Grand Forks police officer honored with hunting, fishing trip

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left, David Morse, host of American Heroes Outdoors, talks with Corporal Ryan Wadlow of the Grand Forks Police Department. (Adam Kurtz/ Grand Forks Herald)

A Grand Forks police officer has been chosen to receive a hunting and fishing trip by nonprofit group and television show, "American Heroes Outdoors."

Corp. Ryan Wadlow is an assistant team leader of the SWAT team and six-year Air Force veteran who deployed three times to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was chosen by the group to receive a hunting and fishing trip to Woodland Resort in Devils Lake, N.D.

More than 25 officers of the Grand Forks Police Department, Sheriff’s Department and SWAT team, along with David Morse, CEO of American Heroes Outdoors and host of its television show, met at Scheels in Grand Forks on Tuesday, Oct. 22, to surprise Wadlow with the award. He was not informed ahead of time and was taken by surprise by the event. He was awarded a gift certificate by Scheels to purchase new hunting equipment.

“Well, it’s awesome,” said Wadlow at the event. “(It’s) an absolute surprise, but it’s awesome.”

Wadlow , along with Grand Forks County Sheriff Andrew Schneider, headed to Devils Lake, N.D., for two days of hunting and fishing. Schneider is an ambassador to the group and has previously assisted in finding military or law enforcement individuals for the group to honor.


“That guy is just a machine,” Schneider told the Herald about Wadlow a day before the surprise event. “He is so dedicated to his agency and his community and his county. … He’s one guy out there that would never ask anybody for a single thing, and he would give you everything that he could, and he’s not going to ever complain, he never wants any recognition for anything. That’s what he was born to do.”

Schneider and Wadlow went to Woodland Resort, a sponsor for American Heroes Outdoors, for Wednesday morning duck and goose hunting and afternoon fishing, followed by Thursday morning hunting. They will return to Grand Forks on Thursday.

The surprise meeting was filmed by the television show and will most likely be broadcast in the spring. "American Heroes Outdoors" is shown on Midco Sports Network and Fox Sports North.

“What they do, is they look for local heroes, law enforcement, EMS, fire (department) or military,” said Schneider. “They are one of the very few, if not the only group out there that recognizes all levels of service as sacrifice, and not just the military.”

The group provides about three outdoor adventures per year and was founded in 2014 by Morse, a full-time Minnesota Army National Guard member.

Wadlow says he is an avid hunter.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I enjoy hunting. Anything I can hunt, absolutely.”

Wadlow reflected on the surprise situation with a sense of humor.


“(It) was kind of overwhelming at the outset. I honestly thought the cameras and everything were for the sheriff,” he chuckled.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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