Minnesota BHA Rendezvous Report

Minnesota BHA Rendezvous

Report (2016): Wild River State Park



Minnesota BHA held its fourth annual chapter Rendezvous during the weekend of August 19-21, 2016. We set up camp in Minnesota’s Wild River State Park on the St. Croix River. The park is named “Wild River” due to the St. Croix being one of the rivers protected by Congress in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The weekend activities included tours of local sights (i.e., the North West Company Fur Post in nearby Pine River), fishing the St. Croix River, excellent food (elk and venison along with fresh-picked mushrooms) and great friends/comradery.

Although the weather was less than ideal, a dozen members made the journey to Wild River for the weekend, including two new members, Aaron Hebeisen and Josh Ayres (thanks for joining us/great meeting you both!). Others were board members or long-time activists, like Bob and Pat Tammen, who have been in the forefront of the chapter’s fight against sulfide mining proposals in northern Minnesota. As always, excellent food was part of the weekend: elk burgers, collard greens, freshly picked chanterelles and venison poppers.

The discussion for the upcoming year focused on membership recruitment activities, including holding “Beers for the Backcountry” events at craft breweries (preferably) in different parts of the state. As part of that discussion, we concluded it was a good idea to focus on holding our own events, with some exceptions. We’ll also continue our efforts to stop sulfide mining proposals in northern Minnesota and to keep public lands in public hands. In addition, we discussed continuing our involvement with the DNR’s hunting mentor program and the possibility of getting more involved at the State Legislature, along with several possible initiatives BHA could initiate.

That said, we have had a huge year! We now have our first fully-functioning board. We expanded into a whole slew of new areas/initiatives. We have made a major contribution to protecting the BWCAW from sulfide mining. We appointed our first Habitat Watch Volunteer (see link below), Hans Erdman (thank you, Hans!). We were critical to starting an annual Train To Hunt event, reached out to traditional archers at Rapids Archery Club, and hosted a Full Draw Film Tour. We were also recognize by BHA National and the Outdoor News for our chapter’s impressive work this year (see links below).

As one board member observed, our group (with a hundred or so members) has done as much as some groups with thousands of members and deep pockets. Pretty impressive, but next year will be even bigger and better!

 -“Minnesota Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Chapter Recognized.” AmmoLand.com: 8/8/16. http://www.ammoland.com/2016/08/minnesota-backcountry-hunters-anglers-chapter-recognized/

-“Backcountry Hunters and Anglers appoint local as Habitat Watch Volunteer.” Isanti County News: 5/22/16. http://isanticountynews.com/2016/05/22/backcountry-hunters-and-anglers-appoint-local-as-habitat-watch-volunteer/

-“Passion for public lands bolsters ranks of BHA.” Outdoor News: 5/13/16. http://www.outdoornews.com/May-2016/Passion-for-public-lands-bolsters-ranks-of-BHA/#.VzYCkln7ekg.twitter

Links to photos from the Rendezvous weekend are included below:

-Minnesota BHA Rendezvous at Wild River State Park on the St. Croix River (Aug. 19-21): https://goo.gl/photos/AEpc12o3qA8EmJsd8

-North West Company Fur Post near Pine City—not far from Wild River St. Park (Aug. 20): https://goo.gl/photos/A3r34q8Ta3qPboYL8

Thanks to everyone who attended the Rendezvous, and for the entire chapter’s continued hard work/boots-on-the-ground efforts to protect our wild public lands, waters and wildlife for future generations of hunters, anglers and other outdoorsmen and women. As BHA founder (& U.S. Army veteran) 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.”

 And don’t hesitate to contact any of the board members (below) if you have questions/ideas going forward. If we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.


Have a great fall hunting season!



Erik Jensen

Co-Chair, Minnesota

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

The Sportsman's Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife




David A. Lien

Co-Chair, Minnesota

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

The Sportsman's Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife



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