Ron Hustvedt

Ron Hustvedt is an outdoors writer and photographer who covers a broad array of experiences, individuals and events centered on hunting and fishing. He is also a professional educator. Please visit his website at www.WriteOutdoors.com.

Posts about Environment

Game Fair 2013 promises to be bigger and better than ever

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: August 3, 2013 - 11:58 PM

Folks line up as gates open up 9 a.m. daily August 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18

Folks line up as gates open up 9 a.m. daily August 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18

 The Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey are set for the 32nd annual Game Fair, with tons of events, activities and attractions for the entire family . The six-day event takes place over two weekends in August beginning August 9, 10 and 11 and continuing August 16, 17 and 18. Fall hunting seasons are coming soon and Game Fair is the best place to see and try the latest gear while learning from the nation’s leading experts.

 
Your hosts for all 32 years of Game Fair are Chuck and Loral I Delaney. After a visit to England’s Game Fair in 1980, the Delaney’s decided this type of event might be a hit among the outdoorsmen and women of the Midwest. That first Game Fair held in 1982, on the same grounds as it is today, was just barely a success—but it was the start of something that’s only grown bigger and better each year, attracting millions. Game Fair has also been the launching point for many new products, talents, and experts—it’s truly the place to be for outdoors lovers of all ages.
 
Plenty of things to see and experience at Game Fair

Plenty of things to see and experience at Game Fair

Game Fair is a full participation event and visitors are encouraged to bring their shotgun (cased), their bow (cased), and their dog (leashed). Many visitors just prefer to watch others in action with a twice daily shooting exhibition, dog events, archery, birds of prey, and dozens of daily seminars from national outdoors experts. Game Fair is home to over 250 exhibitors including top dog trainers, hunting guides and retailers from across North America. With dozens of Dog Clubs and Sportsman’s Clubs, Game Fair is the nation’s largest gathering of outdoor organizations.
 
Game Fair is the only place where you can do it all. Some of the highlights of 2013 include:
·      Twice daily Exhibition Shooting Shows brought to you by the Gould Brothers
·      Firearms Trainer Wendy Brown with Ladies and Youth shooting instruction
·      Fan favorite “Mr. Sound Effects” returns to perform his phenomenal vocal skills
·      Meet Rusty the Horse, otherwise known as the world’s largest golden retriever
·      Big prize contests open to all including a $1,000 Archery Shooting Challenge, a $10,000 Duck and Goose Calling Contest, and a Turkey Calling Contest.
 
Visit with Ron and Laura Schara, talk waterfowl with champion callers, hear dog training advice from nationally renowned trainers, watch the fabulous birds of prey with Frank Taylor, or just walk along the lake taking in the sights throughout the picturesque grounds.
Quench your thirst or curb your hunger at the many concession stands. Be sure to try your luck at numerous raffles and drawings for big prizes throughout the Game Fair.
 
The spacious woods and water of Game Fair are open rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. August 9 to 11 and August 16 to 18 (closing is 5 p.m. on Sundays). Game Fair is located in Ramsey at the Armstrong Ranch Kennels. Complete details on the 32nd annual Game Fair can be found online at www.GameFair.com or by calling 763-427-0944. Follow Game Fair on Facebook.com/GameFairUSA and on Twitter @GameFairUSA. See you at Game Fair!

One of first two women paddlers who made journey to Hudson Bay making two appearances this week

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: November 25, 2012 - 3:29 PM
 
       Meet and chat with Natalie Warren, one of the first two women to paddle the 2,000-mile journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Hear first hand the trials and tribulations they experienced on this expedition of epic proportions.
         Warren will be sharing these stories at two locations this week sharing the details of the expedition, displaying photographs from the journey and talking about upcoming adventures.
         This Tuesday, November 27th at 5:30 p.m., Warren will be at the University of Minnesota in Hudson Hall Room 495 located at 516 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis.
         Then on Wednesday, November 28th, Warren will be at Midwest Mountaineering in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis beginning at 7 p.m.
       The duo completed the journey from May to September 2011 and I had the honor of covering their expedition for the Star Tribune and Outdoor News. Both women are very interesting to chat with and are great storytellers.
         Their trip was nominated for Canoe and Kayak’s 2012 Expedition of the Year. Folks who are interested in adventuring, canoeing, and individuals accomplishing their dreams would greatly enjoy either of these presentations.
         For more details, including the complete blog they wrote while on their journey (complete with photos), visit their website at www.hudsonbaybound.com.
 
Raiho looks out over Lake Winnipeg, a massive waterbody they crossed on their journey

Raiho looks out over Lake Winnipeg, a massive waterbody they crossed on their journey

Meet the Hudson Bay Bound women after their historic journey that continues to its next phase

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: September 19, 2011 - 12:04 AM

 For Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren, paddling the 1,800 miles from Fort Snelling to Hudson Bay was just one part of the journey known as “Hudson Bay Bound.”

