Canadian Fly In Trip

As we made our way north along Interstate 35 in the pouring rain we couldn’t help but think that it may end up raining like this the entire trip todscf1583 Canada. Even once we had everyone loaded in the van and continued on towards the border it kept raining making for quite a long drive. We did make it to the border though and they allowed us cross over with no problems and were very friendly to us even thanking all Veterans for their service. Despite the long rainy ride we did make it to Nestor Falls Ontario and settled in for the night to prepare for our early flight in the morning.
The next morning came and everyone was up early and ready to go catch the flight into the bush. Despite our excitement once we made it to the airport we quickly learned that due to the fog we would not be flying until it was gone which would most likely be a couple hours. So we made the best of it and headed off for a little breakfast and some much needed coffee. Once we returned for our flight we waited for another fifteen minutes and the planes were ready to go. We loaded up and we were air born towards Tang of the North our final destination. It was a short flight to get there but the view was amazing and thankfully the view didn’t stop even after we landed. We got settled into our cabins and everyone was ready to do some fishing so naturally everyone got into boats and hit the water.

According to our hosts at Tang of the North the fishing was very slow but we managed to bring in plenty of fish so that we could have a good shore lunch daily. We caught multiple species including walleye, northern, lake trout, largemouth bass, small mouth bass, and the list keeps going. The fishing may have been slow compared to normal but we had a blast and on top of it we had nothing but the quite of nature and beautiful scenery everyway we looked.

We had one boat that was even lucky enough to spot a moose and her calf by the water’s edge getting a drink of water. What an amazing sight that was. We made lots of new friends and enjoyed our time sitting by the fire, fishing, and sharing the stories of success and heart break while we all shared a shore lunch. We were even able to meet some new friends that worked for the ministry in Ontario and they were great people to meet and were definitely a wealth of knowledge as they taught us about the Canadian wilderness. Our hosts at Tang of the North treated us like kings and gave us an amazing trip and the facility there is in the perfect location and an amazing place to stay. Sadly the day did come though that we had to get back onto the plane and head back towards home even though none of us were really ready to go. We had an amazing experience that none of us will forget anytime soon and we all will remember this trip forever.

Rainy Lake Houseboat Trip

Well the weather was perfect when we started our trip out onto Rainy Lake in a nice big house boat ready to do some fishing and relaxing for the week. Over all we had some great weather for the week only having to deal with a minor rain storm one night but other than that not one complaint could be said for the weather. It didn’t take long for everyone to become friends and get to know each other before the fishing stories were being told. Some fish were huge and some were small but everyone had a story to

We had some very successful days out on the water when it comes to fishing. At one point we had a double come in with a 29” and 39” pike both at one shot both fish put up a great fight and we had a great time bringing them in especially when we realized that we had forgotten our net. But despite forgetting some of our gear we were able to get both fish in the both with great success and definitely had a story to tell about it. We did really well with the pike fishing bringing in multiple fish over 30” and plenty more that were very close. The bass were also biting and we had caught several of them as well with our biggest topping out around 18” which sure put up a good fight.  The walleyes were a little slower than anyone hopes for but despite that we still brought some into the boat and had a great time catching them.

Like with any of our trips you never know what you will find out there but we always have fun and always leave with stories to tell.  Overall we had a great trip and I can’t wait to get back out there and do it again.

Trolling for the Troops

Trolling for the Troops

The 6th Annual Trolling for the Troops is now in the books and let me tell you, it was another amazing year! This is an excellent event which sets Veterans and current Service Members up with a professional fisherman for a day of adventure on the water.

This year more Veterans and Service Members along with the professional anglers participated then in any past year. I had the honor of representing the DAV of MN at this event. As one of the largest outdoor events we participate in along with the other service organizations, Camp Ripley staff, sponsors and supporters this event sets the standard for outdoor events. I would like to thank all of the people so involved with making this event a huge success each year.

