MN GDHO-Related Items:

Letter From The Gov

Signed Picture

Article in Faribault Daily News

Article in Kenyon Leader

Misc. Farm/Family-Related Items:

Article in TODAY Magazine
(about Arvella Braaten)

Article in The Ag Reporter

Dear Friends!

     It was our farm's distinct honor and great privilege to be the host site for the 4th Annual Minnesota Governor's Deer Hunting Opener here in Southeast Minnesota.   Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, along with his brother Dan and his Chief of Staff, David Gaither, all hit the woods on Saturday, November 4th, at 5:48am with hopes of shooting a deer.

    Unfortunately, four hours later the Governor and his staff emerged from the woods without firing a shot, but they all commented how it was one of the nicest mornings they had ever spent out deer hunting and that the area where they hunted looked "awesome."   What follows are a bunch of random photos from the day all spent here on the historic Braaten Family Farm.

Governor Tim Pawlenty is greeted by Roberta & Jim Braaten just minutes before all the guys head out into the woods to begin the morning deer hunt.

The Governor had a large entourage of his support staff, including security that was handled by the State Patrol as well as several Conservation Officers who surrounded the perimeter of the woods.

Jim points out where all the hunters will be located in relation to where Governor Pawlenty will be sitting out in the woods.   The Governor and his brother actually sat in the same deer stand together.

Roberta is shown pointing out where the roads are and how Governor Pawlenty will be traveling to reach his deer stand.

Governor Pawlenty and his crew get dressed to spend the next several hours out in the deer stand in 39 degree weather with a slight southerly breeze.

Governor Pawlenty grabs some hot coffee and a donut before heading out to the woods while discussing a few final plans for the hunt with Jim.

Governor Pawlenty greets the official camp cook, Arvella Braaten, who has served in that important role for over 25 years.

The fall election season is only three days away so high-profile vehicles displaying the Governor's promotional message had to be carefully hidden behind trees during the hunt.   Hunt organizers always keep the exact location of the hunt secret until after the event takes place.

After the morning hunt the Governor meets with fellow hunters back at the farm to learn of other "hard luck" stories.   During the first few hours of the hunt only one 8-pt. buck had been shot so far.

Governor Tim Pawlenty is a very personable and fun-loving guy.   Here, he takes some time to map out strategy with Luke (Jim & Roberta's son) to go long on a pass play.

Not only can this guy govern the State of Minnesota, but he's also one hell of a quarterback.   He seemed to enjoy taking time (during the waning days of a busy election season) to spend some quality time playing with the kids.

Of course, you won't see or hear this story anywhere else but on this web site.   Shortly after the Governor finished playing with the children he was whisked off to a late morning press conference held in Rochester.   The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Office of Tourism wanted it to appear as if the Governor hunted "near" Rochester.   Apparently hunting near Kenyon, MN (located nearly an hour away from Rochester) did not have the publicity pizzazz that saying he hunted near Rochester would give these agencies.

Everyone who met the Governor for his brief visit to our farm was genuinely impressed with him.   Prior to this day we also had many dealings with the Governor's personal staff involving the planning and they, too, were awesome and very accommodating.   In some ways it was too bad the election season keeps such a hectic pace, because most who took part in this event were now used to working 18+ hour days and traveling throughout the state in campaign mode.   In some cases this hectic schedule made the logistics planning for our event somewhat difficult to accomplish, but it all turned out quite nicely.

The banner leading in to the Big Buck Banquet held on November 2, 2006.

Pictured here are most of the hunters (and their wives) taken with the Governor at the Big Buck Banquet.

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2006 James Braaten
Page Last Updated on 04/11/2009

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