Deadline Approaching for Deer Hunter Ethics Award Nominees

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With the record-setting Minnesota deer hunting season still fresh in their minds, hunters are being asked to share stories of admirable hunting behavior with others in the form of nominations for the 12th annual Minnesota Deer Hunter Ethics Award.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Turn In Poachers (TIP), the Deer Hunter Ethics Award will honor a deer hunter who exhibited conduct during the 2003 season that can serve as an example of admirable hunting practices.

The award will be presented at the 2004 MDHA Habitat Banquet on Feb. 21, 2004 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

MDHA Executive Director Mark Johnson said his organization is pleased to again co-sponsor this award along with TIP and the DNR. "MDHA is proud of the ethical standards of our deer hunters," Johnson said. "Past award winners are examples of the type of hunters we all aspire to be."

Wayne Edgerton, the DNR agriculture policy director, said the award honors hunters who do the right thing. "Each year we hear about hunters who have done something special that makes us proud to be hunters," Edgerton said. "This award provides a means to provide public recognition and appreciation for these acts."

Mike Juhnke, director of operations for TIP, agrees. "This award encourages ethical and legal hunting, which is what TIP is all about."

Anyone may nominate a hunter by writing a letter explaining the actions of the nominee and why that person is worthy of this recognition. Both youth and adults are eligible, but nominees must be Minnesota residents. The incidents for which hunters are nominated must have occurred during any of the 2003 Minnesota deer hunting seasons (archery, firearm or muzzleloader).

The MDHA will accept nominations for the Minnesota Deer Hunter's Ethics Award until Feb. 1, 2004. Nomination letters should be sent to Mark Johnson, MDHA, 460 Peterson Road, Grand Rapids, MN 55744-8413.