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Continued: Anderson: A way for veterans to get out and hunt

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 5, 2013 - 12:05 AM

“When Sam takes me hunting, I refer to it as ‘the blonde leading the blind,’ ’’ Falknor said.

Maybe. But Erie, the hunt organizer, is thankful every day not only for the service of veterans but also for those who happily give their time and share their expertise at Camp Ripley each fall to bring gobblers close to hunters’ blinds.

That didn’t happen the other morning for Hunter and Falknor, who nonetheless, along with Will Falknor, passed the morning in good cheer, happy enough just to be on site.

“When you have a stroke or other illness,’’ Randy Falknor said, “there’s a tendency to pull in and not push yourself. That’s the strength of these outings. They push you and get you out with like-minded people. They keep you energized.

“These people, all of them here, are fabulous.’’





 

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  • Randy Falknor, left, waited while volunteer guide Samantha “Sam’’ Hunter attempted to call in a tom turkey at a Camp Ripley veterans’ hunt. Hunter is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer and longtime turkey hunter. “This is my way of honoring everyone who has served,’’ Hunter said.

  • Vietnam-era veteran Randy Falknor, left, hunted for turkeys at Camp Ripley, accompanied by his son, Will. “Since my disabilities set in, and I’ve had the opportunity to hunt, I’ve really grown to love it,” Randy Falknor said. “It’s kind of a proclamation of freedom.’’

  • A tom turkey strutted out of gun range at Camp Ripley, site of a recent veterans’ turkey hunt.

  • Randy Falknor waited while guide Samantha “Sam’’ Hunter attempted to call in a tom turkey at a Camp Ripley veterans’ hunt. Falknor uses a wheelchair after suffering a stroke.

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