Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Pheasants Forever appoints Sabin Adams as new state coordinator in Minnesota

Sabin Adams’ fifth position with Pheasants Forever is Minnesota state coordinator. He began that job this week.

St. Paul — In physics, if an object is moving, it is said to have kinetic energy. Sabin Adams isn’t a physicist, but he is sympathetic to the principle, both personally and professionally.

“You could say I don’t like to sit around very much,” Adams said with a laugh.

On Tuesday morning, Adams, 33, who lives near Alexandria, began a new job as Minnesota state coordinator for Pheasants Forever and Quail, his fifth position with the “habitat organization” since joining its ranks in 2013 as a Farm Bill biologist in Todd County. He replaces Tanner Bruse, who took a job with the Minnesota DNR.

“My 10 years with Pheasants Forever have been a wild ride. I’ve changed jobs roughly every two years, and I’m just incredibly excited to start,” Adams said during an interview late last week. “I have a passion for upland hunting and conservation … and it’s easy to do this kind of job when you work for a great organization with even better people. It’s actually a privilege. I’m a very lucky guy.”


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A passion for upland birds

Adams grew up near Long Prairie on a hobby farm. He eventually attended Bemidji State University and received an undergraduate degree in biology.

The overwhelming majority of Adams’ hunting pursuits growing up was spent chasing upland birds – ruffed grouse and pheasants, as well as Hungarian partridge, sharptailed grouse, and prairie chickens. (Stock photo)

During his early years and into college, he hunted a lot. Some deer. Some waterfowl. The overwhelming majority, however, was spent chasing upland birds – ruffed grouse and pheasants, as well as Hungarian partridge, sharptailed grouse, and prairie chickens. He loves them all.

Adams recalls a story from when he was a kid. The family hobby farm had 40 Conservation Reserve Program acres and a rock pile in the middle of it. Shotguns in tow, he and a friend would sit on the rocks, chat away, and wait for a rooster pheasant to crow. “This was before we had dogs, and when we’d hear that rooster, we’d make a game plan and go off after it,” he said. “Hunting is what got me to study biology, which led me into conservation.”

That, and a professional life with a group whose stated mission is to get more habitat on the ground for pheasants, quail, and other wildlife – habitat that serves the organization’s primary constituency, hunters, as well as others who enjoy the outdoors.

Adams said he needs time in wild spaces filled with wildlife. “It’s my fuel and I seek as much of it as I can get,” he said.

Background in conservation

There’s doing habitat work as a member of his local Douglas County PF chapter, and loon surveys for the Minnesota DNR, and searching for leks for the Minnesota Sharp-tailed Grouse Society and Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society.

Each fall, beginning in September and ending in late January, Adams said he spends as much time as he can following his dogs – a 2-year-old yellow Labrador named Phoebe and a 5-year-old German shorthaired pointer named Gilly.

Adams admits he’s been smitten with a healthy dose of wanderlust – that overwhelming, inescapable longing to travel, or wander. Upland hunting satiates that desire.

“I like walking big country with my dogs and seeing what’s over the next hill … or around the next corner,” he said. “I also try pulling my wife and two young kids with me as much as possible, which gets us hiking gravel roads, looking for agates, canoeing rivers, and geocaching.”

Priorities on the job

Adams said he believes all of his outdoor pursuits have made him a better PF employee. What he sees in the outdoors – the good (a new parcel of state land) and the bad (broken prairie or lost wetlands) – is a sort of incentive structure to work harder.

“All of those things become the fuel that motivates me in my professional life and helps me motivate the Minnesota team to do more of PF’s mission, creating habitat for wildlife that people can enjoy,” he said.

In his new position, Adams said he will coordinate and lead “state-level habitat and advocacy efforts in Minnesota,” ensuring effective conservation delivery throughout state’s pheasant range on both public and private lands.

Securing additional state wildlife management areas is a high priority. Adams said he’ll supervise roughly 35 PF staffers across the state, as well as work with private landowners and conservation partners ranging from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Minnesota DNR to other nonprofit conservation and hunting groups.

“There certainly will be a learning curve, but at the end of the day, a lot of the work in conservation is building relationships with people, and I have a lot of experience at that,” he said.

Ready for the challenge

Eran Sandquist, PF and QF’s director of conservation delivery for the Midwest, has worked closely with Adams during the past decade and said he believes Adams is more than ready to take on a new challenge.

“Sabin has excelled in every capacity he’s held with our organization,” Sandquist said. “He’s a natural leader who has excellent problem-solving skills. He’s great with people, having worked extensively with landowners and our partners. He’s also well respected. There’s going to be a learning curve to start, but he has the passion and drive to take this role to new heights.”

Adams can be reached at

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