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Uniquely Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The variety of hunting and fishing opportunities in Rochester is unique. With a diverse topography – from plains to bluffs – the region offers fantastic goose, turkey, deer and upland bird hunting, as well as world-class trout fishing. With such an active outdoors community, the area provides its share of compelling stories, from many outdoor manufacturers and museums to some truly skilled hunters.
Home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic and IBM, Rochester’s innovative health and technology industries are well known. Many don’t realize Rochester is also home to manufacturers and businesses that serve hunting and fishing enthusiasts.
Big boat makers Crestliner and Lund are located in northern Minnesota. Closer to Rochester, Federal Premium Ammunition manufactures bullets and shells for all shooting disciplines on its 175-acre facility northwest of the Twin Cities. The brand is also known for its premium factory-loaded rifle rounds and Fusion whitetail rifle bullets.
Minnetonka is the United States home of international fishing lure company, Rapala. Originally invented and carved from wood by a Finnish fisherman, Rapala lures have been preferred by anglers worldwide since they were featured in a 1962 issue of Life magazine.
“What’s interesting is that Minnesota’s weather, terrain and fishing is exactly like Finland’s,” said Kelly Brockpahler, marketing manager for Rapala. “It’s the perfect fit.”
The list of world record-sized fish caught with Rapala lures is incredible. From barracuda and snapper to bass and trout, more record fish have been caught using Rapala lures than any other.
Other regional outdoors companies include Robinson Outdoor Products, makers of sprays that shield human scent, scent-control clothing, footwear and accessories. German Ridge, Inc. is an innovative maker of bow hunting products, from quivers and bags to hunting logs, scent clips and trail markers.
In Rochester, Illusion Game Call Systems specializes in calls for geese, deer and other wildlife. Owner Mike Dukart’s first call system was developed after spending hundreds of hours with more than 20,000 giant Canada geese that call Rochester’s Silver Lake Park their year-round home. Illusion calls are now poised for national.
Rochester is home to plenty of museums and points of interest. The Pope and Young Club, recognized as the official keeper of world records for bow-harvest North American big game, is also home to the Pope and Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting. The museum offers exhibits on bowhunting heritage and its place in wildlife conservation. Handcrafted bows, arrows and points, as well as record archery kills, are among the museum’s highlights.
South of Rochester, in Harmony, Slim’s Woodshed is the largest woodcarving museum in the U.S., boasting a collection including amazing wildlife pieces collected for more than 50 years by Slim Maroushek. The museum offers classes and demonstrations throughout the year.
The Rochester area is also home to many celebrated hunters and fishermen. Scott Threinen, for example, has won the World Live Goose Calling Championship at the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Md. for the past three years. Jim Kostroski holds the Pope and Young Club’s record for a 17-point deer, the archery world’s highest-scoring velvet whitetail of all time. Miles Keller is a well-known white-tailed deer hunter and has killed many trophy bucks.
Rochester’s famous outdoorswoman is Michelle Leqve, a big game bowhunter who has killed 15 Pope and Young class animals. Despite a late start to the sport of bowhunting – her first hunt was in 1996, after marrying an avid hunter – her most beloved trophy is a 9 1/2-foot polar bear she shot in Canada in 2006. Leqve is the only woman in history to take a polar bear with a bow.
Whether it’s touring the facilities of one of the world’s leading hunting ammunition makers or chatting with the only woman to kill a polar bear by archery, unique story angles can be found in Rochester. It’s a place where hunting and fishing meet unparalleled innovation and topography. In other words, Rochester is not to be missed.
– Courtesy Rochester CVB
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