On the cover - West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller, Local Hero - Fargo Police Sergeant Kevin Pallas, Having a Beer with Radio Host, Scott Hennen, Hunting with Bret Amundson and more in Fargo Moorhead's only men's magazine.
I almost thanked them as I walked out. It was time for something new. It was time to get back to what my family spent most of their free time doing. But it wasn’t just a knee-jerk response to my newfound freedom; it was something inside me that was affected by a few hunting trips across the state Teddy Roosevelt fell in love with. <strong>The</strong> Badlands I had a few friends that made yearly trips to western North Dakota to hunt mule deer. Knowing that drawing a muley buck tag for rifle was a long shot, I went into Scheels and picked out a new bow. Soon I was walking butte ridges in fresh snowfall, staring wide-eyed at the beautiful expanse around me. I wouldn’t shoot a mule deer that year, but the first-timer bow hunting experience in that landscape caused me to leave the 30.06 at home <strong>–</strong> by choice <strong>–</strong> ever since. <strong>The</strong> Waterfowl Duck hunting was what I enjoyed most growing up. I even have a class ring from high school with a mallard and shotgun shells on it. I bet you’d get expelled for something like that now. Anyway, I loved hunting ducks. I just wasn’t very good at it. I also didn’t hunt in a great flyway and didn’t have many friends that did it either. Most of my family had given up on green wings and 8 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com focused on whitetails. So it was usually just me trudging out to the slough and hoping to see something come into range. <strong>The</strong>n I moved to North Dakota. I knew a few guys that hunted hard and were very good at it. <strong>The</strong>y had these crazy contraptions called “layout blinds”. Us water hunters from Minnesota and Wisconsin didn’t use them often, but in the prairie pothole regions, you have more options for field hunting. Dick Voight at KFGO lent me a blind the next morning I was peering through the mesh top wondering what was about to happen. As the sun crept over the horizon the air filled with more ducks and geese than I’d seen in all my falls. Again, my eyes were as wide as a wheat field and as I shot holes in the sky, I thought to myself, “I need to get one of these layout blinds.” <strong>The</strong> Snow Geese When people ask me what my favorite thing to do is, I usually answer with “Snows.” <strong>The</strong>y can be absolute jerks 99% of the time, but when they do it right, there’s nothing else like it. <strong>The</strong>y’re the only waterfowl around that can number in the thousands when they bomb into your decoys. <strong>The</strong>ir noise can drown out an ambulance
and the wariness the older birds often have makes them tough to trick. While so much satisfaction comes from a successful hunt, it’s not what makes me get weak in the knees about them. It’s the sheer numbers of the migrating birds that can be seen in one day. It’s mindblowing when there are flocks stringing across your entire field of view with endless more flocks behind them, barking and squawking their way north in the spring or south in the fall. And when it happens, there’s just simply nothing else like it. I’d heard about the spring migration from a few people but anecdotal evidence doesn’t do the sight justice. So one day, I drove west from Fargo, then south, then west, then north a little, then west again until I saw a flock. <strong>The</strong>n I stopped. I didn’t have a gun or a license or decoys or an ecaller or even a camera that day. Just my eyes. I parked on the side of that road for hours and watched snow geese fly overhead nonstop the entire time. Again, my eyes were lit up like the Fargo <strong>The</strong>ater sign and from then on, I knew I’d be obsessed with these white birds. Since those experiences, I’ve shot big deer with my bow, traveled to Argentina for ducks and Saskatchewan for snows, and while it all started with my family introducing me to the outdoors, it was the <strong>November</strong>s in North Dakota that changed my life forever. • "Duck hunting was what I enjoyed most growing up. I even have a class ring from high school with a mallard and shotgun shells on it.” - Bret amundson urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9