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Drawing of a lynx in a garage

Behind the Badge

Adventures and Misadventures in the Wild North

District Game Warden Ken Skuza

Black and white icon of a lynx head

Back in the 90’s I was stationed in Kenmare, when I received a call about a lynx in a garage just north of town.

At that point and time in my career I thought to myself, right, a lynx.

I drove up into the farmyard and staring out of a window in the garage was a live lynx.

I talked to the individual and agreed with her it was a lynx.

She wanted it removed.

So, not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, I grabbed my fishing net out of the back of the truck and walked into the garage, closing the door behind me.

Yep, that lynx was not a happy guy.

He was staring at me hissing and swatting one of his paws.

I walked up to the lynx, and he jumped at me.

I swung the net and luckily caught the lynx in midair.

It twisted around so fast in the net, the net acted like a straight jacket and the lynx was caught.

I placed it into my dog kennel and took it to the vet in Minot.

Now, I can think of better ways to catch a lynx or any other animal in a garage without having to walk up to it.

Black and white icon of a moose head

A few years back I received a call from the wildlife division in Riverdale.

They requested my help with a sick moose south of Riverdale.

I arrived a short time later and talked with the guys.

They pointed out the moose to me and told me it sick or hurt due to the way it was walking around.

Before I went into the field, I called the landowner and told him what was happening, and I would be driving on his field.

I drove within 100 yards of the moose and watched it with my binoculars.

The moose was very thin.

Every rib was showing, and his hind quarters were nothing but bone.

I decided the moose needed to be put down.

I drove up within 50 yards of the moose and shot. It and went down.

I put the shotgun into the back seat of the pickup and looked up.

The moose was not only on his feet but was charging me at full speed.

It happened so fast I did not have time to move the truck.

The moose came right at the front of my truck and at the last minute turned and left a pack of hair on my hood.

The moose went by my truck and fell over for the last time.

Upon examination of the moose, the moose was blind and would not have lived much longer.

Black and white icon of a deer head

More recently, I received a call about two bucks with locked antlers.

I made two mistakes that day: one, I brought another warden and two, I got out of my pickup.

It may not be widely known but wardens like to poke each other when a mistake is made.

I arrived on location with the two whitetail bucks.

The reporting party was present and pointed out the deer to me.

I drove out to the deer, and one was not alive.

The other one appeared to be exhausted.

I told the other warden I was going to shoot the antlers off one of the deer.

I got my shotgun out and walked up to the deer.

The deer that was alive looked to be at wits end.

I put the shotgun up to his antlers and pulled the trigger.

Well, he wasn’t exhausted.

He jump up and raked me from my ankles to my chest with his one remaining antler.

I still had one finger in the trigger mechanism of the shotgun.

The antler caught that too.

Breaking my finger and making a bloody mess.

To this day I get reminded of the deer locked together.

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