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Jeff Hughes

Hugo, Minn.

Finally a Kids Event Parents Can Afford

Wild Wings of Oneka Hunt Club in Hugo along with many great MN Outdoor organizations will host the MN Outdoor Youth Expo for kids and families on Saturday, May 22nd, 9am -6pm & Sunday, May 23rd, 9am – 4pm.

The Outdoor Youth Expo, organized and sponsored by Wild Wings of Oneka, offers youth and families the opportunity to get outside and meet over 60 outdoor organizations, experts and educators. Activities for kids will include horse drawn hay wagon rides, laser shooting and firearm safety, a mock pheasant hunt, archery, casting, fly tying, birds of prey demonstrations, bird & fish identification, nature walks, geocaching, ATV rider safety education, canoeing, kayaking, water safety education, dog handling and training, farm animal education and bicycling safety and demonstrations. Kids may also try their hand at various sports such as climbing, golfing, lacrosse, basketball, hockey and baseball. Educational seminars and demonstrations are scheduled throughout the event including an appearance each day by Rich Wieber who incorporates bicycle safety into his exciting stunt show.
Why are we hosting this expo?  Simply because we are investing in our future generation and outdoor traditions.   This expo’s goal is to help young people develop a lifelong passion for the outdoors.  Doing this has become more important as an increasing number of children have become used to the instant gratification of our electronic world. They are now growing up spending little time outdoors. That’s why bringing these organizations together at the Youth Expo is so important.   These experiences offer a foundation for a lifetime of rewarding recreation and awareness of nature.
The expo hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 22nd and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 23rd.   Visitors may choose to come for a few hours or stay for the day, but should plan to wear their walking shoes as the expo is laid out completely outdoors over 65 acres of wooded trails and open fields. Food concessions will be available for purchase.   Admission is $5.00 for adults (16+), free for kids and parking is free.   Most activities within the expo are free.  Our intention is to make this event very affordable for families to have a day of fun learning and playing together outside.  More than 60 exhibitors will be at the event to include the MN DNR, John Glen Cadet Archery, Kicking Bear Camp, YMCA Camps, 4H, Future Farmers of America (FFA), Bunker Park Stables, Walton’s Hollow Petting Zoo, Benson Airport’s Young Eagles, Wildlife Science Center, Pheasants Forever, MN Duck & Goose Callers Association, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Wood Duck Society, On-line Retrievers, Wings North, CR Trail Users Association, Gander Mountain, Wild Mountain, the MN Wild, the MN Timber Wolves, the MN Swarm, and the National Guard just to name a few. 
We hope you'll come out and join us for this experience.   Directions and more information can be found on the website at   

See You in the Fields this Fall - Are you ready?

With mornings cool and shorter days, I look forward to the pending hunting season with great anticipation.  This time of year finds me going through my pre-fall regimen.  I started running my dogs 3 to 4 times a week about the first of June.  I try and do a mile or two.  This gets myself and the dogs in shape for hunting season.  As September draws near, I start doing some bird work...even the old dogs need a refresher...shooting a few pigeons and then using some game birds.  It is easy to get birds from a local shooting preserve that is open-to-public.  In addition, they usually have a place you can run your dog.  Contact the Department of Natural Resources to get a list of these types of preserves in our state.

Two years ago, we had a really warm opener and I'm sure you heard the reports about many dogs dying in the Dakotas from overheating.  Take some time to get your dog in shape and you could avoid a tragedy like this.  If you don't have time to work the dog yourself get a hold of a trainer or call a reputable dog handler or friend and get your hunting partner in shape.  It's a worthy investment.


With the pre-season in mind I always do an equipment check;  dog collars with the proper identification, non toxic shot (because you just never know where you will end up), dog food carrier, water dish and 5 gallon water container, dog first aid kit(which includes: E.M.P skin toughened and glue suture, suture kit, disinfectant, some horse bandages, flea, and tick spray, bute, or aspirin, etc).  I get all my clothing gathered and ready for any kind of weather; blaze orange for bird hunting and camo for waterfowl.  I keep my clothing for different types of hunting in plastic tubs with lids and labeled them.  These makes it easy for the next season, as all I have to do is get the tub and check its contents.  I am ready to go!  You can only haul so much gear, but if you plan for the unexpected you shouldn't't have emergencies you can't handle.  Also, make sure you coordinate with you hunting buddies.  If one person is taking an extra gun, maybe you don't need to.  If one of the party is taking a 5 gallon water jug, maybe you don't need two!  A lot of the excitement and the build of anticipation of a hunt is in the planning and getting ready to go! Don't miss out on this part of the tradition!  See you in the fields this fall!


Yours for better hunting and Shooting,

      Jeff Hughes
Wild Wings of Oneka, Hugo, MN