Minnesota BHA Rendezvous Chippewa National Forest (6–8 Sept., 2013)

ducks DarrelMinnesota BHA held its first annual Rendezvous during September 6-8. A group of a dozen attendees from around the state set camp in northern Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest. About half of the 1.6 million acres within the boundaries of the Chippewa are water, including 1,300 lakes, almost a thousand miles of streams, and many wetlands. Camp was located at Darrell Spencer’s cabin on Third River just south of Dixon Lake, not far from the 7,000-acre North Winnie Semi Primitive Non-Motorized Area.

The weekend fell on Youth Waterfowl Day (September 7), and we feasted on fresh duck cooked over a campfire Saturday evening along with elk backstrap and tenderloin compliments of renowned elk hunter (and Colorado BHA founder) David “Elkheart” Petersen. Here’s a short video (The Outdoor Report: “Waterfowling Adventure”) featuring Darrell Spencer jump-shooting ducks in vicinity of his Third River cabin.

erick Jensen shooting BackcountryIt was a relaxed, mostly unstructured “get acquainted” weekend with some serious conversation and plenty of laughter both nights. During the day Saturday, folks dispersed to go duck hunting and fishing, returning during the afternoon for some target practice at the Third River Cabin firing range and an informal chapter meeting to discuss where we’ve been and where we’re going. The weather was sunny and warm all weekend, and Saturday evening we commenced with a group wild game cookout that included fresh duck and Colorado San Juan Mountains elk.

Planned MN BHA chapter activities for 2014 include continuing to grow our membership and starting a Habitat Watchmen program (among others). Habitat Watchmen serve as BHA’s “eyes and ears” on national forest, state forests, and other public Backcountry hunters Anglerslands. Habitat Watchmen are our points of contact for issues impacting specific public lands. Contact Minnesota BHA co-chair David Lien (dlien2@yahoo.com) if you’d like additional information or want to volunteer.

And as BHA founder Mike Beagle said, “We will continue to be a voice for core values of solitude, challenge, freedom and tradition so badly needed in the world where outdoor pursuits risk becoming more about selling products and technology instead of exercising skill and woodcraft. BHA is getting better and better. The best is yet to come.”

More photos from the Minnesota Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) First Annual Rendezvous in the Dixon Lake/Third River Area of northern Minnesota (Sep. 6 – Sep. 8) can be found here.

About Caitlin Thompson