Wet, windy weather made it challenging for participants in Camp Ripley’s 12th annual archery deer hunt for youth. The hunt drew 137 hunters to the Camp Ripley military reservation last weekend, while 13 other young people hunted next door at the Nature Conservancy’s Lake Alexander Preserve.
It’s 4 a.m. on a Tuesday and breakfast is sizzling on the griddle. The hunters are clad in blaze-orange and preparing for a day in the woods. But in this deer camp of sorts, hunters come in wheel chairs, braces and scooters. Their appetite is for little more than to get out into the woods.
It’s one of the most desired jobs in law enforcement: being a state conservation officer. Major Roger Tietz has worn the DNR uniform for more than 31 years. After working years in the field, he is now the operations support manager for the Department of Natural Resources.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources begins accepting applications next Tuesday, July 1, for the two special archery deer hunts at Camp Ripley. Because of military training needs, this year’s hunts are being held about a week later than usual: the weekends of Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 2-3.
Just in time for the busy holiday travel weekend, Minnesota is getting some new state troopers. Forty two new state troopers cadets are graduating Thursday after four months of training at Camp Ripley.
The Minnesota National Guard has officially launched its new $3.9 million Unmanned Aircraft Operations Facility at Camp Ripley. Officials showed off the new 13,000-square-foot building Friday at a grand opening ceremony, giving the public a chance to see how the unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, work.
Minnesota National Guard Sgt. Charles Freese is looking at a simulation of a map of Baghdad on a computer screen in a brand-new building in Minnesota. “Our mission here is just to fly along the route,” he said. “We’re looking for anything that looks suspicious. We’ve been tasked to basically make sure there aren’t any IEDs or unfriendly troops in the area.”
With cross country skis at his side and a rifle on his back, Minnesota native Winn Roberts was recently back where he began — the biathlon course at Camp Ripley.
A new 4.3-mile track at Camp Ripley will give emergency responders from throughout Minnesota a chance to train for disasters and practice tactical driving maneuvers in a variety of conditions.
Seven miles down range is a target they can’t even see. Yet with all the precision of an Olympic sports team, soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard’s 151st Field Artillery Battalion are deadly accurate.
As a drill sergeant barks the finish times of a morning run, a quiet sanctuary awaits a once injured Saw Whet owl. It’s a simple example of how Camp Ripley is a sanctuary for both soldiers and simpler things.
Nine candidates begin training at Camp Ripley on Wednesday to become Minnesota conservation officers.
It’s not quite fall yet, but Minnesota snowplow operators already are getting ready for winter.
Minnesota soldiers got a chance to train with the latest and greatest in new weapons on Wednesday at Camp Ripley. It’s the M-777 canon designed to hit a target with near complete accuracy up to 15 miles away.
Hundreds more families will be saying farewell to their loved ones Friday as more National Guard members deploy.