Hunting a Property with the Person it’s Named After

3de76538-5684-457d-b2ed-87e6db754be5 By Bob St. Pierre, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

In the Pheasants Forever press release announcing his retirement, the lead reads as follows:

“If Pheasants Forever had a Hall of Fame, Joe Duggan would surely be in it.”

As a notorious fan of baseball analogies, I’d like to take the thought a base further. Joe Duggan is Pheasants Forever’s Harmon Killebrew. At the time of his retirement, Killebrew had hit the fourth-most homers in major league history. Like Harmon, Duggan swung for the fences with big ideas for wildlife and hunters.  Did Joe strike out along the way? Sure did. Every power hitter does. No one, however, remembers the whiffs.  Like Killebrew, Joe will always be remembered for hitting some of the organization’s most massive bombas during his 30-year career.

It’s indeed those conservation home runs that led the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources AND the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to name the Joe Duggan Family Wildlife Management Area and Waterfowl Production Area in his honor. Yes, a WMA AND a WPA on the same property.  Never heard of such a thing?  Neither have I. It’s a testament to Duggan’s career that both agencies wanted to honor such a special conservation icon.

Lucky for us, Joe Duggan is in excellent health and anxious to go pheasant hunting this season. So, it is only fitting that we kick off the 2020 Rooster Road Trip with Joe batting cleanup on the public property honoring his conservation achievements.

Speaking of which, here’s a rundown of Joe’s most monumental accomplishments:
  • Played a key role in three Minnesota constitutional amendments to help preserve the state’s outdoor heritage: 
    • The 1998 Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, which has since led to similar efforts in 17 other states; 
    • The 1998 Reauthorization of Minnesota’s Environmental Trust Fund Amendment; and 
    • The establishment of “dedicated funding” through the passage of the 2008 Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
  • Co-founded the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA), one of the first state-based legislative caucuses in the nation modeled after the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus.
  • Developed Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area program in 2003, which has generated new public wildlife areas (WMAs and WPAs) covering 13,000 acres in seven states.
  • Architect of National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, which is Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s annual signature event highlighting habitat, hunting, and bird dogs. He also came up with the Bird Dog Parade, which kicks off the event every year.
  • Developed and initiated legislative and Governor’s office support for the proposal to trade 2,800 acres owned by the University of Minnesota (U of M) near the Twin Cities to become the Vermillion Highlands Research, Recreation, and Wildlife Management Area in exchange for legislative support of a bonding bill for the new U of M football stadium (TCF Bank Stadium).
  • Received the 1999 Man of the Year Award presented by Outdoor News (was the publication’s first recipient).
  • Received the 2001 Conservationist of the Year Award presented by Minnesota Conservation Federation.
  • Received the 2013 Silver Eagle Award presented by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
  • And believe it or not, there’s much, much more… 
We’re all looking forward to swinging for the fences one more time with PF’s Harmon Killebrew . . . “Touch 'em all” Joe Duggan!


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Sincerest thanks to our partners riding shotgun: Apple Autos, Browning, Federal Premium Ammunition, Garmin, Ruff Land KennelsSoundGear, #ResponsibleRecreation