By Esme Murphy

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (WCCO) — With this cold winter even wild birds are struggling for food.

Near Alexandria, the hunting group, Viking Sportsmen, is trying to help. But, feed prices are at record highs.

The pheasants being raised in pens on Roger Wittmer’s game farm in Osakis are nice and plump, he said.

“This year, the wild birds are wanting inside the pens because they have it pretty nice inside the pens. They got all the food they want to eat,” Wittmer said.

This year, Wittmer is also putting feed out for wild pheasants, even song birds, who are all struggling.

“I’ve talked to a few people who say they have fed twice as much this year as they did last year, when it comes to song birds. You can see that translates to game birds, too,” he said.

Every snowy winter throughout central Minnesota hunters put out feed for wild birds to help them get by, but this year the price of corn has gone up to $6.50 a bushel — nearly three times what it usually is.

The hunter’s group Viking Sportsmen has been asking for donations to help feed game birds. Pheasant hunting has become big business in the Alexandria area and hunters are determined not to let high prices and heavy snow change that.

If you’d like to help, head to the Viking Sporstmen’s website.

Comments (9)
  1. alan says:

    Feeding them so that “sportsmen” can blow them away for fun? Really?

    1. sportsman says:

      Get out and try it before you ridcule it…and see how much good these groups really do for wildlife.

      1. alan says:

        Been there, done that, decided it was barbaric

    2. Supportyourlocalwildlife says:


      So not feeding them, letting them starve to death, is a much better solution???

      Grew up in the Alex area, know a few people in the Viking group, great people. Been to the Alex gun club a few times for Youth State Shoots, always impressed with them and what they do yo help and make you feel welcome.

      “Sportmen” help regulate the population of Pheasants, Deer, etc. as most of the natural preditors are gone. We feed them when times get tough, and no, we don’t “blow them away for fun”, we hunt them with our kids to teach our kids responsability with guns and respecting nature (drive by any wildlife area and see if there is any garbage in the parking area, then drive by any local park or school).

      BTW, I pay over $300 a year in license fees, that money goes to purchasing and maintaining wildlife preserves, pays the saleries of your local DNR employees, etc.

      Next time you spot a rooster on the shoulder, you might want to think about that.

  2. Helen says:

    We’ve got deer coming into our barnyard paddock to eat our horses’ alfalfa/grass hay round bale. I don’t recall this ever happening before – at least not when we’ve been out doing chores. They’re even holding their ground when our dogs are out of their kennels. Last evening when I came home there was a deer eating on the opposite side of the bale from one of our horses. My daughter saw him chase them away one day. Usually he just watches or ignores them.

  3. Feed the hungry says:

    Maybe if more is spent on bird seed there will be less money available for bullets. Every bird benefits.

  4. Jim T says:

    I’m full – power lunch!

  5. craig says:

    This is a genuine nature story. I love this type of news. A huge thank you is in order for all sportsman who give back what has been given to them. Keep up the great work, and thank you. I believe this story will provide an ample amount of seed for our birds and any creature that needs a morsel. Peace. ©

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