Pheasants & Quail Forever Hires Hunting Heritage Program Manager

Cortney Schaefer

ST. PAUL, Minn. -( With generous support from the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever is pleased to announce the hiring of Cortney Schaefer as the organization’s Hunting Heritage Program Manager.

Schaefer will work to support and advance the national R3 movement – an initiative to recruit, retain and reactivate more outdoorsmen and women – by developing and implementing Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever programs with an emphasis on introducing men, women, and children to hunting traditions nationwide.

“Cortney brings the experience, innovation and analytical thought process needed to effectively evaluate and adapt our hunter R3 initiatives,” stated Rich Wissink, vice president of education & outreach for Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever. “Combining her knowledge with a passion for sharing upland hunting traditions and the ability to build partnerships with our dedicated volunteers, I’m confident we can continue the legacy of the North American hunter-conservationist. We’re excited to add Cortney to the education and outreach department.”

Schaefer will be responsible for advancing Pheasants Forever’s commitment to the national R3 movement in alignment with goals proposed for the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grant.


These responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Annually hosting 250 learn-to-hunt events throughout the country
  • Partnering with state agencies and conservation partners to launch R3 pilot programs targeting underserved audiences.
  • Developing and implementing evaluations and monitoring programs to capture the true effectiveness of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever R3 programs
  • Annually host training events to educate volunteers and instructors on R3 best management practices – helping to expand the impact of such programs in the United States

Earning a Master’s degree in Environmental Education & Interpretation from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point in 2003, Schaefer’s graduate thesis entitled “Development of a Community Education Program on Urban White-Tailed Deer Management” ultimately shaped her interest for working with hunters to solve conservation issues.

Shortly after completing her thesis work, Schaefer was hired as a biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources focusing on habitat improvement, urban wildlife issues, and hunter recruitment in her region.

Concentrating on her passion for hunter recruitment, Schaefer quickly became a leader in the state for R3 initiatives by creating/coordinating workshops focused on developing novice hunters, serving on statewide committees promoting hunter recruitment efforts, and developing curriculum for sustainable hunting practices for novice hunters.

No stranger to the mission of Pheasants Forever, Schaefer worked closely with Pheasants Forever chapters and other conservation groups during her previous employment experience creating habitat management plans and providing hunter education resources to Wisconsin residents.

A lifelong hunter who enjoys pursuing upland game and waterfowl, Schaefer is also a certified Verbandsrichter (German Hunting Dog Judge) who raises, trains, and judges hunting dogs throughout the country for the Deutsch Langhaar Gruppe Nordamerika. Rounding out her experience with R3 programs, Schaefer is a Certified Lifetime Hunter Safety Instructor, has earned her Lifetime Trapper Education Certificate, and was formerly an active member for the Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education.

Schaefer is a Nebraska native who currently resides in the city of Wood River, Nebraska, with her husband, Scott.

For more information about Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever’s R3 programs contributing to the nation’s hunting heritage, please contact Cortney Schaefer at (308) 385-8618 or [email protected]


About Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and Pheasants Forever’s No Child Left Indoors Initiative:

The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grant is made possible by customers voluntarily rounding up to the nearest whole dollar at Cabela’s retail stores, with the extra change given back to Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, to support conservation, youth education and advocacy causes. Cabela’s will also be supporting Pheasants Forever’s No Child Left Indoors® Initiative – a concerted effort to actively recruit conservation leaders for the future that has impacted more than 65,000 youth per year since 2007. As part of this effort, the organization is dedicated to working with members, chapters and conservation partners to recruit and retain outdoor enthusiasts for generations to come.


About Pheasants Forever:

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and over 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $708 million on 517,464 habitat projects benefiting 15.81 million acres nationwide.