            That phase of the journey, which lasted 85 days, ended on August 25 in York Factory, Manitoba along the shores of Hudson Bay. Raiho and Warren enter the history books as the first women to complete the journey, inspired by Eric Severeid’s book “Canoeing With the Cree” first published in 1935.
            “The end of the Hayes River was a magical experience and we are happy that we accomplished our goal,” Warren said. The journey began June 2 at Fort Snelling, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.
            The first phase included planning the entire trip while wrapping up their senior year of college at St. Olaf in Northfield and competing in a run for the Ultimate Frisbee national title.
Arriving at York Factory at Hudson Bay

Arriving at York Factory at Hudson Bay

            “A lot of expeditioners spend months of time planning and we did all that while keeping very busy and are so glad that everything worked out,” Raiho said. “Now it’s time to share that experience with others and hopefully inspire them to take their own outdoor adventures,” Warren added.
            The trip doesn’t feel like its over because their arrival in York Factory only sparked the beginning of yet another journey. “For one thing, we took a float plane from York Factory to Gillam and then took a 36-hour train ride to return to Winnipeg where our friends from Menogyn picked us up and returned us to Grand Marais,” Raiho said.
            In early September, Raiho and Warren gave a presentation of their journey to paddlers from all over canoe country at Stone Harbor in Grand Marais. The presentation went so well, they have been asked to share their story with others. “It would be fun to do some public speaking both from a motivational speaker role and sharing what we saw from an environmental perspective—a few offers have come in and we are open to others,” Warren said.
            Warren and Raiho want to be sure that everybody who is interested attends their celebration party this Thursday at the Bloomington REI from 7 to 8:30 p.m. “We’ll tell the story of our trip including video, photos and music provided by us,” Warren said.
            There will also be an auction for a Langford Prospector canoe from Stone Harbor, the canoe they used to make their epic journey. Proceeds from the auction, in addition to the other money they raised along their trip, will be donated to the YMCA’s Camp Menogyn. “People can make donations at the event as well if they are interested and we hope that we can raise at least $10,000 for Camp Menogyn so they can provide outdoor adventures for a lot of young people,” Raiho said. 
            Those who cannot make the event are invited to check their website at www.HudsonBayBound.com for photos, video and the entire blog of their trip along the way.
            The actual canoe they paddled to Hudson Bay is not the one up for bid because of its historic value but it will be on display at Stone Harbor in Grand Marais for years to come.
Ann Raiho looks out over Hudson Bay while strumming a tune

Ann Raiho looks out over Hudson Bay while strumming a tune

            Sharing their trip with others is only part of the next phase. As recent college graduates, both Raiho and Warren are in the middle of one of life’s great journeys. T
Once January rolls around, Inver Grove Heights native Raiho will be heading to Colorado State University of Fort Collins to pursue her master’s degree in ecology.
            Warren, on the other hand, will be job searching as she travels to Madison, New York, Washington, D.C. and her hometown Miami, Florida. “I’ll be back in Minneapolis as well and would love to work here if the right opportunity presented itself,” she said.
            One of the most commonly asked questions of the pair is what they plan on doing for their next wilderness adventure. “I have a cousin who is going on a seven-week trip next summer with Camp Menogyn so I told her in 2015 she can come with Natalie and I on another trip somewhere,” Raiho said.
            Where that trip will take them is another story yet to be told. Topping their historic journey to Hudson Bay will probably not be the goal but getting out there and doing something is always better than sitting around doing nothing.
            Raiho and Warren hope that others are inspired by their journey to do just that.  

Something for everyone at Game Fair

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: August 4, 2011 - 12:01 AM
The 30th annual Game Fair is worth a visit!

The 30th annual Game Fair is worth a visit!

 

The 30th annual Game Fair is only a week away and this year is looking to be another great one, if not the best one yet. Nearly two million people have visited the Game Fair over the years with about 50,000 a year for the last decade or so. Make plans to be there as the show runs from August 12-14 and 19-21. 

I’ve been attending the Game Fair every year for the past 15 years and have been helping run the show out there the past five years. It’s a great event and the hosts of Game Fair, Chuck and Loral I Delaney, are a class act who are simply amazing. The amount of time and energy they put into hosting the event is phenomenal.

Almost all of the usual fan favorites will be there this year once again and there will be plenty of new things to see as well. This includes exhibitors, dog events, shooting events, archery courses, concessions and plenty of people watching.

One of the great things about Game Fair is that it’s a full family participation event. Bring the dog on a leash and walk around one of the few venues where dogs are more than just allowed, they are invited.

