For the 11th consecutive year, the pistol team from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) won the Basil Irwin Memorial Pistol Match held Aug. 21-22 in Fennimore, Wis.

“We’re very proud of the accomplishments of our pistol team,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director. “These awards are both an honor and a validation of the commitment of all of our officers.”

Minnesota team members included conservation officers Greg Oldakowski, Wadena; Brian Holt, Bemidji; Kevin Neitzke, Fort Snelling; Mitch Boyum, Rushford; Brent Ihnen, Waseca; and 2nd Lt. Aaron Kahre, assistant training coordinator, Camp Ripley.

The team also included retired conservation officers Greg Abraham, Fred Peterson, and Larry Webinger. Abraham, Neitzke, and Webinger finished one, two, and three in the competition. Team Minnesota finished ahead of DNR teams from Iowa and Wisconsin, and a team from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

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.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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