BRAD DOKKEN COLUMN: Upcoming Erskine, Minn., film festival highlights hunting films from members of The Story
Sharing the stories of hunting experiences and time outdoors has become a way of life for Shane Fuglseth, and the Fertile, Minn., filmmaker on Saturday, March 16, is hosting a film festival at the Win-E-Mac School Arts and Events Center, 23130 345th St SE, Erskine, MN.
The festival will premiere new films from "The Story: Written by Nature ... Told by Sportsmen," said Fuglseth, a founding member of The Story, an outdoor storytelling venture with an eye for video and photography.
Partnering with Fuglseth in The Story is Matt Anderson of Fertile. Family members and an extensive field staff also are involved, Fuglseth says.
Films on tap for Saturday's third annual The Story Film Festival are "When the Shadows Come In" and "The Boys of Fall." Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. There's a $10 admission charge for adults, and admission is free for anyone 15 and younger.
"This year marks the third year we have hosted a film festival of our own, premiering new hunting and fishing films and sometimes showing older films or films from other people, like Matt Drury from Drury Outdoors, his elk hunt from last year, which showed at last year's film festival," Fuglseth said in an email.
The inaugural Story Film Festival was held at the theater in Ada, Minn., and nearly sold out, Fuglseth says. Last year, they moved the event to Win-E-Mac, and the school's Arts and Events Center proved to be a perfect venue for the festival.
The room seats about 400 people, and Fuglseth says he expects to build on last year's festival attendance of about 250. The festival, he says, is "a very family driven event."
"We try to promote hunting to the younger crowd as much as possible in our films and events," he said.
Along those lines, Saturday's film festival features door prizes from Martin Archery, Drury Outdoors, X-Stand treestands, The Story and others.
In 2015, two of The Story's short films, "24 Hours" and "Passion," won Top 10 Awards at an outdoor film festival in Springfield, Mo. The two films also were part of a national tour of short hunting films that summer.
Filmed in October 2013, "Passion" told the story of a boy's first archery deer hunt and the highs and lows new hunters experience. Filmed in April 2014, "24 Hours" focused on the 24-hour span in the life of a first-time turkey hunter.
There's more to The Story's films than just "shooting animals over and over," Fuglseth said in a 2015 interview after winning the Top 10 film awards.
"We make a film that tells the story of what happened totally through the whole hunt," he said in the interview. "We show hunting in the reality of what it is and what happens when you're hunting, good or bad.
"It's a completely different style than what you see on the Outdoor Channel."
For more information on Saturday's Third Annual The Story Film Festival and other films produced by The Story, go to www.facebook.com/thestorytv, www.thestoryproductions.com or contact Fuglseth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DNR sets deer sessions
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a series of open houses this month to answer hunters' questions about deer hunting, deer management and issues such as chronic wasting disease.
The meetings are part of the DNR's commitment in its 2018 Deer Management Plan to increase formal opportunities for the public to influence deer decisions. No formal presentations are planned during the open house sessions, which are set for the following northwest Minnesota locations:
• March 25: Roseau, Minn., 6-8 p.m., Roseau County Courthouse, 606 Fifth Ave. SW. Info: Randy Prachar, Roseau River WMA area wildlife supervisor, (218) 463-1130 or email@example.com.
• March 25: Warroad, Minn., 6-8 p.m., Warroad Forestry Meeting Room, 804 Cherne Drive NE. Info: Gretchen Mehmel, Red Lake WMA area wildlife supervisor, (218) 783-6861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• March 26: Thief River Falls, 6-8 p.m., Thief River Falls Joint Operations Conference Room, 246 125th Ave. NE. Info: Doug Franke, Thief River Falls area wildlife supervisor, (218) 681-0946 or email@example.com.
• March 27: Baudette, Minn., 6-8 p.m., Baudette High School AV Room, 236 15th Ave. SW. Info: Scott Laudenslager, area wildlife supervisor, (218) 634-1705 ext. 231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• March 27: Middle River, Minn., 6-8 p.m., DNR Thief Lake Area Office, 42280 240th Ave. NE. Info: Kyle Arola, Thief Lake WMA area wildlife supervisor, (218) 222-3747 or email@example.com.
• March 28: Lake Bronson, Minn., 6-8 p.m., Lake Bronson State Park Visitor's Center, 3793 230th St. Info: Ruth Anne Franke, Karlstad area wildlife supervisor, (218) 436-2427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full deer management plan is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deerplan.