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OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Game and Fish awards, Itasca youth hunt

Kading receives top Game and Fish award BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has honored Kevin Kading with its Director's Award. Kading, who is the department's private land section leader, received the award during the departmen...

Kading receives top

Game and Fish award

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has honored Kevin Kading with its Director's Award.

Kading, who is the department's private land section leader, received the award during the department's annual meeting Dec. 10 in Bismarck.

Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish director, said Kading's leadership is a major reason why the private lands program has become a model for other states.

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"His creativeness and never-ending quest for improvement is the main reason why our private land program is so successful," Steinwand said. "His sense of integrity and dedication to the job has gained the respect of everyone."

Kading also was recognized for spearheading the implementation of department deer depredation and walk-in access programs and for his work with many local and regional work groups and agencies.

"He is considered a mentor and leader to not only our staff, but to those he works with from other states and agencies," Steinwand said.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

Officials call Itasca youth

deer hunt a success

Itasca State Park hosted its first firearms youth deer hunt earlier this fall, attracting 40 young hunters who shot a confirmed harvest of seven deer. The two-day hunt was meant to help the park meet deer reduction goals while encouraging new hunters.

Itasca hosted the youth event in addition to its regular season hunt, which draws nearly 500 hunters annually.

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Cathy Handrick, park resource specialist, said deer populations in Itasca remain too high, despite declines across the region.

"We are still seeing deer browse that is affecting our forest regeneration efforts," she said.

Before the hunt, the young hunters had an opportunity to attend a daylong mini-camp, where they learned the basics of deer hunting from members of the Park Rapids Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. The camp covered topics such as tracking, tree stand safety and compass use. Both the MDHA and park officials believe educating and encouraging young hunters is critical to instilling the importance of Minnesota's outdoor heritage in future generations.

Some participants bagged their first deer during the youth hunt, while others simply enjoyed the time spent in the woods with a parent or mentor. One young hunter who didn't see any deer said he was still excited, because he had never heard a grouse drum before.

"Whether these young hunters bagged a deer or not, the underlying goal was to get youth engaged in the outdoors," said Matt Snyder, Itasca State Park manager. "Anytime you can get youth involved outdoors, it gives them an appreciation of the natural resources and what Minnesota has to offer."

-- Minnesota DNR

Winkelman named top

N.D. wildlife officer

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BISMARCK -- Scott Winkelman has been named North Dakota's Wildlife Officer of the Year for 2009.

A game warden investigator for the Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, Winkelman was honored by the Shikar-Safari Club International, a private conservation group that annually recognizes outstanding wildlife officers in each state.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

NDGF employees

receive awards

BISMARCK -- North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand honored a number of employees with the following performance-based awards Dec. 10 at the department's annual staff meeting:

- Brian Prince, Devils Lake, along with Bruce Kreft and John Schumacher, Bismarck, Special Projects Award, for their work in mitigating the impacts of a power line project that crossed the Willow Lake Wildlife Management Area in Bottineau County.

- Bill Haase and Wesley Erdle, Bismarck, Solid Foundation Award, for overseeing the construction of seven major boating access projects.

- Jeff Hendrickson, Dickinson, Public Outreach Award, for his efforts in renovating Patterson Lake in Stark County.

- Bill Schaller, district game warden, Killdeer, 2009 National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Officer of the Year award for North Dakota.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

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