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Delano man inducted into MN Waterfowl Hall of Fame
Feb. 18, 2013

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – In 2010 and 2011, Delano’s Denny Kumlin accepted awards at the Minnesota Waterfowl Association’s conservation awards banquet on behalf of friends, but this year, he was the one being honored.

“I was there the first year, accepting an award for a friend of mine, Jimmy Robinson,” Kumlin recalled.

Robinson had been one of the world’s most famous hunting writers and sportsmen before he passed away in 1986. Kumlin got to know Robinson during his 15 years as chairman of the Hennepin County Ducks Unlimited chapter, and the two men became hunting companions and close friends.

“The next year, I was there again, accepting for David Maass,” Kumlin said. “He had a bad back, so he said I had to go in for him.”

According to a December 2012 article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Maass is an 83-year-old wildlife artist whose paintings have sold for as much as $85,000.

Kumlin, 77, has developed friendships with an assortment of accomplished people throughout his lifetime.

One example is fellow hall of fame honoree, Harvey Nelson. Kumlin and Nelson helped form the Christina-Ina-Anka Lake Association, which contributed to enhanced wildlife habitat in the Fergus Falls area.

Kumlin also served on the Bell Museum of Natural History’s art committee. The 140-year-old museum, which is part of the University of Minnesota, offers exhibits showcasing the habitat and wildlife of Minnesota.

While there, Kumlin set up a projection system for Bob Ballard, a former US Navy officer and professor of oceanography who discovered the wreck of the Titanic.

In 1982, Kumlin helped create Minnesota’s Game Fair, an annual outdoor festival near Anoka featuring hunting and sporting dog exhibits, as well as family activities.

Kumlin’s waterfowl conservation efforts began when he was a young boy. He saved his money to purchase ducklings, which he raised in his backyard in south Minneapolis. Whenever he’d let the ducklings out of their fence, they’d follow him around.

“He didn’t know if he was mom or dad to them,” the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame award booklet stated.

That fall, he won third place in a juniors-only trap shoot at the St. Anthony Gun Club, using a borrowed 20-gauge shotgun. The next year, his father bought him a 16-gauge Winchester Model 12 pump shotgun of his own.

In 1957, Kumlin graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter with a degree in biology. He lived and worked in the Twin Cities while raising a family, and moved to Delano three years ago.

Hall of Fame
The Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame honors individuals for years of dedicated service to the waterfowl conservation cause. In addition to Denny Kumlin, other 2013 inductees include:

• Randy Bartz

• Roger Holmes

• Arnold Krueger

• Kevin Lines

• Grady Mann

• Tony Rondeau

Past honorees
Artist Bob Hautman of rural Delano was inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame in 2012. Other past honorees include:

• Jimmy Robinson

• Bill Stevens

• Roger Strand

• Tom Tubbs

• David Maass

• Don Parsons

• Dick Lindell

• Harvey Nelson

• Bob Jessen

• John “Doc” Komarek

• Les Kouba

• Steve Kufrin

• Don Helmeke

• John Idstrom

• Art Hawkins

• Bob Head

• Ray Hangge

• Howard Hanson

• Jim Hautman

• Joe Hautman

• James Ford Bell

• Harold Deubbert

• Marv Bernet

• Paul Englund

• Bob Austin

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