Welcome to Challenge the Outdoors, Inc.




PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – Carl Gierke          Congratulations on making it through to spring when a person’s thoughts turn to fishing and enjoying our beautiful state and its outdoor opportunities. My sympathies to those who went south and weren’t around to enjoy the beautiful winter weather we experienced the past few months. Speaking of outdoor opportunities – CTO has a lot to offer in the upcoming months. One of the highlights is that we’ve purchased a newer (used) pontoon boat that is an upgrade from the old Challenger that served us faithfully for many years. The recently-purchased boat will again be kept on Shawano Lake at Cecil and is nicer, more comfortable and should be a little more user-friendly. As always, it’s available to our members, although we’ve implemented a few requirements to help ensure the safety of the boat and its users users (see Dave Paul’s article in this newsletter). Hopefully we’ll see you at the June 1st Shawano Lake event and you can check out the new boat.

As CTO and its membership grow, we just want to make people aware of some policies that hopefully promote fairness in allowing members to attend events which have limited space. Individuals should always contact the event coordinator to sign up for events and in cases where space is limited (turkey hunt, deer hunt, Lake Michigan fishing, for example) anyone that is not selected will be given preference for the following year or the next event of that kind. We always try to accommodate everyone we can and will try to expand events where demand exceeds space, but it’s not possible in all cases. Also, if you contact an event coordinator to attend an event and fail to inform them you cannot attend, or don’t show up and don’t have a reasonable excuse, your status or preference for attending this event in the future will be reduced. We understand there are times when emergencies, illnesses, and other things happen, but we need to be informed so people on the waiting list for an event can be contacted and take the place of someone that can’t attend.

There are a lot of CTO events and outdoor opportunities coming up in the next few months, so check the events calendar in this newsletter and contact the event coordinator to sign up if you think it’s something you’ll enjoy. You can also get information by going to our website (www.CTOforME.org) or share some news or fish stories on Facebook. Have a great summer - we hope to see you at an event soon!        

CTO SPORTING CLAYS SHOOT / FUNDRAISER – Carl Gierke          Our annual fundraiser was held April 6th at J&H Game Farm and we had a great turnout as well as a lot of fun again this year. The weather was fairly warm and there were a few scattered raindrops, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the shooters or the many CTO volunteers. We had 395 people shoot one round and 54 shot a second round and youth, disabled, and Lewis class prizes were awarded. This fundraiser helps fund our events throughout the year and is always a wonderful example of CTO teamwork. Planning meetings began back in December and then prizes and donations were collected, tickets and posters ordered, personnel scheduled, food ordered, transportation vehicles arranged, and so much more.

This year volunteers were again busy registering shooters, selling raffle tickets, organizing bucket raffles, shuttling participants from parking areas, preparing and serving food, and distributing raffle prizes, just to name a few of the many jobs that day. Everyone did a great job! There are so many people involved in making this event a success that it’s difficult to thank them all, but a big THANK YOU to everyone that pitched in. Special thanks go out to the fundraiser committee: Barb and Fred Kaun, Jim Adamovich, Chris Savka, Deb Pfeifer, Karen Baehr, Sharon LeFevre, and Steve Harvey. Considering it was their first time overseeing things, Barb and Fred did a wonderful job on paperwork, planning, prizes and so many other things and Chris Savka did a fantastic job handling the planning and preparation of the food. Darryell Figlinski, a devoted, long-time CTO member was again a big help and donated six fishing rods/reels to CTO in memory of his wife, Sue. We also had some great help from our friends at DaVita and Monroe BioTechnology and as always, a big thanks to everyone at J&H Game Farm for helping pull this off.

We had many wonderful prizes donated again this year, including guns, fishing trips and equipment, a gas grill, rustic furniture and dozens of other items. Thank you to everyone that purchased raffle tickets and to the many sponsors that donated prizes or made cash donations. The generosity of local businesses and individuals is so much appreciated and every year it’s amazing how many people not only graciously donate, but also thank us at CTO for what we do. That says a lot about the people in our state and the communities we live in. Next year’s fundraiser/sporting clays shoot is scheduled for Saturday, April 4th. Put it on your calendar, tell your friends and family and help spread the word!                            

