By Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
The sleek, black government issued Suburban that pulled into the WMA was a clear indication that this was going to be a different type of hunting trip than any other that I’d been on.
It was Day 1 of the 2012 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Marshall.
A strong contingent of Pheasants Forever members greeted Mika and I as we arrived at Shooter’s for a pre-hunt round of sporting clays. A mixture of media, PF’s and politicians took their turns flinging lead towards the disc shaped targets that fluttered in the strong winds.
One great thing about true outdoorsmen is how quickly camaraderie is built. Maybe a better way to describe it is how quickly one can give another a hard time after an easy miss.
Next stop was the Clifton Hills Land dedication ceremony. The Clifton and Rolling Hills Wildlife Management Area complex began back in the Soil Bank era of the 1950s and 1960s. Two WMA’s within close proximity of each other, separated and surrounded by private land. In 2008 this private land went up for sale. An opportunity arose to connect the public land and expand the WMA by purchasing the private land and rolling it all into one.
Through a series of transactions, the land ultimately became public with dollars acquired through the Lessard-Sams Outdoors Heritage Council established by the Legacy Amendment passed in 2008.
The 362 acre acquisition was the earliest and largest purchase utilizing funds from the LSOHC. Without a new Farm Bill and more CRP acres expiring, this is finally a step in the right direction.
Next up, the opener! Good luck tomorrow-
Bret “T-Bone” Amundson