YOUTH DRAWN TO THE OUTDOORS
host Bret Amundson follows a youth mentored hunt led by the Lac qui Parle chapter of Pheasants Forever. At the Governor’s Pheasant Opener, near Watson, Minn., viewers are out in the field with young women hunters and watch a high school trap team demonstrate their shooting skills at the new Mills Creek Gun Range in Montevideo, Minn.
TRIUMPHS IN HUNTING AND HABITATS
Prairie Sportsman host Bret Amundson and Cory Loeffler, founder of DRC Call Co., bag their limit of geese on a wildlife management area near Fergus Falls. Then, Walt Gessler, DNR Lac qui Parle wildlife manager, checks out the Jim and Karen Killen Waterfowl Refuge, named after the Owatonna wildlife artist and his wife, who are both respected conservationists. The sanctuary, near Marsh Lake in Big Stone County, gives birds a safe place to eat and rest during hunting season.
PLUNGING THROUGH THE ICE TO CLEAR WATER
Host Bret Amundson spearfishing in a dark house with Cody Thompson on Lac qui Parle Lake. Bret learns the fine points of selecting the best lures for water conditions and fish species. And he presents live action footage of spearfishing adventures contributed by viewers.
The final segment features a new system to remove nitrates from farm drainage water. This process is being tested in one of the world’s largest bioreactor studies, near Willmar, Minn.
The Tatanka Bluffs area, a hidden gem on the Minnesota River, offers plentiful resources for outdoor enthusiasts. Hop in a kayak and enjoy views from the water with Ted Suss, a Tatanka Bluffs Corridor board member.
Explore river fishing with Tom Kalahar, retired from the Renville Soil and Water Conservation District.
Tatanka Bluffs Corridor board member Loran Kaardal and Cheyanne St. John of the Lower Sioux Mdewakanton Indian Community take Prairie Sportsman viewers on a tour of the area, highlighting its history and outdoor recreation opportunities.
PURSUING A DEER AND CLEANER WATER
This episode opens with accomplished bowhunter, Chris Aasland of Appleton, Minn., who has been tracking a whitetail buck for years. He self-filmed his persistent pursuit of the deer he nicknamed “Dodger Buck,” which kept dodging away. Chris also shows how to set up a camera to successfully capture hunting experiences.
Ed Hegland, from Appleton, Minn., demonstrates his strip-till farming technique, a minimum-tillage system that protects soil from wind and water erosion and provides wildlife habitat.
SHOOT A GOOSE TO SAVE A GOOSE
The number of snow geese migrating through central United States has exploded from 1.5 million birds in the early 1970s to an estimated 15 to 20 million today. Biologists are concerned that snow geese are overpowering food supplies in their tundra nesting grounds, putting unsustainable pressure on their habitat. To help manage the snow goose population, host Bret Amundson joins Tony Crotty and Mid Migration Outfitters on several weeks of spring conservation hunts in the Upper Midwest.
PRECIOUS AND RARE
Found by a morel mushroom hunter in southeast Minnesota, the pristine, two-headed fawn was stillborn. An MRI scan revealed the fawn had one liver, one set of lungs, but two hearts and two heads.
Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, asked Robert Utne, owner of Wild Images in Motion based in Savage, Minn., and taxidermist Jessica Brooks to mount the rare little deer. Prairie Sportsman recorded the delicate process and toured Robert’s studio, with its fascinating collection of wildlife, including African cats, a warthog and a rhinoceros.
Chef Curt Anderson of Evansville, Minn. will also make an appearance, cooking up some yummy fish wraps.
FISHING WITH A FLY
The program opens with host Bret Amundson learning about the art of fly fishing and how to cast from expert fly fisherman Mike Alwin at Whitewater State Park in southeast Minnesota.
Prairie Sportsman travels to a DNR trout hatchery in Lanesboro, Minn., then to Camden State Park where 2,500 brown trout raised at the hatchery are released into the Redwood River in southwest Minnesota. A high school stream ecology class gets their hands wet as they help the DNR release nets full of brown trout into the river.
During the town hall broadcast, host Bret Amundson will direct questions from the live and viewing audience to experts in the audience with a variety of backgrounds in outdoor sports, conservation and natural resource management.
Panelists include: Sarah Maass, owner of the Fort Ridgely Equestrian Center; Grace Steffl, Fort Ridgely Equestrian Center; Curt Vacek, MN DNR; among others.
The event is open to the public; people are encouraged to bring friends and family to a reception starting at 5 p.m. in the Humanities Fine Arts Building on campus. Attendants will enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cash beer and wine bar while viewing the work of area wildlife and nature artists on display in the Edward J and Helen Jane Morrison Gallery.
Producer Cindy Dorn, host Bret Amundson, videographer and editor Dan Balluff and digital media specialist Amanda Anderson will also be available to answer questions about the show.
Viewers are encouraged to participate online by using #PSTownHall or #AskPS on Facebook and Twitter, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-726-3178.