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

Opportunities abound for discovering the outdoors if you just express an interest and apply

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Children, Women, Recreation, Outdoors Women Updated: January 30, 2013 - 11:10 PM
Most of us outdoors types had an influential person in our lives who introduced us to the outdoors and helped ignite, not just our interest in the outdoors, but also provided us with guidance. Chances are it was more than one person and probably at different times in our outdoor experiences.
            The world we live in today is distinctly different from that of just a generation ago and there’s a definite need for people to serve as mentors. Numerous hunters and anglers have put themselves out there to serve this role but they need youth and adults interested in having a mentor.
            It’s an interesting dynamic. You find out about people who need mentoring, so you find mentors. They connect and a new group of people learn the joy of the outdoors. This in turn spurns others to sign up for a mentored hunt and others to mentor.
            That said, the effort to recruit mentors must also be matched with the effort to recruit mentees. Mike “Cold Front” Kurre, mentoring program coordinator at the DNR, recently told me that they are looking for first-time youth and a supporting adult to apply for a mentored youth spring turkey hunt.
            The deadline for this hunt is coming soon on February 19 and application information can be found at
            This hunt is in conjunction with the National Wild Turkey Federation and intended to be an educational experience for new turkey hunters, both youth and their guardian. Only the youth is eligible to shoot but both the youth and adult will go with a mentor to hunt.
            To be eligible, a youth must be between the ages of 12 and 17 by April 20, possess a Firearms Safety Certificate and have a parent, guardian, or authorized adult accompany the youth. The youth must also be a “first-time” turkey hunter.
            If you are interested, go to the link above and sign-up. If you think you’d like to be a mentor down the road, contact Kurre at or 651-259-5193.
            Another equally fantastic opportunity exists for women over 18 interested in learning turkey hunting skills and participating in a mid-May turkey hunt. The area of the hunt this spring is limited to Hugo in the northeast metro area. The application can be downloaded at with an application deadline of February 19.
            These are certainly not the only opportunities available for mentors and folks new to the outdoors. A complete run down of programs can be found at or contacting Kurre.
Another great resource is the "Women Hunting and Fishing in all Seasons" work group which can be accessed online at
            If you have been on one of these mentored hunts either as a mentor or mentee, please post your stories in the comments section below. 

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

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Environment, Women, Recreation, Outdoors Women 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
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

Pull! A visit to the range is a fun way to prepare for the fall hunt

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Recreation Updated: August 27, 2012 - 5:46 AM


Early fall is one of my most favorite times of the year because hunting season is in sight. My only apprehension is that I know my shooting skills have taken a dip from not exercising those skills over the summer.

That summer shooting league I meant to join and those trips to the range I put off suddenly have some urgency to them.

Every time I visit the range I am reminded by how much fun it is just to shoot for recreation. In my opinion, trapshooting, skeet and sporting clays are a much better way to spend money than with golf. I’ve never been much of a golfer anyways, but even the worst day of shooting beats the best day of golf.

Smacking a ball around for a few hours just can’t compete with firing on clay Frisbees flying through the air and exploding into pieces. Besides, away from the gun range I can use those skills while I hunt. Smacking a ball into a hole is hardly a skill outside the golf course.

If you haven’t kept up with your shooting this summer, then this is a great time to find that gun range near your house and get into shape. Bring the shotgun out, buy a case of target load shells, and commit yourself to not hunting until you’ve blown through all of them.

Practicing your shooting is critical for avoiding embarrassing situations like that miss on an “easy” shot. It’s also an essential part of being a true conservationist. It’s a waste of an animal to make a less than lethal shot that can lead to unnecessary suffering. Anti-hunters love inaccurate shooters because they make the sport look bad in the eyes of others.

On a selfish note, being a good shot makes hunting a much more enjoyable experience. Few people feel good lobbing three rounds of steel shot into the lake with nothing to show. At a dollar a shell, on average, those range fees quickly pay for themselves when you pound out a double on three shots.

Not only that, but the impressed applause you receive from the others in your hunting party provides for an added bonus. An inflated sense of self is not to be underrated!

In the past week, I’ve shot two rounds of skeet at the LakeShore Conservation Club near Brainerd and two rounds of five-stand sporting clays at Hunts Point near Pequot Lakes. Total investment of time? Just over an hour. Improvement of confidence for the fall? Tremendous. Cost? For everything from shells to range fees and gas costs, about $100.