LAKE MICHIGAN FISHING – Keith Hartjes          CTO’s Lake Michigan fishing event has been scheduled for the early morning of June 10th and we’ll be meeting at 60 Steele Street, Algoma, WI.  Check in is at 3:00 AM with departure scheduled for 3:30 AM. We have added June 20th and July 11th to our Lake Michigan calendar. Those times are from 4-8PM and we will meet at 23 North Main Street in Kewaunee. Dress appropriately as we fish rain or shine. In general, openings are available for disabled members only, as the charter captains and mates can provide any needed assistance. Each participant will need to purchase a fishing license and a Lake Michigan Trout Stamp before you arrive at the marina. You are also responsible for your own food and drink. You are welcome to bring your own life jacket if you choose, but the charter does provide life jackets as well. Fishing gear and bait are provided and all fish caught will be divided equally among participants. Pictures will also be taken once all members are back on shore. If you’re interested, please give Keith Hartjes a call at 920-540-3416.

SHAWANO LAKE FISHING – Pat Nieuwenhuis          Saturday, June 1st is CTO’s annual fishing outing on Shawano Lake. The event is held at the park in Cecil and no fishing license is needed as this is the DNR’s free fishing weekend. Boats and bait are provided, but you will need to bring your own fishing equipment (CTO does have some equipment available). You will need to reserve a spot by calling Pat Nieuwenhuis (920-687-8707) so we know how many people to expect. You’ll be asked to sign a waiver at the event. We’ll start at 8:00 AM and usually fish until about 11:00 AM when lunch will be served. You’re welcome to bring a dish to pass for lunch. After lunch, you can go out and fish again if you’d like. This will be a great chance to check out the new pontoon boat and get some instruction on its use if you plan on using it this summer or in the future. Hope to see you there!

CHASING RAINBOWS – Cliff Pheifer           On Saturday, June 15th and Saturday Aug 17th, Chasing Rainbows will be held at Wilderness Springs Trout Farm, which can be reached by going west of New London on HWY 54 and then turn right on Madden Rd. No fishing license is required and there is no size limit on trout, with a two fish limit. Fishing will start at 9:30 AM. Please bring your fishing poles, secret lures, and dish to pass for lunch. Cane poles, bait, cleaning, packaging on ice will be provided. To sign up for this event contact Cliff Pheifer at (715) 412-1707 or e-mail at: cliffp.cto@gmail.com

WISCONSIN TIMBER RATTLERS BASEBALL GAME – Carl Gierke           On Saturday, August 10th we will get together at Fox Cities Stadium, 2400 N. Casaloma Dr. in Appleton for our annual Timber Rattlers game. We’ll meet in the parking lot near the southwest corner of the stadium at 4:45 when tickets will be distributed. Gates open at 5:00 and dinner will be served from 5 to 6:30 and the game will start at 6:35. This event is open to all members and tickets and dinner are courtesy of CTO, however the $5 parking fee is your responsibility. Guests are welcome, but will be responsible for buying their own tickets. Admission includes your game ticket and an all-you-can-eat dinner (brats and burgers), along with two beverages. After the game, kids can run the bases and there will also be fireworks. Please reserve your tickets ASAP, but no later than July 26th by contacting Carl Gierke by phone (920-986-3272) or e-mail (cgierke1@outlook.com).  

OCTOBER SPECIAL DISABLED DEER HUNT- Pat Nieuwenhuis:           This year’s hunt will begin on Saturday, October 5th and ends on October 13th. Sign up for the deer hunt starts on July 1st and ends on August 31st. You must contact Pat Nieuwenhuis at 920-687-8707 to sign up. Please watch your next newsletter for additional information and the exact times. 

WRPCO DISABLED DEER HUNT OPPORTUNITY OCT. 11-13 – Carl Gierke          Wisconsin River Power Company (WRPCO) will again be hosting a deer gun hunt this fall for persons with disabilities and CTO is helping recruit hunters. The WRPCO hunt is scheduled for October 11-13 in the 750 acre Petenwell Wildlife area, adjacent to the Wisconsin River near Necedah, Wisconsin.  Hunters with a class A, B, C or D disability are encouraged to apply by going to wisconsinriverpower.com and click on “Deer Hunt for the Disabled.” You can also contact Joseph Sukana at 608-565-2500 or jmsukana@wisconsinpublicservice.com to apply or if you have questions. WRPCO provides the hunting activities free of charge, although lodging and some meals are the responsibility of the hunter. Hunters may bring their own partner or sit with one of the WRPCO volunteers. Applications must be submitted by June 1 for consideration and accepted applicants will be notified by June 30th.  

