Grand Rapids, Minn. Minnesota Deer Hunters Association personnel
met with Gov. Jesse Ventura last week in a meeting that MDHA
Executive Director Mark Johnson called “open and very relaxed.”
MDHA will publish the complete conversation with Ventura in the
October issue of Whitetales, its official newsletter. Johnson,
however, did provide Outdoor News with some details of the Monday,
Aug. 13 meeting.
In addition to Johnson, current and past MDHA presidents Jim
Martinnetto and Wayne Enger rendezvoused with Ventura and
governor’s office spokesperson John Wodele. Johnson said Ventura
reiterated several times that he is supportive of hunting and sound
Johnson didn’t want to reveal too many details of the discussion
prior to the publishing of Whitetales, but he described the
governor’s response to one question: Would the governor consider
attending an MDHA-sponsored deer hunt?
“He said, No, because I might have too much fun and really enjoy
it,'” Johnson said. “He said he feels the same way about
snowmobiling and that he already has too many things on his
During the 40-minute conversation, Ventura assured the MDHA
delegation that his past comments about “hunting Bambi” should not
be construed as anti-hunting.
“He assured us that he didn’t mean that disparagingly and that
he’s very open to all of the shooting sports,” Johnson said.
MDHA also has a meeting planned on Aug. 29 with DNR Commissioner
Allen Garber and DNR forestry officials to continue discussions
about the status of the Demonstration Forest.
“As I understand it, it will be a quick discussion about the
Demonstration Forest and what they intend to do to get it going,”
MDHA has expressed concern about the scale of Finnish-style
forestry techniques that the DNR will implement on the
Demonstration Forest and the possible effects they could have on
deer and other wildlife.
In addition, the DNR will be hosting a public meeting for
private landowners within the Demonstration Forest, as well as
other affected parties and individuals next week. It will be held
at the Side Lake Community Center on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 6:30
“MDHA will be represented there,” Johnson said. “And we have
been contacting landowners to make sure everybody affected is