In the Beginning...
In April 1948, little could the founders envision that they were establishing the beginning of what was to become a seventy-year tradition of conservation, education and service. The previous winter had been unusually stressful on the numerous deer in the area. Individuals and groups were debating the issue of what could be done to relieve this situation in future winters. It was this controversy that prompted seventeen people with vision to meet. Those in attendance believed that the best way to tackle the problem was to form an organization that could present a united voice regarding the deer controversy.
Thus, the Club was formed and officers were elected including Curt Sparks as President; Tony Hrbacek, First Vice-President; Harry Wilde, Second Vice- President; Charles Johnson, Secretary; and Larry Bent, Treasurer.
An entry of the Charles Johnson's diary of Tuesday April 20, 1948 reads, "Drove at night to Land 0'Lakes Town Hall and, with 17 present, we founded the Club." He also recalled that when they were pondering a name for the Club he remarked, "We actually are a fish and game club." Gene Knuth responded, "Well then, what's wrong with calling it the Land 0'Lakes Fish and Game Club?" So, as it is said, "The rest is history", a history that has provided a greater than sixty year tradition of conservation, education and service to the community.
In 1948, the formation of a fish and game club was unprecedented in Wisconsin. It proved to be an innovative step on the part of the founders. It also provided a very desirable and effective vehicle for addressing a wide-variety of problems, programs and educational opportunities for its club members, Land 0'Lakes and neighboring communities. Today the Land 0'Lakes Fish and Game Club still enjoys the distinction of being the oldest club of this type in the State of Wisconsin.
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