Bring the kids too and have your kids bring a few friends. There are so many kid events to keep them busy and having fun. The event is centered around hunting, but I have a lot of friends who go there every year and they don’t hunt. When I ask them why they go, their answer is that it’s fun to bring the dog and their kids always beg them to go every year.

Tough to beat that!

Located just outside of Anoka on Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard, the Game Fair grounds are simply gorgeous. There are 80 acres of oak trees, lush grass, wetlands and a good-sized lake.

One of the benefits of working at Game Fair, that even exhibitors are aware of, is how wild the grounds are when the fair isn’t going on. During the early morning hours the ducks are on the lake, sandhill cranes usually pay a visit, deer are not an uncommon sight and a ton of different species of birds.

Oh sure, they are all close by during the fair and often are seen by the lucky ones who can pull their attention away from all the fair events. With shotgun shooting exhibitions by Tom Knapp, dogs jumping off docks and cruising through obstacle courses, informational seminars and great new products to look at, the wildlife around you can be easily missed.

Fine art and taxidermy are also found at Game Fair. I spoke with Chris Knutson of Art Barbarians in Rogers, MN and he said his booth in the Art Barn will be a busy place as usual. “We’ll have Jim Hautman here the first Saturday of the fair. Scot Storm will be hanging out every day along with Bret Longley on both Saturdays and Sundays.”

For those who don’t know, Jim Hautman is a four-time and current winner of the Federal duck stamp. He’ll be doing demonstrations and chatting with visitors to the booth. Scot Storm is a great guy who I’ve had the privilege of interviewing. He is a phenomenal wildlife artist and winner of this year’s pheasant stamp. Storm and Longley will be doing painting demonstrations as well.

Something that doesn’t get talked about enough is the charitable nature of the Delaneys. They donate a lot to various organizations in the community and non-profits in the community are invited to utilize the Game Fair as a way of fundraising.

National and state conservation organizations are also beneficiaries of the Delaneys and Game Fair. Pheasants Forever has run their “Build a Wildlife Area” fundraiser out of Game Fair since its inception nine years ago and the Delaney’s have given generously to that cause over the years.

This year Federal Ammunition’s new pink shotshells will be available for those participating in the shotgun shooting events. Buy a box and make a donation to help find a cure for cancer.

Politics are tough to escape and Game Fair is no exception. A lot of Congressional representatives and both senators have a booth at the Game Fair along with the Secretary of State’s office. The Republicans and Democrats are both there showing their support of hunting and firearms along with several unions and labor organizations.

Even though it’s an off year for elections, there will be plenty of it to see and the organization “Sportsmen for Change” might even have a forum or two for people to chat with policy makers. I covered the gubernatorial debate last year at the Game Fair and have no doubt that as close as the election was, hearing from those folks firsthand regarding conservation issues probably swayed a few voters one way or the other and decided the election.

If you have never been out there, I encourage you to attend. Stop by the Information Booth and say hello to me (Ron Hustvedt). Say hello to Ron Schara (the “other Ron”). Say hello to Raven the black lab. Say hello to Chuck and Loral I Delaney.

For all the details about Game Fair 2011 go to www.gamefair.com

I’ve left out a lot of additional features of the Game Fair partially because any good blog shouldn’t be this long! The rest of it is for you all to fill in.

What’s your favorite part of Game Fair?

What are you looking forward to?

 

 

 

 

 

Sportsmen must pay careful attention this political season

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: August 26, 2010 - 11:55 PM

   

Candidates squared off in an "Outdoors-Issue" based debate at Game Fair in August

Candidates squared off in an "Outdoors-Issue" based debate at Game Fair in August

 

         Sportsmen and women have traditionally been a pretty apathetic group of voters over the years. Oh sure, we’ll show up in droves to pass various amendments geared at hunting and fishing, but when it comes to picking the best people to protect our natural resources, we have a problem.

            Who is the best choice for Governor? Good question. It’s for you to decide.

            Doing that can be difficult, especially with so many different issues going on, but I recommend that you give it some consideration.
            At the gubernatorial candidate debate, held last Saturday at Game Fair, four candidates for Governor gave their views on the outdoors. Let’s face it folks, nowhere else, the remainder of the campaign, will the outdoors be the focus of the candidates.
            Listen to what they said about the issues important to you. Post your comments here at StarTribune.com and on the specific video.
            Let’s start a rigorous discussion this campaign cycle so that the next four years are good ones for sportsmen and women. Let’s select somebody who will help move Minnesota forward and will not only defend and protect our natural resources, but will be a visionary leader who appoints visionary leaders to do their part.
 
 
 
 
OR click the links below...
 
