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The Southwest Chapter of Wings Over Wisconsin was formed in 1985. The chapter serves members in Grant County and parts of neighboring counties. Thanks to the members and supporters of the chapter, they have spent over $40,000 in recent years to support the following wildlife habitat and local projects.

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Steve Gehrke | 608.778.3878


October 2024

Carolyn Haupert | 563.542.4416


  • Habitat restoration is our biggest goal. One project is the coordination of an annual giveaway of seed corn, sunflower and sorghum seed to promote wildlife food plots. Each spring, over 500 acres were planted in food plots by more than 150 landowners. Seed corn was donated by area seed dealers.

  • In an additional habitat restoration project, 100 acres of native prairie grasses were planted in partnership with Grant County NRCS. We own a no-till drill which is rented to landowners who plant native seed.

  • * We have been working to increase the pheasant population in Grant County for many years. We have built and maintained pheasant pens to raise pheasants each summer for release to members' CRP or food plots. Most years, nearly 1,800 birds are released.

  • Thanks to a generous donation from John Stockel, Wings owns the Switchback property, a 90 acre parcel with prairie, wetland and woods near Lancaster. In our continuing effort to support wildlife habitat at Switchback, pheasants and bobwhite quail were released. Trees, shrubs and food plots were also planted.

  • In an effort to support the songbird population and increase the enjoyment of the elderly and ill in our communities, we donate birdseed and birdhouses to local hospitals and nursing homes.

  • Youth programs are important to the long-term life of our organization and wildlife habitat. Our sponsorship of youth programs includes support of hunter safety courses. We hold an annual youth hunt each fall. Fifteen youngsters received demonstrations on gun safety and dog etiquette, a clay pigeon shoot and a live hunt. We also participated in the Grant County 4H Project Day where members helped about 70 kids build birdhouses.

  • We also award one or more scholarships each year to students enrolled in a conservation related education program. Seventeen scholarships have been awarded in the last five years.


  • Each year the Southwest Chapter raises pheasants for release on member's CRP or other suitable habitat. We want to thank those volunteers who make this program possible. Pheasants are purchases as day-old chicks. They spend their first 3-4 weeks in a brooder house, with warming lights. Then they are gradually moved out into the open, first into a small catch pen, then into a larger pen where they can forage and learn to fly. The larger outdoor pens are planted each spring with cover crops. Pens are maintained annually by the organization to insure that no predators can reach the birds.

  • Our largest pen in Cassville can hold up to 1,500 birds. BARD Materials donates land in Fennimore adjacent to their plant for another pen. This pen is run by Darrell Jeidy, who handles about 1,000 birds each year.

  • All volunteers spend many hours daily to provide food and water, clean pens and equipment, and monitor the health of the birds. Only because of their dedicated time and effort are we able to stock our area with good quality pheasants.


  • If you want to enjoy nature, visit Switchback, 90 acres of wildlife preservation land on Five Points Rd, southwest of Lancaster. Switchback is owned by the Southwest Chapter and is open to the public for hiking, camping, bird-watching and picnics.

  • The property provides critical habitat for pheasants and a wide variety of wildlife. Each year pheasants and quail are released to increase population.

  • Land management practices are employed to prevent erosion and improve the property. Various improvements completed in the last three years include a new river crossing, an improved access road, new signage, flood repairs and an enlarged parking area.

  • The Southwest Chapter thanks John Stockel for his generous donation of this property in 2003. John had spent 10 years nurturing this land and wanted to insure that it would be maintained for wildlife forever. He chose Wings Over Wisconsin because of our dedication to land and wildlife preservation.

  • John continues to be the main caretaker for Switchback, providing countless hours working on the land.

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