Wheelin’ Sportsmen hunt at Cleco’s Maknockanut Lake
PINEVILLE, La. – Cleco recently hosted the Wheelin’ Sportsmen of Acadiana at its Maknockanut Lake Plantation where nearly half a dozen disabled hunters were treated to a duck hunt with a six-time Louisiana State Duck and Goose Calling Champion.
Jason Campbell, the reigning Louisiana State Duck Calling Champion, is no stranger to Maknockanut. He has called at Cleco’s location twice and enjoys working with the Wheelin’ Sportsmen. “I donate quite a few hunts each year, because I feel an obligation to give back to those who may not be able to be outdoors and hunt as easily as others,” he said.
Campbell’s uncle taught him how to call at a very young age, and he quickly realized he had a talent for calling ducks and geese. “I didn’t start competing until much later,” said Campbell. “Winning some of the competitions I’ve entered has given me the opportunity to help others experience a sport I love.”
Once marginal farmland, Cleco’s Maknockanut is a 3,600-acre bottom land reforestation project managed by the company. Cleco has planted approximately 500,000 hardwood seedlings, built permanent and seasonal water impoundments, created wetlands management areas and installed erosion control structures in an ongoing effort to restore the property for air and water quality improvement and wildlife habitat enhancement. Maknockanut has hosted the Wheelin’ Sportsmen’s duck and dove hunts in central Louisiana for the past six years.
“With the help of Wheelin’ Sportsmen, Maknockanut gives Cleco the ability to offer a hunting trip to some who may have thought they could no longer enjoy the outdoors,” said Jerry Nolen, Cleco’s transmission facility and maintenance administrator. “Over the years, we’ve added hunting blinds to accommodate wheelchairs and a boat suitable for transportation.”
Maknockanut is located near the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area in Catahoula Parish.
The Wheelin’ Sportsmen of Acadiana is an outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). The organization recently was notified they will receive an award at the NWTF National Conference held in Nashville, TN for their Gueydan Fun Day, a day of fishing, skeet shooting and hay rides.