 10 staple, seasonal and one-off beers one at a time or in a sampler flight and grab a growler to go filled with your favorite. Bring it back for a refill the next time you visit. (http://braubeer.com/tap-room/ – 910 E. Main Street – 507-929-BEER).

1. Varsity Pub & Extra Innings. Besides being a perennial fundraising partner and sponsor of LCPF, Varsity Pub and Extra Innings help you unwind (or get excited) after a day in the field with their full-service bar and over 17 varieties of beer on tap in a college crowd-meets-sports bar-meets-best damn sandwich no one’s ever heard of restaurant. While visitors might not be familiar with the locally legendary Panino, they’ll leave thinking they’d come back just for another one. These grilled wrap sandwiches stuffed with meats, cheeses, veggies and secret sauces in so many varieties your head will spin are what have made “The Pub” a favorite among SMSU college students, corporate execs, visiting sportsmen, and the rest of the Marshall crowd. Their wings are great too! Combine both and order my favorite Panino – the Buffalo Chicken – a side of their tater tots along with a cold Leinie’s Oktoberfest and a college football game on one of their many screens for a perfect after-hunt dinner. (www.extrainningsmarshall.com – 507-532-4714 – Corner of Main & College).

There you have it; you may want to start your hunting trip on Wednesday night just to get in on all the good eats that Marshall has to offer. For more great tips on where to hunt and where to go when you’re not in the field, bookmark the chapter website, like LCPF on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!


Incredible Success at 2014 Mentor Hunt

Jamie DeBruyckere is all smiles after taking her second rooster at the LCPF Mentor HuntLCPF Press Release

Twenty-two participants joined mentors and volunteers from Lyon County Pheasants Forever (LCPF) and Redwood River Sportsman’s Club (RRSC) on Sat. Oct. 18 in what was for many their first trip into the field for pheasants on lands located just southeast of Marshall, Minn.  Cool conditions with light breezes, access to both public and private lands which were full of birds and hard-working dogs and mentors combined to create the ideal learning situation for the participants and help many find success, in what has been the chapter's best Mentor Hunt in recent years.

The annual LCPF Mentor Hunt event was once again held at the RRSC clubhouse and shooting range, and was open to hunters age 17 and under, inexperienced female hunters and inexperienced families looking to get into hunting. The event kicked off at sunrise with patterning of shotguns on the RRSC range, where new hunters got a chance to see what sort of impact their guns were making, and could tell where the pellets from their shells were hitting on life-size flushing pheasant targets, donated to the event by Henle Printing of Marshall. 

“By shooting at 20 yards, and then 30 yards, you can see how the pattern widens and how fewer pellets hit the birds,” explained LCPF Treasurer and certified Firearms Safety Instructor, Ron Prorok as he walked participants up to the targets. 

At opening hour, the participants broke into four groups with three mentors and their dogs in each group and departed for a number of hunting areas around the RRSC clubhouse which consisted of over 2,000 acres of private land and more than 2,500 acres of public land.  Immediately, participants were seeing birds as they set off into the fields.

“In just a quick initial walk along a grassy WMA hillside, our group flushed five roosters, providing a chance for them to shoot right off the Luke (L) and his dad Kevin Setterholm pause for a photo with their birds taken as part of the inexperienced family portion of the LCPF Mentor Huntbat,” said Nick Simonson, LCPF President.

Good reports came in from most of the groups, which were aided by light northwest breezes and cool temperatures, making conditions ideal for the mentors’ hard-working dogs.  In total, over 75 birds were flushed before noon, including nearly 20 on a walk through the lands immediately adjacent to the clubhouse as part of the popular “noon walk” the groups go on together before lunch when they return after their morning outings.

“Last year, I had to do a little arm twisting to get some tired participants out there,” said Simonson, “but that was not the case this year as 15 of the 17 youth participants joined in on the walk,” he concluded. 

Through beautiful waist-high CRP and clumps of sweet clover planted six years ago by RRSC which connect the habitat of Rooster Flats WMA with Amiret WMA on either side of the property, members of the reunited groups and a number of mentors and their dogs flushed 12 roosters, and participants bagged seven in addition to the five they had picked up in their separate walks in the morning.  On top of the great shooting, participants were very safety conscious and respectful of each other’s firing zones.

A participant holds off on a startling hen which flushed just yards in front of him.Kudos to them and their safety instructors, as many of them were first-time hunters in a very exciting situation filled with birds, a number of dogs and people,” said Simonson, “they had great awareness of their surroundings and practiced very safe hunting procedures.”

Following the walk, area Minn. DNR Conservation Officer Matt Loftness took time to talk safety and regulations with the participants and answer their questions on topics ranging from what one should do if a hen is accidentally shot to being able to tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf.

With a number of birds on the table after the lunchtime presentation, Prorok set to work showing participants and their parents how to properly clean birds for transport in Minnesota and helping a few who bagged birds get “hands-on” with their quarry.  He reminded those watching that each bird must have a leg with a spur, the feathered head or a whole wing still attached so it can be properly identified if a Conservation Officer requests.

