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By Caroline Downs
“It was weird, shooting a white pheasant,” Steve Simoneau said about his first successful pheasant hunt of the year. “Somebody else said it looks like a chicken.”
Simoneau’s bird wasn’t any kind of domesticated poultry; he shot an albino rooster pheasant, its white wing, tail, breast and leg feathers mottled with a few brown spots.
Simoneau was hunting north of Grenora on the opening day of the season when his party divided into two groups. “My brother and his crew kicked [the rooster] up,” Simoneau said, but the men never got a shot at the white bird. However, the hunters noted where the pheasant landed and called Simoneau and his friends Steve Ritter and Tyler Kolden to come and help them find the bird.
“Four of us went to this one spot and started walking,” Simoneau said, “and we flushed him.”
He grinned as he talked about taking his shot. “My brother actually missed,” he said, “but he wasn’t going to get a second shot.”
Simoneau dropped the rooster with his 12-gauge. “I’m assuming it’s part of this year’s hatch,” he said. “He’s not very big.”
He intends to have a full taxidermy mount done with the bird, which is the first albino pheasant he has shot in his years of hunting. “I don’t know where yet or how,” he said. “It’s still in the freezer at home.”
Simoneau has endured a fair amount of teasing over shooting something that looks like a barnyard pet, but he just smiled. “That’s a once in a lifetime thing,” he said.