On Outdoors: Man foils whitetail, Pheasants Forever banquet set

By Jim Hagerty

Staff Writer

Among the most frightening things to discover after being startled in the middle of the night, there is not a more horrific encounter than one with a burglar. Only a few violations exist as personal as a residential robbery, especially when a homeowner is met with a perpetrator capable of making rash and violent decisions.

A Belleville, Ill., man found himself with a similar situation late last month when quick-thinking and wit became graces he’ll likely cherish for years.

Mark Page and his wife were jolted awake by the sound of breaking glass in the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 23. When Page went downstairs, his suspicions were correct. His home had been broken into, and the raider was still inside. While the guest was uninvited, cash, jewelry, collectibles and electronic equipment were not objects of his score. In fact, he didn’t appear to be there to steal any of the Pages’ things, just a drink of water.

As Page entered the kitchen, he came almost face-to-face with the party responsible for crashing through a closed window and into his home and was cautiously prepared to protect his family—hand-to-hand if necessary.

Page decided to reserve heroics for another day, realizing a battle would not have been with a prowler, but a large whitetail deer with a rack of about 10 or 12 points. The deer, with its head in the kitchen sink, apparently was in no mood either, as he bolted through a second window to escape.

Page said the deer seemed injured, but he only looked briefly at it before heading back upstairs. Page wasn’t injured, and no reports of a wounded buck around Belleville have been made.

Pheasants Forever banquet Feb. 18

Winnebago County Pheasants Forever (WCPF) will host its annual fund-raising banquet Thursday, Feb. 18, at Giovanni’s. The club expects more than 500 to attend. The evening will include a social hour, live auction, all-you-can-eat dinner, prizes and more than 50 guns on display.

One of the club’s biggest fund-raisers of the year, the banquet helps promote and provide outdoor education to area youth, cost-share habitat implementation programs with local landowners, purchase equipment for habitat restoration, and assist with conservation lobbying efforts at the state level.

Pheasants Forever hosts an array of hunting and outdoors-related programs such as its No Child Left Indoors Initiative. According to President Dave Grass, every dollar raised at the banquet will stay in Winnebago County.

“We have a lot of fun, and almost no one goes home empty-handed,” Grass said.

Tickets are $70 for Pheasants Forever members. Cost includes dinner, a renewed club membership, Pheasants Forever magazine, and window decal. Tickets for spouses are $35 (dinner only), and children 17 and younger will receive dinner and a membership in the Ringnecks Club for $30. Corporate and cash sponsorships are also welcome.

To purchase banquet tickets or to join Pheasants Forever, call Dave Grass at (815) 289-3219. More information about Pheasants Forever can be found at http:// wcil.pheasantsforever.org.

Outdoors news and photos can be sent directly to Jim Hagerty at jim.hagerty@rockrivertimes.com. Glossies and hard-copy press kits can be mailed or delivered to The Rock River Times’ office at 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101. Jim can be reached at (815) 964-9767.

From the Feb. 3-9, 2010 issue.

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