CTO PONTOON BOAT – David Paul          Challenge the Outdoors is again keeping its pontoon boat on Shawano Lake at the park docks in Cecil (southeast corner of the lake). The boat is available to any CTO member to use from roughly June 1st through mid-September. All you need to do is call David Paul, (920-740-2775) to reserve the boat for a half or full day. You’ll need to bring your own fishing equipment. If you’ve never used the pontoon boat, you’ll also need to take a short orientation course from Dave.

CTO Pontoon Boat Guidelines:  Failure to follow these guidelines may terminate your use of the pontoon up to one year from date of infraction per CTO Policy.

A) Keys and signup sheet are at the BP gas station located at HWY 117 &22 in Cecil. You must request the use of the pontoon before using it from David Paul, 920-740-2775. Report any issues or damage immediately to David.

B) First time users are REQUIRED to receive training on operation of the pontoon and the lake topography.

C) You must follow the Wisconsin DNR boating regulations and you are responsible for knowing these regulations. Failure to do so can lead to legal ramifications that you are solely responsible for.

D) Prior to leaving dock:

1) Make sure you have at least one working cell phone with you on the boat that gets adequate reception.                                                     

2) Retrieve personal flotation devices (PFDs or life jackets) from storage and make sure one is accessible for each person. Individuals under the age of 13 are required to wear them. Make sure one throwable flotation device is accessible in case of emergency.                  

3) Tilt motor down into water, but not hitting bottom. Trim down further when in deeper water.                                                                         

4) Turn on running lights in dark or foggy conditions.                                                                                                                                                                        

5) Make sure you have untied the pontoon from the dock.

E) When returning to dock (slip #11):

1)      Remove any garbage, worms, fishing gear, food, etc. from the boat.

2)      Bimini Top (canopy) should be lowered and please reattach the cover to the Bimini unless it is wet.

3)      Make sure all running lights are off.

4)      Make sure pontoon boat is secured at all 4 points to the dock and close and latch all doors.

5)      Return life jackets and other equipment to storage area it came from.

6)      Return keys to BP gas station, fill gas cans with 100 % gas at the BP station, and return cans to boat.

DO NOT USE GAS WITH ETHANOL IN IT!  Send your receipts to David Paul, W4701 Birchwood Drive, Shawano,54166

FISHING OPPORTUNITIES – Carl Gierke          If you’re looking for places to fish this year, consider that Shadows on the Wolf has constructed several handicapped-accessible fishing piers in Outagamie County and one in Shawano County. These include Mac’s Landing (north of Hortonville on Cty Hwy M), Barker Park (south of Shiocton on Old Hwy 54), Koepke Park (north of Shiocton on Koepke Rd), Village of Shiocton Municipal Building (in Shiocton), Bamboo Bend Park (west of Shiocton on Hwy 54), Co. Hwy S Boat Landing (west of Stephensville), and Sturgeon Park (City of Shawano). If you’re interested, you can check them out and get directions on SOTW’s website (www.shadowsonthewolf.org).

17TH ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP AND AWARDS BANQUET- Deb Pheiffer           CTO’s annual banquet will be held Sunday July 21st 2019 at Stadium View located at 1963 Holmgren Way, Green Bay Wisconsin.  At this event we recognize donors, thank volunteers, present awards and have our yearly elections for the Board of Directors. This is a wonderful time to thank the individuals who donate time and resources to our organization, meet new members and reconnect with old! Please submit any applications for awards to Steve Lang (920-948-4847). If you have any questions you may call or text Deb Pheifer @ 715-412-4162. Further information on the banquet will follow! 

