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Kurt Nelson has an agreement to sell about 75 acres of land in Lake Johanna Township of Pope County to Pheasants Forever, which wants to transfer it to the state of Minnesota. The property contains fens, wetlands, an oak- covered esker ridge and the county's only designated trout stream cuts through a corner of it. (Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny)

Prime hunting land is target for 'no net gain' debate in west central Minnesota

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LAKE JOHANNA TOWNSHIP, POPE COUNTY -- Kurt Nelson has 80 acres of land in the southeast corner of Pope County that are the kind often touted in the classified ads of outdoor publications as "prime hunting acres.''

Last winter he dished out more than 3,000 bushels of corn to pheasants and deer just outside the back door of his home here.

"I'm too busy feeding them to hunt them,'' laughed Nelson, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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