Three years ago, Outdoor News named the Christina-Ina-Anka Lake Association the inaugural recipient of our Outdoor Leaders Award. I’m pleased to share that last week, our staff proudly announced the East Ottertail Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has received the 2015 award.
On Friday, Aug. 7, at Game Fair, Outdoor News Editor Joe Albert presented a plaque along with a $500 check to several East Ottertail chapter officers. The chapter represents deer hunters and conservationists in the communities of Perham and New York Mills as well as parts of Sebeka and Frazee.
We received a number of excellent nominations for conservation group chapters around the state, but the men and women of the MDHA’s East Ottertail Chapter truly stood out. The chapter, which marked its 25th anniversary this past spring, has raised nearly $200,000 over the past decade alone. It’s used those dollars to finance two local trapshooting teams, rebuilt and reinvigorated two of the remaining public shooting ranges in the state, funded hundreds of students for outdoor experiences, funded and managed several wildlife management areas, along with many other benefits for the community.
Becca Kent, chapter coordinator for MDHA in Grand Rapids, told Outdoor News Contributing Writer Ron Hustvedt the chapter’s reinvestment into the area encourages great community involvement.
“There are a lot of MDHA chapters across the state that are deserving of the Outdoor Leaders Award, but the East Ottertail Chapter is definitely a good representation of the state organization,” Kent said. “They are very well balanced and active in multiple areas with a long history of success.”
Kent said East Ottertail has a strong core group of guys who keep the chapter vibrant and consistently deliver conservation on the ground. Wayne Enger, past state president of MDHA, was one of the founding members of the chapter, and he was on hand last Friday to help accept the award. He is still active in the chapter and said it’s been fun to see the success continue over the years.
“For the chapter to get this award now is amazing. It is very gratifying that somebody noticed the hard work of the members to promote deer hunting, education, and habitat in Minnesota,” Enger told Hustvedt. “Not only that, but they are a fun group to be around.”
Outdoor News has provided consistent coverage of the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League the past couple of years, and the East Ottertail chapter has invested a lot of money in two clay target teams in the area – a combined $5,700 the past two years. Members of the chapter are also coaches, mentors, and volunteers of the trapshooting team.
Check out pages 28-30 of this week’s Outdoor News to read Hustvedt’s full profile of the East Ottertail Chapter. In addition to the Christina-Ina-Anka Lake Association, the MDHA chapter joins the Lac qui Parle Chapter of Pheasants Forever (2013) and the Minnesota Waterfowl Association’s Woodie Camp as past award honorees.