Chuck Reisinger grew up in North Hudson with the opportunity to walk out his door and in no time be hunting or fishing in the area woods and waters.
That's a big reason why he has been involved in the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited since it started in 1981. The organization holds its 25th annual banquet tonight at the Hudson Golf Club.
The proceeds from the annual fund-raising affair go to help preserve habitat for ducks throughout Wisconsin. For his quarter-century of activity in the local chapter, including serving as banquet committee chairman, Reisinger will be honored with a 25-year service award from the Northwest Region of Wisconsin Ducks Unlimited.
During a conversation under the big shade trees last week on the 54 acres he owns in the town of Hudson, Reisinger said, "Basically it (DU) isn't political other than preserving habitat,"
"When I was a kid, we could hunt all around the area. We'd fish, hunt ducks on the Mallalieu and walk the woods near the Rod and Gun Club. You could hunt anywhere unless it was posted," he said.
"Now there aren't many places to hunt anymore," the 66-year-old Reisinger said referring to the amount of development going on in and around the Hudson area that has restricted open land.
"Preserving waterfowl habitat just doesn't save ducks," he said. "The surrounding areas near wetlands that have been put into reserves for Ducks Unlimited also support deer, pheasants and give bird watchers a place to go," he added.
Reisinger said when Ducks Unlimited started in 1937 its main objective was to buy up wetlands in Canada to preserve areas for breeding ducks. It then expanded to acquire wetlands in Mexico at the other end of the flyway. "Now DU is spending a lot of money in the USA," he added.
DU announced in the program for the 11th annual local banquet that by 1992 the organization had allocated more than $1.75 million to Wisconsin for waterfowl habitat projects, including one in St. Croix County.
Reisinger is a native of North Hudson who graduated from Hudson High School in 1957. He said that right after high school, in 1958, he joined the Hudson Rod and Gun Club.
He joined Ducks Unlimited before there was a local chapter and attended functions in Ellsworth. Reisinger helped start the Hudson chapter and in turn went on to help form others in River Falls and New Richmond.
He joined the Army and was called up for the Berlin Crisis in 1961 and sent to Fort Lewis, Wash. He also married the former Jo Ann Brathall of North Hudson while home on leave in 1961. The couple raised a son and a daughter. They have a grandson and granddaughter.
In 1965, Reisinger bought the land east of town where he currently lives. In the mid-1970s, he built a house and moved out of North Hudson. There are housing developments close by but he still has the opportunity to see the occasional deer and wild turkeys that patrol the yard on a regular basis.