The clubhouse at Hunt's Point is as nice as any country club

The clubhouse at Hunt's Point is as nice as any country club

My Dad came along with me so that only added to the fun and at the skeet range, my kids hung around near the clubhouse under the watchful eye of their grandmother. A two-year-old and four-year-old are hardly ready to shoot just yet but being around it, seeing it in action and learning gun safety are valuable experiences.

As the calendar hits September, and the opening morning of the early goose season arrives, I’ll definitely be a better shot and have more confidence in my ability to knock down a few feathered cows.

A few more trips to the range are definitely in store. There’s also the need to put a dozen or so rounds through the deer rifle and get the muzzleloader in shape as well. The time it takes is minimal as is the cost, but the payoff and fun are well worth it.

The Arts and the Outdoors Meet Again (every year)

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Arts, Art, Recreation Updated: August 6, 2012 - 11:35 PM

You have art hounds and coon hounds. Fine art hunters and big game hunters. 

Seems like an odd combination but it all works out at Game Fair over two weekends every August in Minnesota. 

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows and that seemed to be the case in 2008 when the arts and outdoors were joined together in a Minnesota Constitutional Amendment to raise the state sales tax a small fraction to benefit the two. 

Four years later and millions of dollars have been put to good use by both the arts and the outdoors...but that's not what this blog is all about. 

I contend that the arts and outdoors are no strangers to each other. The obvious reason is that most outdoors lovers also possess a fair amount of art that reminds them of the outdoors. Paintings, sculptures, photography, pottery, carvings and more are quite commonplace even at the shabbiest of shacks. Taxidermy is not just something dead mounted on a hunk of wood, well some of it is, but the finest taxidermy is definitely a work of art. Snooty art hounds might disagree, but when they realize how much work goes into properly mounting an animal (not to mention how much money is costs), they definitely respect the artistry of a taxidermist. 


All of those things converge in one place each year--the Game Fair held this year from August 10-12 and 17-19 at Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey, MN. In addition to all the exhibits related to hunting, dogs and other outdoor pursuits there is a lot of art. Enough to fill a barn and then some. 

No really. The Game Fair Art Barn is a very popular destination that has long been a draw. There's sculpture, paintings and taxidermy all under one roof. The Wildfowl and Decoy Carvers conduct daily demonstrations of their woodcarvings, and there are antler carvings created by Game Fair hostess Loral I Delaney herself. 

Some of the finest artists in the country come to the Game Fair to meet their biggest fans (and customers). Attendees to Game Fair are thrilled to meet the artist of the print on their wall and the conservation stamp in their pocket. The person who has brought all of these renowned artists to Game Fair each year is Chris Knutson, owner of "Art Barbarians" in Rogers, Minnesota. Not only does he bring them out to chat with Game Fair attendees, he tells them to bring their brushes and canvas and let the paint fly. 

This year, Knutson will have renowned artists Scot Storm and Tom Moen in the Art Barn all six days of Game Fair. These guys are highly respected wildlife artists with numerous awards and publications of their artwork. Both are Minnesota artists and Knutson has worked hard over the years to especially promote Minnesota artists. Visit his website to see some of the galleries he has and videos with numerous artists. 



Storm has won the Federal Duck Stamp contest as well as numerous state duck stamp contests, including the Minnesota Duck Stamp in 2009 and 2004. Moen has won the state MN Duck Stamp contest twice as well in 1998 and again in 2007. Come to the Game Fair, look at their work and you'll know you've seen their work. Both guys are very nice, down to Earth and are there to chat with the public so come on out and meet them. They paint because they love to capture the moments in the field they experiences themselves and share with the world. 

Also in the Art Barn is the United Special Sportsman Alliance (USSA) Taxidermy Competition. Game Fair attendees can vote for their favorite taxidermy mounts and support the USSA as they raise money to grant fishing and hunting trips to children and veterans with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. Taxidermists will be on hand throughout the six days demonstrating their unique and highly skilled craft. Like painters, taxidermists capture the moments in the field so people can live them over again and again. 

Check out and be sure to follow GameFairUSA on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on who is out at the Game Fair. Other artists routinely drop by for the day and updates will be posted as developments occur. 

Since we cannot always be in the outdoors, we purchase art to remind us. 

Since we are not always successful in bagging our quarry, we purchase art so we can dream. 

Because we want to remember our successes, we preserve our trophies as we define them. 

Art and hunting are quite comfortable together indeed. 



Olympic medalist Kim Rhode no stranger to Minnesota

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Olympics, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sports, Anoka, Outdoors Women Updated: July 30, 2012 - 12:18 AM

             It’s too bad the shooting sports and archery don’t receive a more prominent position in Olympic coverage but it’s hard to avoid that this year with the United States teams doing so well.

