Erik grew up in Richfield, Minnesota, and started hunting small game, upland birds, and waterfowl when he was 14, mentored by an uncle and family friends. Erik’s parents weren’t hunters, but they were outdoors enthusiasts. His mother came from a hunting family, and dad is Norwegian, from a small fishing community in the northernmost part of Norway, where there’s a strong hunting culture, so both parents were supportive of Erik’s hunting interests.
Today Erik also enjoys fly-fishing for trout and hunts deer with a bow, rifle, and muzzleloader in the woods of central Minnesota. During 2008, he went on a once-in-a-lifetime moose hunt in northern Minnesota’s 810,000-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Erik says that BWCAW hunt “greatly deepened my interest in wilderness hunting for elk, moose, and deer.”
Erik is a volunteer outdoor mentor with the MN DNR’s recruitment and retention program that teaches youth and inexperienced adults hunting and angling skills. He attended the University of Minnesota for 5 years and has worked there for the past 17 years. He’s also a union steward and serves on the negotiating committee for Teamsters Local 320. Erik is married and has twin daughters. He says, “They both love fishing, are learning archery, and are showing interest in hunting.”