Hunting to help: Bucyrus, cancer foundation get help from hunters, military personnel
AMIDON -- With their guns primed and pheasants on their minds, about a dozen hunters entered Harold Narum's field near Amidon on Saturday.
They emerged mere minutes later with two birds to show for their work, but even if they hadn't it would have been OK because that wasn't the point of the fifth annual Hunting Dakota with Roosevelt event, sponsored by the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation.
"We've done a couple of walks and got a rooster, so I would say it's been a successful day, except for the fact that I missed two birds after we got out here," said North Dakota's Adjutant General David Sprynczynatyk. "But it's not about the hunt. It's about meeting new people, honoring our soldiers, airmen and war veterans, and just plain having a good time."
The event brings together North Dakota military personnel and avid hunters from across the country who enjoy a unique hunting adventure, while helping to support the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation.
This year, the hunt involved about 72 hunters, including 17 military personnel and a few dogs, who divided up into about 14 teams.
They set out for their first hunt of the day Saturday around 9 a.m., said Jon Hanson with the Bismarck Cancer Center.
After the hunt, the participants, event sponsors and landowners whose properties were used for the hunt gathered in Medora for banquet.
The dinner also included a live auction with the proceeds going to the victims of this week's fire in Bucyrus.
"We'll also sit around a campfire and tell hunting stories well into the evening," Hanson said. "It's a great event, but I thought the first year that it would only last one year. Now we're on year five of raising money that is used to help families who come to us for cancer treatment with things like gas and lodging.
"And, on top of it all, this is a great way for us to honor military heroes, who fight for the rights we have in this country."
Last year, Hunting Dakota with Roosevelt raised $98,000 for the center. Hanson said he hoped to raise $100,000 this year, and he felt that the center was well on its way to meeting that goal.
The hunting excursion was only made possible, Hanson said, because of the 28 landowners who volunteered land to be hunted on this year, including Narum, who spent several years in the military and served overseas.
Narum said he hunts upland game from time to time, but when he heard the organizers of Hunting Dakota with Roosevelt were looking for land they could use for the event, he quickly jumped at the chance to participate for the first time last year.
"I let them come here last year and hunt for the event," he said. "It's a wonderful program for our nation's heroes, so I didn't have to think twice about letting them come back out here to my land for the hunt again this year."