Today: Lukas Leaf, executive director of the Minnesota group Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters. Leaf also is the chef at Modern Carnivore, a Minnesota business focused on promoting hunting, fishing and foraging.


Spring is in full swing here in Minnesota, so I’m diving back into all of my foraging guides and books, looking for inspiration and just a general refresh. There is so much out there that we tend to walk by in nature. Foraging and wild food have become a passion for me over the years.

I’m also reading “My Life as an Indian” by J.W. Schultz. The book is an extraordinary account of a man who chose to live with the Plains American Indians, experiencing everything about their lives. I highly recommend it.


Environmental issues are at the forefront of conversation in this country now, and extremely important to the future of lands and waters that they will affect. I work in conservation as the executive director of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters and am on the board of the Minnesota chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, so the movement to become closer to our lands and waters and to protect them for future generations is a top priority for me. One of our largest issues in Minnesota is the proposed copper-nickel mining at the doorstep of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and is something that everyone should educate themselves on. This project has the potential to severely pollute one of the most unique places in the world.


My wife and I like to find something to wind down with at the end of the night, whether it be a movie or a TV show. We have so much serious stuff going on in our job worlds that something a little mindless is always nice. “30 Rock” or “Grey’s Anatomy” come to mind. Though, she’ll tell you that if I’m watching anything by myself it’s usually focused on food, nature, science fiction or loud noises. And, yes, “Game Of Thrones.”


I tend to rotate through a handful of podcasts that are based around wild food, hunting, angling and conservation. Some great podcasts are Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Podcast and Blast with Hal Herring (who also recommended the book I mentioned); our local Fan Outdoors on KFAN; Modern Carnivore; and “The MeatEater.” I’m always in for a good murder mystery type story, too. My wife and I recently took a long road trip and went through the entire “Up And Vanished” podcast season.


I was just in Boise, Idaho, for the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers National Rendezvous. It’s one of my favorite events of the year. It’s really refreshing to be around such great folks.

I’m always excited about fishing opener and getting back out to target lake trout in the Boundary Waters while the water is still cold. It’s a blast. I’ll be heading up to my buddy’s cabin soon for late-spring season turkey and to do some fishing and foraging. In June my wife and I are heading up to the Boundary Waters for a long weekend with some friends.