A Pheasant Hunting Fraternity
it, and the members wear the original design on blazers, hats and hunting gear.
The patch also features a star, a pheasant, a gun and a dog, and the words “The Ole Hunting Duds.” That, too, is a misprint.
“It was supposed to have been “Dudes,” says Mannery, who lives in the Kansas City area and is the club’s third president. “When I first came to the club, I said, ‘Mr. President, this is spelled wrong. Why don’t we fix it on the next one?’ He says, ‘No, leave it alone … you’re not even in the club yet.”
“Now it really fits us—Ole Duds,” Mannery joked.
Club members actually range from 16 years old to too old to count. Although most of the officers and members of the board of directors live in Missouri, club members come from many more than the original five states.
The club’s members include doctors, lawyers, judges, dentists and engineers, but what a member does for a living is not nearly as important as his character.
Mannery credits the long-term success of the club to a policy in which potential new members not only have to be invited to the annual hunt by a current member, but they also have to be asked back a second time.
“It’s always been a club of some real decent men,” Mannery says. “If you come in there with personal ambition for the glory of the hunt, then you probably need to hunt with someone else, but anybody who is secure in themselves and is hopeful for tomorrow won’t have any problems fitting in.”
Although some of the members fish or hunt together throughout the year, the annual hunt is the club’s big event, usually drawing around 40 of the nearly 60 registered members for three days of pheasant hunting.
The big hunt used to take place in Nebraska, but finding enough wild birds for that many hunters became more and more difficult. The club now meets just south of Des Moines, where it books a hunt that provides lodging, lots of land to hunt and enough pheasants to keep the members’ interest up.
“It’s really the best situation for us,” Mannery says. “We’d never be able to go to a wild area and get this much action. For our group, for this time in our life, it doesn’t get any better than this. We either do it this way, or we sit back and think about years