SHOOT TIL YOU DROP- Jim Adamovich          On Saturday, September 10th from 8am until 4pm, CTO will hold this event at J&H Game Farm located off of HWY 156 just west of Navarino.  Disabled shooters and volunteers assisting disabled shooters can choose from sporting clays, wobble flurry, skeet and 5-stand shooting. CTO picks up the cost of the targets and ammunition for this day-long event. Food will be made by J&H, however participants are asked to bring a dish to pass for lunch. Call Jim Adamovich to sign up at 920-722-2090.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS/CTO FUNDRAISER- Deb Pheifer          CTO has an opportunity to participate in this fundraiser by assisting the Knights of Columbus hand out tootsie rolls on May 2-5 at Festival Foods in Oshkosh (off Hwy 21) in the store entrance.  The Knights will split the proceeds with CTO, which will benefit disabled individuals. Three-hour shifts (9-12, 12-3, 3-6) are available for one to two people to work Thursday to Sunday. Folding chairs will be available. The Knights of Columbus will work with CTO to fill any shifts we cannot, but we’d sure appreciate your help. I would like to get the schedule completed ASAP, so please contact me immediately if you can pitch in. I am sorry for the late notice. Call Deb Pheifer with any questions or to volunteer (715-412-4162)

CHALLENGE THE OUTDOORS/ AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION! - Keith Pamperin          Have you ever thought about giving back? Then volunteering to help persons with disabilities accept the challenges that they could not do all alone, might be just the opportunity for you. Challenge the Outdoors plans and sponsors various events to allow persons with disabilities accept the challenges of fishing, hunting, shooting trap or sporting clays, socializing at various sporting events such as hockey, baseball, indoor football and basketball. Each and every one of these events require volunteers to plan, organize and assist, and in some cases lend a helping hand to the persons with disabilities so they can participate.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Sometimes people do not get involved because they have not been asked. Well, Challenge the Outdoors is asking. If you or members of your family would like to have a rewarding experience helping persons with disabilities participate, Challenge the Outdoors would welcome your help! We need help preparing and serving food at events, driving people to events, helping members fish or hunt, setting up portable hunting blinds, we need boats to take people out fishing for our Shawano Lake Fishing outing, and we need people to serve on committees and help plan the annual events. Every April we have our Annual Sporting Clays Fund Raiser to raise funds to offset the cost of the events sponsored. Each year we need dozens of volunteers to make this event happen.                                                                           

If you feel you have never been asked, let this be that invitation.  We would welcome you and get you involved to the degree you feel comfortable. If you would like more information on how you can participate, please contact any of the volunteer Board Members listed or email Carl Gierke  cgierke1@outlook.com or Keith Pamperin  kjpamperin@aol.com. We will get back to you to find how you could help!                       

 BLIZZARD GAME MARCH 2, 2019 RECAP- Steve Harvey & Sharon LeFevre        We had a fun night with 22 members in attendance at the Blizzard Game indoor football game. The Blizzard won by a score of 53-52 which was exciting to watch. We also enjoyed good food and would like to thank CTO for this great event as well as the Door County Renaissance Faire for their donation to this event. A great time was had by all. Thanks for attending!

NEW MEMBERS Please welcome the following new members to CTO: Gary Roth, Sara Brashears, Ken & Julie Heiner, Roland Moericke, Walter Webster and Stephen Ramsey. We look forward to seeing you at an event soon.


An event chairperson(s) may bar a CTO member for one (1) year from participating in the same event, if the member signs up for an event and fails to attend the event without giving prior notice given to the event chairperson(s) that she/he will not be attending. There shall be exceptions given for sickness, injury, equipment failure, or a death. The event chairperson(s) will have final authority to say if a one (1) year ban from the following year’s event is warranted depending on the circumstances surrounding the absence and impact on the event.


1.       Kevin Gunderson, Heroes on the Water, Northeast Wisconsin Chapter, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, provides no-cost therapeutic kayak fishing experiences to veterans, first-responders, active duty military members and families, presented to CTO board.

2.       Hu Hot fundraiser generated $331. Thank you to Tammy Kritz for organizing the event.

3.       A newer pontoon boat has been acquired. Watch for extra pontoon event postings.

4.       22 attended the Blizzard Football Game. Thank you to Steve Harvey and Sharon LeFevre.

5.       UWGB Basketball 16 people attended, and thanks goes to Keith Pamperin.

6.       11 shooters participated in the March Pheasant Hunt, with 24 enjoying the meal.

7.       April 6, 2019, participants in the 21st Annual Fundraiser didn’t let the rain dampen the spirit of the day.

8.       The board approved funding to add additional Lake Michigan and Kewaunee Fishing trips. Read more about them in this newsletter.