Youth Day

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On Sunday, the Rutland Sportsman’s Club held its annual Youth Day at the John Narum Rifle Range by Silver Lake.  Over 200 area youth and their families attended the event to take part in activities – shooting bow, BB guns and .22 at various stations and also line casting.  As usual, it was a perfect Sunday for the kids.  Hot dogs, popcorn, pop and grilled corn on the cob kept everyone fed.  The highlight of the day (beside all the prizes awarded to about 40 kids), was the exhibition shooting by Tom Knapp – “The Shooting Star.”  Kids and experienced hunters alike were wowed by the trick shots and amazed at his shooting skills.  He started by throwing and shooting apples, oranges and potatoes in the air.  Then he moved to briquettes and even a one-inch square billiard chalk cube.  There was, of course, the sales pitch for Americase and Federal Premium ammunition and also comments about safety, responsibility and good sportsmanship during the presentation. Knapp finished the program with a salute to the military with the red, white and blue and the big finale.  It was another fantastic day near Rutland.

Taking Flight

Taking FlightTravelling toward Forman the other day, there was a large white rock mound that I was not familiar with on the South side of the road.  Just like last season, a flock of snow geese had settled in to a low area.  As the car slowed and I retrieved my camera, the flock took flight in swirling white.

The snows have been flying around Rutland for several weeks and more flocks are arriving.  Typically, they start coming in this area and then move further Northwest depending on the weather.  Our weather has really been fluctuating so it appears they are enjoying their stay.  A few gunshots can be heard as local and visiting hunters take aim at the birds.

Fact for the Day:  Until recently the blue geese were considered another species but are now considered a dark form or morph of the snow geese.

Marketing Grant Award

The North Dakota Department of Tourism recently announced the sixteen recipients of the event or marketing grants and, yes, Rutland got a portion.  The  Coteau des Prairies Lodge, Rutland, received a matching grant award for marketing of the new guest lodge currently under construction.  You can follow the construction progress at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge website. (And while there, check out the great video from Rutland’s Uffda Day 2011 celebration!)

The Events Grant Program and Marketing Grant Program provide a maximum of $5,000 in matching funds for promotion of regional events and for specific tourism marketing plans. A total of $69,100 was awarded between the two programs. For more information on tourism grants, contact Dean Ihla with North Dakota Tourism at 701-328-3505 or

Youth Day

Yesterday, my family and I attended the 11th Annual Youth Day held at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range near Silver Lake.  The event drew about 190 youth and their families from throughout the area.  Activities included trap shooting, archery, BB gun, 22 rifles and casting with rod & reel (into small swimming pools) and a coin scramble.  This was the first time we attended and we were all extremely impressed with the event and the size of the crowd.  The three hours flew by quickly and wrapped up with an impressive raffle of about 45 door prizes of hunting vests, decoys, bow sets, rifles, shotguns and BB guns and other items.  All the winners were full of smiles.  That included my son who won a 12 gauge shotgun that weighs considerably more than he does.  He is now looking forward to growing up so he can use that gun.  This annual event is sponsored by the Rutland Sportsman’s Club, Sargent County Pheasants Forever, and the Windy Mound Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Many “thank you’s” are in order from my son and I’m sure from all the other proud winners.  Congratulations to all the winners and a Big Thank You to everyone involved in helping with this event — which I understand is the largest youth event of its kind in the Upper Midwest.

Hunting Education Course

The Rutland Sportsmen’s Club, along with the ND Game & Fish Department, is sponsoring a Hunting Education Course on Saturday, June 7 and June 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club.   Persons born after 1961 must complete a certified state or provincial hunter education course and present the certification card earned to the license vendor to purchase a North Dakota hunting license.  Youth must be 11 years old prior to taking the course.  Information on how to enroll for the course is available on the State’s website.