Today: Howard Vincent of White Bear Lake is chief executive of Pheasants Forever and its companion organization, Quail Forever. With about 130,000 members, Pheasants Forever is among the nation’s largest conservation groups.
I am reading Lee Child’s “Past Tense,” a Jack Reacher novel. At the same time, I am always listening to a sci-fi space adventures book on Audible. These books are my escape. I read an incredible amount of materials related to Pheasants/Quail Forever, Washington, D.C., policy issues and other national wildlife and conservation issues.
Along with all of the Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever social media efforts, I am getting into outdoor podcasts, such as Mark Norquist’s “Modern Carnivore” and Steven Rinella’s “MeatEater.” I really enjoy the wide variety of voices in our outdoor community. Especially the voices of millennials. They will be carrying the conservation community into the future, and they will do it totally different from the baby boomers. The number of hunters has continued to decline in all age groups. But there is hope: the R3 movement (recruitment, retention and reactivation). The millennials are the biggest best opportunity. The baby boomers will age out. The millennials are in the sweet spot: age, money and passion. They come to conservation and hunting with different drivers. They may love the experience, the dogs, the locavore movement, the natural food, wild game cooking, pollinators, monarchs, water and soil. Woman in the age group are a growing force, too, and bring a whole new energy.
I am a big movie fan. A very cool thing happened just before Thanksgiving. My two sons and I were in Chicago for a long weekend and the Vikings-Bears game at Soldier Field. The game had changed from noon to 7:30 p.m., the Sunday night Game of the Week. We were cruising around some of the old urban neighborhoods and ended up for drinks and some pool in an old obscure bowling ally called Fireside Bowl. Two days later, we saw “Widows.” It takes place in Chicago, so that was cool, but the really wild part was several of the scenes were shot in that same bowling ally. That was very cool.
It ’tis the season. So I am getting out to shoot some pheasants and some quail. Although I travel a lot for business, hunting is rarely a part of the travel. But when it does happen, it is special and informative. We have had two hunts this fall with some of our state and national conservation leaders. We hunt the mornings and meet in the afternoons. Topics have included the 2018 Farm Bill, the R3 initiatives, the Iowa dedicated funding initiative and the current election results’ impact on conservation and wildlife.