Rooster Road Trip Minnesota Recap
When I’m in my 70s, I want to be just like Louis Kamrowski. From the instant I met Louis, he reminded me of Wayne Terwilliger, the Minnesota Twins first base coach during their Worlds Series seasons of 1987 and 1991. I had the pleasure of working with “Twig” during my time at the Saint Paul Saints Baseball Team and was always amazed at how spry Twig was into his 70s. Louis was the exact same way as he charged into cattails, willow thickets and big bluestem with more exuberance than men a quarter his age. And with Louis, smiles are free and he doles them out liberally to everyone he greets, which is pretty much anyone from the greater Fergus Falls area.
“You can’t take Louis anywhere if you’re in a hurry. Everyone knows Louis because he’s involved in everything; Pheasants Forever, VFW, Minnesota Deer Hunters; the list goes on,” explained Steve Pletta, fellow chapter officer with Kamrowski in the Otter Tail County Chapter of Pheasants Forever. “Louis is busier these days as a retired guy than he ever was while working as a state patrolman.”
It’s guys like Louis and Steve who have volunteered their time, enthusiasm and heart to Pheasants Forever over the organization’s 30 years that has made Pheasants Forever the most effective and efficient non-profit upland conservation group on the planet. The Otter Tail County Chapter epitomizes this success as a diverse group of people with a common habitat interest. Dozens of public Wildlife Management and Waterfowl Production Areas covering more than 4,000 acres open to hunters now polka-dot the county’s map along rivers and around wetlands as the chapter works diligently to acquire lands in connected corridors to provide the greatest impact for pheasants, prairie chickens, deer, turkeys and migrating waterfowl.
On this, our final day of the 2012 Rooster Road Trip, we hunted two of the chapter’s projects south of Fergus Falls with Louis, Steve and their pair of turbo-charged bird dogs. Louis runs a fantastic 9-year old named Cocoa, a German wirehair and chocolate Lab mix, and Steve’s retrieving machine is named Coal, a black Labrador and golden retriever mix.
As dark clouds gathered in preparation for the area’s first predicted winter storm of the season, we pushed into the heaviest cover of the trip; a mix of cattails and willows. According to Andrew’s Garmin Fenix watch, it took exactly 12 minutes and 51 seconds for Louis to swing on a rooster and drop it with his true second shot as we stood chest high in the middle of a cattail slough. A half hour later, Andrew’s yellow Lab, Beau, led Louis on a 200 yard sprint before Louis filled his daily limit with another true “bang” from his semi-auto.
Like I said, when I’m 70, I want to be just like Louis Kamrowski; happy, in great shape, still hunting roosters and working as hard as ever to make a difference for the future of wildlife habitat. In a nutshell . . . men and women like Louis are making Pheasants FOREVER a reality for all of us. Thanks Louis!
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