            The men’s archery team took silver and skeet shooter Kim Rhode took home Olympic gold. She did so in a record-setting performance far surpassing her competition. Her score of 99 out of 100 was near perfect and a full eight targets better than the second place finisher.
            She also has accomplished something no other Olympiad has ever done—she has won five medals in five consecutive Olympics. Carl Lewis never did that nor did Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
            It’s a testament to the fact that archery and shooting are truly life sports. You can pick up the sport as a youth and continue it as a senior. Rhode won her first medal as a teenager and good friends of mine, Chuck and Loral I Delaney, are still avid shooters in their 70s.
            Those two stories converged back in 2006 when Kim Rhode spent the two weekends of Game Fair as a guest of Chuck and Loral I Delaney during the 25th Anniversary of the event.
The Delaney’s are strong advocates of the shooting sports and extremely accomplished shotgunners themselves. Loral I puts on shooting lessons for ladies at Game Fair each year and as an inductee into the national trapshooting hall of fame she’s definitely qualified. Go to for details on some of her accomplishments (though not all).
            Rhode split her duties between the shotgun range providing instruction with Loral I and meeting with fans in the Information Tent. She was a very interesting woman to chat with and was very humble for a three-time Olympic athlete (at the time).
            I interviewed her for a profile that appeared in the Outdoor News and, all humility aside, she did sign an autograph for me and allowed me to check out her Olympic medals. It was impressive at the time but even moreso now that she’s the only individual Olympic athlete to win medals in five straight Olympics.
            What impresses me most about her shooting accomplishments was that she had to totally change her shooting style. Her first Olympic medals were achieved in trapshooting. Then they dropped that from the Olympics and she had to make the shift to skeet.
Kim Rhode and Loral I Delaney taught women shooting skills at Game Fair during her visit.

Kim Rhode and Loral I Delaney taught women shooting skills at Game Fair during her visit.

            I much prefer skeet to trap and, as anybody who shoots both will attest to, making the shift between them is a difficult adjustment.  The targets fly very differently and the rhythm is definitely a change.
            No word yet if she’ll be returning to Minnesota to visit the Delany’s at Game Fair again this year. Game Fair runs from August 10 to 12 and 17 to 19 at the Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey, MN and Olympic closing ceremonies are scheduled for August 12.
            If she does by chance happen to stop by, you can find out at or on Twitter @GameFairUSA. Details on Game Fair can be found at
Rhode chatted with then Governor Tim Pawlenty who visited the 25th Game Fair to deliver a Proclamation.

Rhode chatted with then Governor Tim Pawlenty who visited the 25th Game Fair to deliver a Proclamation.

First ever $10,000 Duck and Goose Calling Contest coming to Game Fair 2012

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Recreation Updated: July 9, 2012 - 12:39 AM

 Calling all callers!

            Men, women and children who know how to purse their lips together on their favorite duck or goose call and make the sweet sounds of waterfowl are invited to the first ever Game Fair $10,000 Duck and Goose Calling Championship held Saturday, August 18 and Sunday August 19.
            This contest is one of the many events taking place at the 31st annual Game Fair held at Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey, Minnesota just northwest of the Twin Cities. Game Fair is a sporting event for the entire family in the real out-of-doors, situated on 80 beautiful acres of woods and water.
            With that level of payouts and prizes available in eight different calling competitions, the Game Fair $10,000 Duck and Goose Calling Championship will be one of the premiere calling contests in all of North America.

            Visit for details on payouts and prizes totaling more than $10,000 including a $1,500 top prize in each the Game Fair Open Duck Calling Championship and Game Fair Open Goose Calling Championship. Top prize in the Women’s Duck and Goose Calling Championships are $500 and $750 in the Two-Person Duck and Goose Calling Championships.
            Game Fair is a great event for the outdoors and preview to the fall hunting seasons with a lot of visitors who are awesome waterfowlers. “We have call manufacturers here, avid waterfowlers and lots of men and women who know how to sound like a duck and goose. This contest is a way to honor the sport and all entry fees will be donated to Minnesota Ducks Unlimited,” said Chuck Delaney, host and owner of Game Fair.
            Registrations are now being taken for the contest and callers interested in participating are encouraged to visit for forms, rules, payouts and event specifics.
            Game Fair 2012 runs two weekends each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The first weekend is August 10, 11, 12 and the second weekend is August 17, 18, and 19. 



Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters