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Park Rapids CO on pistol competition winning team

Back row from left are Aaron Kahre, Thor Nelson and Greg Oldakowski. Front row from left are Kevin Neitzke, Sam Hunter and Greg Abraham. (DNR Photo)

Minnesota DNR's conservation officers (CO) brought home the "warden's jug" team trophy for the eighth year in a row following the forty-fourth annual Basil Irwin Game Wardens Memorial Pistol Match held recently in Elkader, Iowa.

The team included CO Aaron Kahre, Kevin Neitzke, Thor Nelson, Sam Hunter, Greg Oldakowski and Greg Abraham. Abraham also won the Basil Irwin Individual Cup for the twenty-sixth time and eleventh year in a row.

Hunter is based in Park Rapids.

Officers from Iowa and Wisconsin also participated in the event.

Basil Irwin was a Minnesota "game warden" in the Sandstone area for decades. In 1967 he challenged some Wisconsin wardens to a team pistol match. The inaugural event was called the "Minnesota-Wisconsin Wardens Pistol Match," but renamed "The Basil Irwin Memorial Game Warden Pistol Shoot" after Irwin's death in 1970.

Since then, natural resources enforcement officers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have participated in the event.