The Minnesota DNR, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA)
and Turn In Poachers (TIP) have announced winners of the 17th
annual Deer Hunter Ethics Award.
The award honors deer hunters who have exhibited conduct during
the 2009 season that can serve as an example of admirable hunting
practices, according to MDHA State President John Erlandson Sr.
“The awards are designed to spotlight those we hope positively
represent the majority of hunters – ethical, thoughtful outdoors
people,” he said.
Wayne Edgerton, DNR agriculture policy coordinator and a judge
for the contest, agreed. “We received a wide array of nominations
describing high ethical standards and compassion for other hunters
and the game they pursue,” Edgerton said. “Seeing both adult and
youth nominated for similar activities is very gratifying to me as
a deer hunter.”
The adult winners are Nancy and Jerry Graham of Cromwell. The
Grahams spent several hours creating and building a special stand
that included a mechanical winch that enabled their good friend,
Dick Huhta, to hunt deer for the first time in four years.
The Grahams, who are avid hunters, wanted to do whatever they
could to help their next door neighbor enjoy the experience again.
Health issues have prevented Huhta from being able to hunt.
Their hard work paid off when Huhta shot a doe on opening day of
the firearms season.
The Grahams insist they did nothing special, just helped out
their friend. The Grahams will be honored at the Lake Superior
Chapter Banquet on April 28 in Duluth.
The youth winner is Marissa Mattson, 14, of Prior Lake. She
participated in her first firearm season and harvested a four-point
buck with a clean shot. According to her father, Tyler, Marissa
displayed several examples of ethical deer hunting during the
She followed all safety procedures when going to and from the
stand, getting into her stand and crossing fences. She stayed in
the stand for a few minutes after shooting her deer. She was very
excited, but wanted to catch her breath before she got down.
Marissa saw several deer while in the woods, but waited until
she had a clean shot. She also showed respect for hunting hours by
passing up shots when it was illegal to shoot.
Everything she did was by the book, Tyler said. Mattson will be
honored at the Capitol Sportsmen banquet in Minneapolis on April