From Wild Dakota Outdoor Television
"My earliest memories in the outdoors"
I was born on a small farm in extreme Northwestern Minnesota, just a few miles from Canada. My earliest memories in the outdoors are dusty, hazy images of taking out the single shot 22's after flickertails in out pasture with my grandfather, Frank. He, along with myself and brother Mike and sister Cheri spent hours driving the old Ford Maverick around through the sagebrush on the gravel hilltop, protecting our cows from busted legs by sniping those little gophers. Later, in the poplar forests so common to the Red River Valley, I collected my first gamebird, a woodcock, over the back of our little springer, Bandit. I fell into the natural routine of a Minnesota farm boy, hunting ruffed grouse and whitetails throughout my high school years, along with occasional bear hunts.
Life took me to South Dakota and its wide open spaces, at the lower end of the prairie pothole region. Upon my first arrival in the state, I was taken by the challenges of elk and antelope and mule deer hunting, as these were new to me. I enjoyed hunting pheasants, the state bird, and partook in the great opening day, South Dakota's version of Minnesota's grand deer opener. Little did I know, there was one more surprize awaiting me that would turn my outdoors career on it's ear. A neighbor offered to bring me on a duck hunt, and so with a borrowed pair of leaky waders, an old shotgun, and some ancient burlap decoys, we waded into the swamps around Lake Thompson. Walking towards the slough, I heard the sounds of quacking, so much quacking! My heart blew right through my chest, I raced through the reeds on that sunup long ago, black sillouettes
of little fighter jets, the
SHHHHHHHHHWOOOOOOSH noise included, circled me like a giant horde of bees, the entire sky buzzing with chaos. We were late into the swamp, & I jacked my gun full of shells and shot until I was surrounded by a big pile of floating empty hulls before I finally got my limit of teal, gads, and mallards. I was hooked!
I now spend my time passing these things on as the V.P. of operations for our KKIDS national chapter, as a board member of OAF, as part of Wild Dakotas Pro Staff, as Wild Dakota's Field Staff manager, and as Pro Staff for Big Frig coolers. I would like to thank all of our sponsors for all of their support, along with the support of my girlfriend Lisa Wicks, my kids Hunter & Cassie, & my stepkids Carter and Ella. Without you guys to inspire me to do what I do in the outdoors, none of this would have been possible. Special shout out to Lisa, who has done more to advance my career than anyone will ever know, through her awesome pictures & help with my Field Staff & KKIDS programs, for the packing of my bags when I go to film, & the wonderful home atmosphere I get to come home to.