Part One—Introductions and Opening
 
Part Two—Shoreline Development
 
Part Three—License Fees
 
Part Four—Outdoors Amendment
 
Part Five—Governor’s Deer Opener
 
Part Six—DNR Commissioner
 
Part Seven—Lessard Council Members
 
Part Eight—Government Efficiencies
 
Part Nine—Public Lands
 
Part Ten—Firearms Issues
 
Part Eleven—Waterfowl/Duck Management
 
Part Twelve—Invasive Species & Wolves
 
Part Thirteen—Farm Legislation
 
Part Fourteen—Walk In Access
 
Part Fifteen—Treaty Issues
 
Part Sixteen—Candidate Questions and Closing
 
 

 

Saturday's Game Fair gubernatorial debate will kick off official race

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: August 11, 2010 - 10:40 AM

 

            The annual Game Fair, held at the Armstrong Ranch Kennels, has become quite the popular stumping ground for politicians over the years. Known as the nation’s largest outdoor, pre-hunting, family participation event, Game Fair attracts around 50,000 people every year—the vast majority of whom are hunters or hunting supporters.
Game Fair's final weekend is August 13, 14 and 15

Game Fair's final weekend is August 13, 14 and 15

            Quite a sizable demographic, eh?
            The only other time you get that many people together in one place at a public event is the Minnesota State Fair. While many Game Fair attendees also head to the State Fair, once the fall hunting seasons arrive that Game Fair crowd is pretty hard to reach.
            We tend to spend every spare minute we have either in the field, in the marsh, in the stand or getting ready to head out to one of those locations. Politics doesn’t seem to fall very high on the list of priorities when watching a chilly, October-morning sunrise outdoors—but it needs to be. More so these days than ever before.
            Just as Game Fair helps hunters with last minute preparations for the fall hunting seasons, it has also become an opportunity for to learn where candidates stand on issues important to the outdoors.
            Thanks to pressure from several organizations and publications, Game Fair has become almost a testing ground, if you will, for candidates. It has also been a gathering place for candidates and Constitutional amendments to garnish support from the “hook and bullet” crowd that is so prevalent in Minnesota.
            “This year, there are more political candidates with a booth than we’ve ever had in all of our 29 years,” said Chuck Delaney, the host and founder of Game Fair. Both the democrats an republicans have a booth, both U.S. Senators have a booth, the Secretary of State has one, both candidates for Congressional District 6 are there, the 48th DFL District, Gubernatorial candidates Tom Emmer and Tom Horner have booths, as do several judge and county attorney candidates. Sportsmen organizations, including Sportsmen for Change and the Minnesota Conservation Federation, also have booths with a priority placed on politics.
            The Fox News Channel was at Game Fair twice during its first weekend covering a national story centered around the 6th Congressional District between Democrat Tarryl Clark and Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann. Both candidates worked the crowds at Game Fair, which resides in their district, while a three-person camera crew captured every sight, sound and reaction.
            If you want to avoid politics you can still come to Game Fair for all the hunting, dogs and outdoor sports people expect; but if you want to meet the candidates, talk with their supporters, grill them on their stance on issues or praise them for their voting record and priorities then Game Fair is the place to be.
            For the first time in Game Fair history, it will be the launching grounds of the statewide Gubernatorial election and the first of what will most likely be several debates between the three candidates. That’s because, coming on the heels of the August 10 primary, all three major party candidates will be on hand to debate clean water, habitat and similar issues important to hunters, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts.
 
Independence candidate Tom Horner at Game Fair being interviewed by Fox 9 News

Independence candidate Tom Horner at Game Fair being interviewed by Fox 9 News

           The debate is being sponsored by Outdoor News Editor Rob Drieslein and “Sportsmen For Change” executive director Garry Leaf (and hosted by Drieslein and Ron Schara) all of whom are very familiar with politics at Game Fair. Throughout the years, both have worked hard to bring political issues and candidates before the crowds.
            For many Game Fair attendees, this is one of the last times they’ll think about politics as they spend as many spare minutes of their time in the field and marsh throughout September, October and November.
            Sportsmen and women are a pretty disjointed group when it comes to politics, but we are a very important demographic who need to raise outdoors up the list of our voting priorities. Come on out to the Game Fair on Saturday to hear the gubernatorial candidates debate at 11 a.m. in the Main Seminar Tent.
            If you can’t make it then, come out Friday or Sunday and stop by the different political booths and make sure the candidates of all parties know that you exist, you have outdoors priorities, and that you’ll take a few minutes out from your busy fall hunting schedule to vote. Don’t forget to mention that after the election, you’ll hold them accountable for their pledges and promises.
Eight candidates atteded a 2009 candidate forum including Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer and Margaret Anderson Keliher

Eight candidates atteded a 2009 candidate forum including Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer and Margaret Anderson Keliher

             

 

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