Six members of the Todd County's Mounted Sheriff's Posse of Long Prairie, MN have experienced the beauty of the badlands in Dunn County at Naard Creek Ranch this past week. Roger Deering, Kevin and Becky Boyer, Donna Boyer, Raymond Hendershot, and Laureen Carstonsen and their horses have been staying at the Naard Creek Cabin, owned by Harry and Maureen Olson of Killdeer, ND.
Deering heard about Naard Creek Ranch from Herman Hammel of Staples, MN who gave him some of their brochures. He thought they looked inviting so he wrote to Harry and Maureen last November. He talked it over with some of his fellow volunteers on the posse and they started to plan some vacation time for Dunn County.
"Our horses adjusted to the terrain easier than some of us," admitted Hendershot. The horses were in a trailer for eight hours traveling 458 miles from Sauk Centre, MN. The terrain and elevation was quite different for the horses.
When the group arrived on June 9, they were struck with awe. Kevin and Becky agreed. "The territory is amazing," said Becky. "I really like it here; it's nice and quiet," added Kevin.
Donna recently sold her horse, so she came along as head cook. "They treat me like a queen. I am so glad they included me. I have really enjoyed being here," said Donna. She is Kevin's mother.
What is extraordinary about this group is that they are dedicated volunteers. They help out the sheriff's department in Long Prairie as a search and rescue team whenever needed. Long Prairie has a population of 2800.
This is no easy task. The area is swampy and heavily wooded. They are required to have their own horses which have to be certified. On a yearly basis the horses go through a obstacle course that will certify them to be a posse horse. In addition they are required to have equipped horse trailers and saddlebags that carry first aid kits. The riders have mounted police training and are required to have CPR and first aid training. The posse group involves 23 volunteers which are set up in squads. When they are needed the sheriff calls the captain.