By Clare Newman

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the Grinnell College administration has been attempting to mitigate student stress. Along with Working Differently Days, various offices of the college have been sponsoring events aimed at student wellness. The Cashier’s office hosted a treasure hunt last week and in early March Admissions is planning on hosting an event where current students have the opportunity to admit or deny real prospies. This upcoming weekend, as part of the College’s new wellness programming, the DAR office will be hosting a pheasant hunt. Birds will be bussed in from Belle Plaine and released on the football field the evening before the hunt. This idea came from 1889 graduate F. Bradford Moore who enthusiastically related his relaxing experiences hunting fowl while he was a student. “The chaps and I would head over to Baker farm and shoot pheasant a few times a year. Mrs. Baker was a right church-bell but she taught us how to prepare a bird bang up to the elephant!”

The school will be providing the guns through use of the J.D. Rockefeller Recreation Grant funding. This grant is limited to use in funding hunting and horse related activities, so these funds will not be taken out of SGA’s student activity fund. Guns are funded, but unfortunately any student participants who wish to have a hunting dog must bring their own. Moore — who will be leading the hunt and following instruction on pheasant preparation — advises that in regards to dogs “Pointing breeds only, no retrievers will be permitted, as we are gentlemen who retrieve their own kills. And do not be tempted to bring a spaniel, for they will tire too quickly and the game will not be roused by them.” As for what to wear, standard sporting attire will suffice. Participants should not plan to wear riding attire for there will not be riding and one’s jodhpurs will become soiled. Moore suggests at the very least, “Please wear a hunting jacket and a proper hat. If this causes financial burden please email me [moorefre2] and I shall toss you a ha’penny.” The CLS Career closet will also be available to students who do not have proper sporting attire.  

Tara Gelster ‘22.5, who plans to participate in the event, says “I’m really excited! I haven’t been [pheasant hunting] since I was like twelve or something and it’ll be a really great way to destress and unwind.” Paul Skin ‘24 has been driving 2 hours every Sunday to hunt pheasant outside Des Moines. “I’m definitely thrilled about having a hunt here, I hope this will be a recurring event… I’ve been telling all my friends to sign up.” F. Bradford Moore says he’d be chuffed to do another hunt. Jen Reef from the office of alumni affairs reported that sign ups have been very successful and there are already arrangements being made for a fox hunt on the baseball field later in the season. Jane Flats-Burgher ‘25 will not be participating in the event, but sees its merits. “I think it’s great that the school is sponsoring these kinds of events. They’re really important for self-care and student mental health. I did hoop rolling on Mac Field a couple times during fall semester, it was truly a smashing time.”