If you are not familiar with Trolling for the Troops it is an event held for the past six years at Camp Ripley in MN. The attendees apply in advance and are randomly selected for the slots available. A special emphasis is put on getting new participants involved each year. The Veterans/Service Members arrive the evening prior to the event for a banquet and a lot of door prizes supplied by the amazing sponsors. Starting as early as 0530 the next morning the participants make their way over from the accommodations on Camp Ripley and head out with their professional fisherman to the Mississippi, Mil Lacs Lake or other area waters. At 0800 a good natured fishing contest starts and goes until 1500.

Once everyone is back from their respective fishing holes there is another round of door prizes and awards for Bass, Northern, Walleye and “Wild” (Tires, trolling motors, old boots, etc…) are given out. Thanks to the amazing sponsors ever Veteran/Service Member who participated left with something.

If you haven’t checked out this or some of our other amazing events I encourage routinely visiting and checking out the “Outdoors” section.

Trent C Dilks

Ice Fishing Trip to Lake of the Woods 2016

low1Well it’s been a tough winter so far as far as the ice fishing goes there is no doubt about that. I personally was a little worried that we wouldn’t even have enough ice to get out on to do any ice fishing and we would be stuck fishing in the boats all year long. But despite taking so long we ended up getting enough ice to have our annual Lake of the Woods ice fishing trip and me personally I had a blast.

Throughout the week we had some great groups out with us and had 29 Veterans all together and even though the bite had slowed down a bit we were able to catch enough to have us a couple of fish fries and just the right amount to help us come up with some great fishing stories. And no I don’t mean fishing stories like how big the fish were but more about the great memories we made. Like I always say it’s always a great time meeting new Veterans and making friendships that last forever. We had plenty of time to relax and get to know each other and find out a lot more about one another once we got out on the ice. Overall we had another great trip with the DAV Outdoors we caught some fish and had fun relaxing in the chill of another MN winter.

John Carson, DAV MN Outdoors Program Coordinator

Middle River Disabled Veteran Goose Hunt

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It was a beautiful morning as a great group of Disabled Veterans hit the fields in the Middle River with the goal of bringing home some birds. It was still dark when everyone climbed into their blinds and waited for the birds to start moving. But once the geese started to move the skies were filled and it was onto the next step of getting the birds to set in on the decoys. It was a very successful hunt for most but the new friends we made while out in the field made getting up early and getting ready all worth while. The field I happened to be in brought in over 20 geese and a crane so it ended as a very successful day for our field.

The Middle River Disabled Veteran Goose hunt is organized and put on by a committee of local veterans and community volunteers in the Middle River area. This group of fine individuals do an amazing job of taking care of Veterans from the time they arrive to the time they go home. They put on some great meals and even offer some trap shooting while the Veterans are waiting for birds to be cleaned and all other aspects are being taken care of.

This trip is one of the best goose hunt a Veteran can be apart of and it is highly recommended for any Veteran who enjoys goose hunting. If you a Veteran or know a Veteran who may be interested contact Wayne Kilen 218-686-9114.

Old Glory Run Camp Ripley

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The DAV MN hosted our second Old Glory Run (OGR) event for the year. The event was held on September 20, 2015 at Camp Ripley MN military base. The weather was beautiful for the runners to run/walk either a 7K “6.2 miles,” a 5K “3.1 miles” and for kids to run 1 mile. The participants were able to run along the Minnesota River on the military base as well as be part of the Camp Ripley open house.
The DAV MN raised about $4,000 from this event. A special Thanks goes to the American Legion Riders for their generous donation to the Camp Ripley Outdoor events (Turkey and Deer hunts, and Trolling for Troops). The money raised from this event will go into the DAV MN Outdoors program. The DAV MN Outdoors program includes the Camp Ripley outdoor events.
Huge thank you goes out to Camp Ripley base Commander, Col. St. Sauver for allowing the DAV of MN to hold the event on his military base. Thank you to all the runners that participated in this event. We are looking for you returning next year and bringing your friends.
Thank you to all of the volunteers that showed up that day to help make this event a success. Volunteers like Dennis Erie, Trent Dilks, CJ Schmidtke, and members from DAV MN Chapter 12. Without all of your help, this would not have happened.

