|Casey Weismantel, with the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau, releases a pheasant that he banded for the Million Dollar Pheasant Contest on Tuesday. (American News Photo by John Davis / October 16, 2013)|
Casey Weismantel reaches into a crate, pulls out a flapping pheasant and cradles it tightly like a football. With one hand, he holds the bird and, with the other hand, attached a metal band on the pheasant’s leg. He then throws it into the air, watching it spread its wings to catch the wind. The bird flies 50 yards landing next to a partially harvested corn field.
This pheasant is no ordinary bird. It could be worth $100, $250, $500 or, in a rare case, $1 million. The bird is of one of 100 pheasants being released in Brown County as part of the Million Dollar Pheasant Contest.
Weismantel, who works for the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau, released about 50 roosters today and will release another 50 sometime before the pheasant opener on Saturday.
The locations of the released birds are a secret. Weismantel will only say they are released on public and private land in random parts of the county.