by Dennis Dalman
An avid duck hunter since he was 16 years old, Mark Haus of Sartell decided to join Ducks Unlimited because he wanted to give something back for the sake of the sport he loves.
It’s become a family tradition. Haus’s son Austin and daughter Alyssa hunt, too. Austin bagged seven ducks in his second year of hunting.
“We eat them,” Mark said. “We like duck better than steak.”
Haus, a chapter officer of the organization, is one of many Ducks Unlimited members who will sponsor the 8th annual banquet of Central Stearns County Ducks Unlimited Thursday, March 27 at the Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell. The event will start with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., the dinner at 7 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to attend. To find out more about ticket prices and how to register for the event, go to www.ducks.org. Or call Kathy Struffert at 320-249-8204.
Haus joined DU in 2011. He likes the conservation emphasis of DU, which spends close to $50 million each year to preserve habitat for ducks and other animals, thus helping to safeguard water and open spaces. So far, DU has helped preserve more than 184,000 acres of natural habitat, Haus noted. Fully 83 percent of money donated to DU goes for water-and-wetland conservation projects and for environmental education, he added. Only 3 percent of money goes for administrative costs.
While growing up near Pearl Lake, Haus took to duck hunting like a duck takes to water.
“It is always fun setting up decoys to get those ducks to come alive,” he said. “And it’s great in the early-morning sunrise watching all of nature come alive.”
And nature is central to Ducks Unlimited’s mission. The organization restores grasslands, replants forests, restores watersheds, acquires land, obtains conservation easements, works out management agreements and meets landowners.
Ducks such as mallards, pintails and teal like to nest in dense, grass-filled areas near wetlands.contributed photo
Trusty Rex the hunting dog retrieves a goose from a pond near Mary Lake by Luxemburg. Rex, now 1 year old, is the dog of Mark Haus, an avid Ducks Unlimited member who lives in Sartell.
Austin Haus of Sartell (left) and his sister, Alyssa, learn to band ducks during a Ducks Unlimited gathering. The man showing them how to do it is a Ducks Unlimited biologist from the Fergus Falls area.