Friday evening I attended the Scott-LeSueur chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association (MWA) fundraising dinner. This was held again at the Park Ballroom in New Prague. I’ve attended in past years and always enjoy visiting with the great bunch of people assembled to support the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, outdoor education and duck hunting.

You may have seen the short article on the MWA last week in the Minneapolis StarTribune sports section. It announced the new officers elected to the MWA. I was pleased to see that John Wolf was elected a Vice President of the group. I believe John is a former Scott County Sheriff Deputy and has worked hard to improve duck habitat. He also serves as the treasurer for the Scott-LeSueur MWA chapter.

John and I talked about some of the problems MWA has had in the past year. Do to some aggressive programs by past leaders, the MWA has experienced some financial problems. The MWA board seems to have taken responsibility, made personnel changes, and implemented measures to correct any problems. The MWA organization is 37 years old with many, many local chapters. I promised John I would work with him on any upcoming legislative issues to help MWA, ducks and the environment.

Several at the meeting asked if I was able to do any duck hunting last fall. I was not able to get out last fall, and have missed the past few fall duck hunts. In thinking about duck hunting I realized that when my long time duck hunting partner, Dr. Cliff Hauberg, died, I didn’t get out as much. Cliff and I hunted ducks for years around Northfield and at Cliff’s cabin on Sturgeon Lake. Hunting forms some pretty strong bonds. I remember many, many beautiful fall days sitting in a blind or canoe with Cliff talking over world issues. Cliff grew up dirt poor, secured his education at the U of M, taught Central American History at St. Olaf College, and was a hard-line Democrat. We had great discussions in between duck flights!

Earlier this year I purchased a life-time fishing and small game hunting license from the State. This is a great program. A single investment covers licenses for the rest of my life. I do manage to get out and fish on a somewhat regular basis. Now that I have my life-time hunting license I plan to make sure I get out after some ducks and pheasants this fall.