Grand Rapids Herald
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Ralph Carlson

The third annual Outdoor Sport Show will be conducted this weekend, March 28, 29 and 30. Sponsored by the Minnesota Fishing Federation, this show looks bigger and better than ever. The outdoor show is a great place to buy, sell or trade items relating to fishing, hunting, trapping and many other outdoor items.

Some of the many events will be a display of Joyce Estate boats, a live bull elk display, the Leonard Pangburn antique outboard motor collection, fish decoy and bird decoy carving contest and much more. How close have you been to a bald eagle? On Saturday only, naturalist Gail Buhl will have raptors seminars featuring a live bald eagle.

Author Doug Lodermeier will be attending the outdoor show and duck hunters that do not stop at his booth will be missing out on something special. Lodermeier’s book, “Minnesota Duck Calls, yesterday and today’s folk artists” the book covering great Minnesota call makers of the past and present is a must for any enthusiast or dealer of wildfowl calls and sporting collectibles.

The book is not an antiseptic complication of call makers but a collection of stories depicting their products and their history of callmaking. If for no other reason the book has a wonderful collection of historic duck hunting photos.

Mallards on a fence, a photo taken the day after the Armistice Day blizzard, Nov. 11, 1940. Many fathers and grandfathers who may have shared a duck blind that day will never forget the storm of the century. Of the 59 people that died that day many were duck hunters caught unawares by the mild weather at the beginning of the day.

The books segment on callmakers, the Gressers, both senior and Junior contained an interesting photo of Harry Gressner Jr. in front of Fullers Tackle Shop in Grand Rapids with 32 and 36 pound muskies caught within 30 minutes of each other on Winnibigoshish.

Being in advertising I couldn’t help but notice the ad Nels Hansen of Zimmerman placed in the October, 1940 edition of the National Sportsman. The Broadbill Duck Call $1 postage paid, the true to life tone has made it a favorite with hunters for years.

These are just a few of the excerpts from Doug Lodermeier’s fine book. I cannot imagine a more complete book of Minnesota callmakers in existence. The stories are wonderful, the pictures are priceless. A visit to Lodermeier’s booth this weekend at the outdoor show will be worth the stop.