Following the cleaning presentation, the participants had the chance to shoot trap on the RRSC ranges and talk to mentors and volunteers on how to improve their aim.

Pete Braun takes aim on the RRSC trap range.“The Mentor Hunt is a great opportunity to introduce young people to the shooting sports as well,” said Kevin Kayser, RRSC President, who helped the new hunters take better aim on the trap stations.

After time on the range, the hunters went out for an afternoon hunt to destinations on private lands around the Lyon County area.  While hunting was a little bit slower, it was expected, as there was still a great deal of standing corn around the various lands the groups were assigned to. A few birds were seen, and the groups bagged two in the afternoon to bring the event total to 14, a high for the most recent five years of the event. 

Thanks to the generous offering of access from area landowners, hunters were able to pursue less-pressured birds and have a great experience. Those allowing participants on their land for this year’s Mentor Hunt were: RRSC, Louise Van Moer, Tom Hahn, Ted & Janet Schotzko, Donata DeBruyckere, Ken Noyes, Loren & Marci Peterson, Gerald Bue, Brian Rogge, Lowell Mathys, Cecil Knieff and Kenneth Schultz.

“We can’t thank these landowners enough,” said Simonson, “by allowing access to their acres; they made it possible for five brand new hunters to bag their first birds; helping cement them as sportsmen for the rest of their lives,” he concluded.

Jared Antony smiles with his first rooster taken on the afternoon destination portion of LCPF's Mentor Hunt
Volunteers for the event included Bill Reilly, Mark Radke, Kevin Kayser, Deb Gau, Tanner Bruse, Dave Simonson, Gary Hurd, Matt Loftness, Deb Gau and Corry Condon who kept the food coming for lunch and the trap stations firing out orange targets all afternoon for the participants.
“The event is a great time, not only for the hunters but for us as mentors,” said John “Johnny B” Blowers, LCPF Vice President, “getting new hunters out into the field is a big part of our chapter’s mission, and the mentors really stepped it up this year to make it a great hunt, so we owe them a lot of thanks for their efforts.”

Mentors for the 2014 hunt included Simonson, Blowers, Prorok, Arlyn DeBruyckere, Troy Dale, Loren Peterson, Stretch Lanoue, Ray Sweetman, Kelly Novotny, Pete Wyffels, Jim Breczinski and Stan Holmberg

All participants had a chance to take a shot at flushing birds, and many got multiple shots off during their hunts.  Mentors reported that the hunters were safe, conscientious and high-spirited throughout the event. Participants this year included: Kevin and Luke Setterholm of Blaine, Peter Braun of Savage, Jamie DeBruyckere of Lester Prairie, Mike, Glynnis, Gunnar and Mackenzie Make of Richfield, Alex Blowers of Nicollet, Wyatt Martin of Wood La, Bret Wartner of Milroy, Zach Seager of Tracy, Jon Sweetman of Echo; Glenn, Calvin and Lydia Bader, Isaac Timmerman, Derrick VanOverbeke, Bryson Whyte, Nick Atcher, Jared Antony and Ryley Serreyn, all of Marshall.

Next year’s Mentor Hunt is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 and registration for the event will open in late August, 2015.  For updates on youth events and other activities through LCPF people are encouraged to like LCPF on Facebook, follow the chapter on Twitter (@lyoncountypf) and bookmark the chapter’s website.

(A full photo album can be found HERE on the LCPF Facebook Page)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 October 2014 13:26 )


2015 LCPF Guns & Cash Raffle Underway

LCPF Press Release

The lineup is set for the 2015 Lyon County Pheasants Forever (LCPF) 20-Prize Guns & Cash Raffle, and this year's ticket will feature an updated line-up of top-end firearms, sure to draw the interest of many entrants

“I’m proud of this year's ticket” said Dane Tammeus, the chapter’s firearms coordinator, “we've switched things up some, bringing in some new guns like the Benelli Montefeltro and Browning's re-crafted A-5," he continued.

Additionally, the new Franchi Affinity semi-auto shotgun is a highlight, along with some other new brands cycled in, such as the Ithaca Model 37 and the ultra-customizable ATI Ar-15 .223.  Fans of Henry Arms will be happy to know that both the Big Boy .44 magnum rifle, and the Golden Boy .22 lever action are still up for grabs as well. One thing that hasn't change is the five cash prizes in the amounts of $200, $300, $400, $500 AND $1,000.

All proceeds raised from the Guns & Cash Raffle are used locally in the Lyon County Area for the chapter's habitat and youth programs which preserve natural grasslands, create public hunting access, and get more kids involved in the outdoors and shooting sports. 

Tickets are still just $20 each, and only 1,000 will be sold. You can secure your entry by ordering a ticket via mail, by sending $20 for each ticket (checks payable to "LCPF") to LCPF, Box 217, Marshall, MN 56258.  They can also be purchased from any LCPF executive member and will be available at the gun counter in Borch’s, and the checkouts at Running's in Marshall through February 27, 2015. Entrants need not be present to win at the drawing, which will take place at the Chapter's banquet on Feb. 28, 2015 at the Caboose in Tracy, Minn.

(CLICK HERE for a Full Sized Version of the Prize Listing Below)





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