Those who purchase tickets for the Governor’s Deer Opener Big Buck luncheon on Friday, Nov. 2, will be entertained by the Gould Brothers, rising young shotgun shooting stars.
Residents of Alexandria, Minnesota, Steve and Aaron Gould conduct shooting exhibitions across the country that promote hunting and conservation. Videos on YouTube attest to their spectacular skills.
“We look forward to entertaining luncheon guests from the Winona area, said Steve. “And if our show sparks an interest in hunting and shooting sports, well, that’s a good thing as these are incredibly enjoyable life-long family activities.”
Governor Mark Dayton will visit Winona on Friday, Nov. 2, for the 10th annual Governor’s Deer Opener, an event that promotes Minnesota’s rich deer hunting tradition. Tickets for the Big Buck Lunch cost $10 and are available by calling 800.450.DEER ext. 12 or in person at the Winona Visitors Center located at 924 Huff Street, Monday -Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
In addition to the shooting exhibition and remarks from the governor, the luncheon will also include an opportunity to hear from and meet Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr, Explore Minnesota Tourism Director John Edman, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Executive Director Mark Johnson and others. Luncheon participants can also view the DNR’s “Wall of Shame” poaching display, the antlers from a world record-sized eight point buck taken illegally in Goodhue County and a number of youth activities. Commemorative event caps will be given at the gate to the first 200 attendees!
The Gould Brothers will perform starting at 1:30 p.m. In addition to simple rapid-fire, multi-target shooting, the Gould Brothers are known for shooting behind their back, with guns held over their heads and making other extraordinary shots.
Aaron developed a love for the outdoors and shooting sports at a young age from an uncle who would take him on walks in the woods and shooting on the family farm. It was squirrel hunting where Aaron first started to learn his skills as a marksmen and outdoorsman. As time progressed he learned how to shoot and hunt with compound bows, muzzle loaders, and of course, shotguns. The time he has spent with family and friends afield and at the range is special. Aaron says “I work and shoot with my brother every week; you cannot put a price tag on opportunities like that.”
Steve’s story is a little different than most professional shooters. Steve did not grow up shooting and hunting. In-fact, it wasn’t until a re-dedication of faith in college when Steve’s passion for shooting and hunting began. After that point every possible opportunity was spent in the field or on the range. Through hard work and determination Steve has risen to his current level of professional shooting. “My story goes to show that even if you don’t grow up with hunting and target shooting it’s not too late to start, said Steve. “Together, Aaron and I try to spark an interest in hunting and target shooting among youth and adults so that our hunting tradition remains strong.”
The Governor’s Deer Opener is partnership among the DNR, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Explore Minnesota Tourism and the Winona community to promote hunting and tourism.