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Two BSU students start Ducks Unlimited chapter

Both avid hunters, Jon Perlinger and Bob Schroeder want to see the habitat of Minnesota's wildlife preserved.

The two Bemidji State University sophomores are working toward this goal by starting a Ducks Unlimited chapter for college students in Bemidji.

Bemidji Colleges Ducks Unlimited became an official DU chapter in January. It is open to students at BSU, Northwest Technical College and Oak Hills Christian College.

"We've been working on it for over a year now and it finally came together," said Perlinger, chapter president.

BSU previously had a DU chapter, but it dissolved about four years ago.

The idea to start a new chapter stemmed from a DU employee who spotted a photo online of a banded blue-winged teal shot by Schroeder. After seeing the photo of the duck, the DU employee contacted Schroeder to see if he would be interested in starting a DU chapter on campus.

Working together, Schroeder and Perlinger, who have been friends for several years, built a chapter that now has about a dozen members.

"Our main goal is to get more involvement toward saving the habitat of ducks," Perlinger said.

Around campus, the chapter will promote wildlife conservation and safe hunting.

"Hunting is an important part to keeping wildlife numbers in check," Perlinger said.

The chapter also plans to participate in habitat projects and raise money for DU. Already, the chapter is planning its first fundraiser. The DU Sportsman's Night Out will start at 5 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Hall at BSU. The event is open to the public.

Proceeds from the event will support DU's conservation programs that provide habitat for ducks, pheasants, deer and fish.

"I'm a big duck hunter and I'd like to see the habitat and everything be saved," said Schroeder, noting that he hopes to one day work for DU.

Perlinger said preserving the habitat is important for the future.

"We've got to preserve it ... or we might not have hunting in the future," he said. "We've got to ensure that the animals will be there for generations to come."

The next meeting of Bemidji Colleges Ducks Unlimited is set for 9 p.m. Tuesday in the North Conference Room at BSU's Hobson Memorial Union.

For details about becoming a member of the chapter, call Perlinger at 763-226-8836 or Schroeder at 651-245-0348.

More details about the chapter are also available online at Facebook under the group Bemidji Colleges Ducks Unlimited.