Veterans from Minneapolis Veterans Home Enjoy Fishing Trip

Veterans Campground on Minnesota’s Big Marine Lake is a family campground that provides facilities and opportunities for recreation,rest, aDSC00453nd recovery for all who have served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States, whether still serving or have served in the past, their families, and sponsored guests, explained Ken Gibson, past St. Paul Chapter 2 commander. He went on to say.  “We left the Minneapolis Veterans home with a bus load of Veterans for the one hour ride to the lake.  At the dock, we assisted the Veterans one a
t a time aboard the pontoon boat waiting to take them fishing.

The camp provided us with a guide and an assistant to all the hotspots on the lake where we started fishing with the poles and fishing equipment the Camp had supplied for our use.  With a bit of luck and good bait, the veterans started to catch some fish.  At noon, we took a break from fishing and DSC00449ate a few sandwiches of peanut butter for those who wanted them and we also had some ham and cheese milk and or water.  We then moved over to west side of the lake the guide pointed out the Eagles nest on the point up high in the tree near the small island on the way to the other side near to the docks of the camp.  We then fished awhile there and all the large fish we caught were clean and taken back to the Veterans’ Home for a fishfry later that day.  We then departed the pontoon and gathered on the beach where we took some photos of all the fishing crew of veterans and proceeded to reload the bus for the trip back to the home. A good time was had for all who went fishing at the Big Marine Rest Camp.”

Rainy Lake Houseboat Trip





When we started off this trip the weather was beautiful and we were a group of stranger jumping onto a houseboat for a five day journey on Rainy Lake in Northern MN.

It didn’t take more than an hour for the stories to start rolling and the group became well acquainted friends. If a person didn’t know any better they would have thought the group had known each other for years.

Even though it was a tough time fishing we did manage to get some on the line and have a great time getting to know one another and relax with the scenic view all around us. With the beautiful weather we even found time to take a swim in the lake and let’s not forget the competition of playing a little 500 against each other.

For many this trip was the trip of a lifetime being able to get back into the outdoors and become kids again while they climbed the rocks and hunted for blueberries. It was definitely a trip for the books that I will not soon forget.

Old Glory Run 2015

The DAV Of Minnesota sponsored for the 9th straight year, the Old Glory run in Cold Spring.  The event held May 16, 2015 attracted over 800 participants.

The spectacular 5K Run and 1K Walk event was a tribute to the men and women that have and are serving our country.  Participation in the Old Glory Run helps benefit injured veterans and their families, to ensure they are not alone on their road to recovery.  Over 150 volunteers were in involved in the event and monies raised is used for DAV of MN projects in the St Cloud Area, explained Josh Vrtacnik DAV MN Deputy Adjutant. For example; Transportation for veterans to and from their medical appointments at the St Cloud VA Medical Center. A walking path and physical therapy garden at the St Cloud VA Medical Center.

We want to thank all the participants, volunteers, and sponsors that made this event successful. Crow Wing County Chapter #22 Color Guard, West Central Chapter #34, St Cloud Chapter #9 men and women auxiliary, Cookies from Cold Spring Bakery, Bottle Water from Erkens Water, Banana ‘s from Teal’s Market Grocery Store at end of event to restore potassium.

We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Old Glory Run.
Josh Vrtacnik
DAV MN Deputy Adjutant


DAV Partners with Hamline Students for 5K

The DAV of Minnesota is partnering again with Hamline University students for the 3rd Annual Hamline Cares 5K: Run, Walk, and Roll (previously known as Hamline Cares: Stars & Stripes).

This is student-organized run will include pre-race yoga, free professional massages for runners, a drawing for prizes, live entertainment, and a Kids Fun Run. All proceeds raised from the race will go directly to the DAV. Through organizing this race, the students hope to gain hands-on management experience and improve their leadership skills while supporting their community and the local DAV.

This year’s race will be held on Sunday, April 26th at Lake Phalen, with a starting race time of 9:00 a.m.

For more information, and to register, click here.

Any questions, please email the students at [email protected]