December 4, 2009

Deer hunting duo together for 50 years in western North Dakota

Deer hunting duo together for 50 years in western North Dakota
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

Dwight Eisenhower was president, a gallon of gas cost 30 cents, Alaska and Hawaii just became states and Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife” was the big song on the AM radio.
That was 1959 and it was also the year that New Town’s Roger Anderson and Keene’s Raymond Blegen began hunting deer together. They’ve been at it every year since and Anderson said he never imagined these two good friends would hunt together so many years, but wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I never had any idea we’d stick together that long and time has just rolled on by,” Anderson said. “I said to Raymond when we were out, ‘we’re closing in on 50 years.’”
Blegen couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
In the early years, Anderson said it was a matter of two friends getting together in a hunting party and as they became comfortable with each other, began planning trips and later, in the 1980s, Paul and Milo Wisness purchased some property south of Watford City in which Anderson and Blegen were allowed to hunt.
So, circumstances, in a way, kept them going and other friends such as Donald Wahus, Williston, Glenn Stenehjem, Watford City and David Nelson, hunted with them, but nobody can claim the longevity of these two western North Dakota deer hunters.
“I’m the old guy in the bunch,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the memories are endless of course, but there are some things that seem to stick out. As an example, he found a Willys Jeep that a local fire department had in its possession some years ago. It had mechanical issues, but Anderson put in a bid and bought it. He and Blegen fixed it up and have been using the indestructable motor vehicle ever since.
There was another time in which Anderson shot a mule deer near Cartwright, but he honestly thought it was an elk. Then, there was a huge white-tail deer he shot in the Keene area. Those two were mounted.
“That mule deer weighed 182 pounds and the white tail was 195 pounds,” Anderson said. “Mule deer can weigh 190 to 200 pounds and white tails can


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