Every upland hunter’s dream road trip starts with the same romantic vision of loading up the truck and pointing it west. Absent from these dreams are scenes of packing up the minivan, filling the trunk of a sedan, or strapping miscellaneous bags to the top of a hatch-back. Sure, we all know people who do this – and quite successfully – but if we all had our choice, we’d be cruising gravel back roads in a legitimate truck.
Based out of Apple Valley, Minnesota, Apple Auto Ford
was kind enough (or daring enough) to hand over the keys of a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT for us to put through the paces of a true hunting trip. Considering we put on 780+ miles before the road trip officially started, I’d say we have a pretty good grasp of what this truck can do.
Besides the 5.0L V8 eating up miles with ease and the SYNC media controls making this lengthy trip almost seem too comfortable, the first “man I love this truck” moment happened when Josh Preissner, our 6’4” 245 lb. videographer, climbed in the back of the SuperCrew cab and had legroom to spare. Fully loaded with three guys’ gear, two dogs, and still no one was feeling claustrophobic. Now that is a dream come true!
It’s easy to fall in love with a top-of-the-line F-150, but what makes this Apple Auto Ford F-150 a step above the rest is the fact that Apple Auto is a dealership that truly cares about conservation. They’re hunters themselves and they know the connection between healthy habitat and abundant wildlife populations – and they’ve proved this by being one of the most influential donors to Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area program
Through a unique funding mechanism, the Build a Wildlife Area program pledges to see every dollar donated is, at a minimum, tripled through matching grants that Pheasants Forever has in place with state natural resource agencies, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and partners like Apple Auto. In other words, a $25 donation is worth $75 or more and a $10,000 donation is worth $30,000 or more for conserving critical upland habitat and creating publicly accessible wildlife areas.
Later this week, we’re hoping to find wild, public land roosters on a Build a Wildlife Area property in western Minnesota, a property where our truck should feel right at home considering the dealership it came from helped make this parcel accessible to people like you and me. Now that’s
a dream come true.
- Andrew Vavra, Rooster Road Trip 2016
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