Broker in the Woods, featuring Charlie Chernak

From time to time, we’ll be introducing you to the people that you’ll be working with as you consider purchasing Potlatch property.  They’re not just real estate experts selling the land – they know it, love it and enjoy being out there, as often as possible, just like you.

Potlatch Preferred Broker Charlie Chernak’s passion for hunting began at age 10, when family members took him pheasant hunting.

“I loved it,” he says. “Just being outside and spending time with older guys.”   When asked if they used dogs while hunting pheasant, he laughs. “No dogs. Just sons!”

Now, after 50 years of hunting, he’s the elder statesman in most hunting parties. It’s a role he relishes and his enthusiasm for the hunt remains undimmed.  He still remembers the thrill of getting his own shotgun at 16. For years he’d had to borrow his two older brothers’ guns.

Though he grew up in Chicago, he spent a lot of time on his grandparent’s farm in Wisconsin. He’d take off into the woods and hunt squirrel, rabbit and other small game, to his heart’s content.   In college Chernak discovered deer hunting. “It’s still my favorite hunting,” he says.

Living and working in Ely, Minnesota, he has plentiful opportunities to indulge in his favorite hobby. Deer hunting is hugely popular in Minnesota. “When deer season arrives everybody gets really excited and is raring to go!” he says.

Chernak has also hunted big game, including a memorable elk-hunting excursion via horseback in Colorado.


Charlie Chernak (pictured center in the orange hat) at the end of a successful moose hunt.

But his most thrilling hunt was right in Minnesota. Though you currently can’t hunt moose, for many years the state had a lottery-like system for moose hunts. In 2001, Chernak’s number was selected. “I shot a big bull moose from a canoe,” he recalls. “There were two of us and it took four hours to get him cleaned up, quartered and off the riverbank.”

While he still loves hunting, his experience of it has evolved over the years. When his daughters were young, his deer hunting skills helped put meat on the table. “Now, I’m more of a trophy hunter,” he says.

In fact, Chernak gets just as much enjoyment in seeing other people get their deer as he does when he gets his own. He hunts with his brother, cousins and a close circle of friends. “I’ve hunted with a lot of these people 30 to 40 years,” he says.

Before becoming a broker, Chernak worked for many years as a land surveyor for the Forest Service in Ely. His knowledge of the area and his lifelong love of the outdoors has been an asset when showing property to prospective buyers.

The camaraderie he’s experienced hunting in the back country is why he encourages clients to think about land purchase as a legacy generations of family members can benefit from.

He says, “I truly enjoy my time in the woods.”

Want to get out hunting with your family in your own neck of the woods?   Connect with Charlie- of Bear Island Land Co. – or any of one our other Potlatch Preferred Brokers and they’ll help get you out there in any season !

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