Dana Klos of Thief River Falls has come to be a local legend, famous for the way he has shared his love and passion for the great outdoors with others.
This pursuit of the wild earned him recognition beyond Thief River Falls when he was inducted into the Minnesota Archery Hall of Fame in 2016, a designation awarded to an elite group of archery aficionados who have shown advanced skill or have significantly contributed to the sport of archery in Minnesota.
Locally, he is also well-known for his expertise in hunting, fishing, shooting, and trapping. He is a member of the local Sportsman’s Club, and a certified youth firearms and trapping instructor. It is an understatement to say that he has trained hundreds of Thief River Falls youth in outdoor sports.
Although Dana was born and raised in Deer River, Minnesota, he has been a resident of Thief River Falls since the 1970’s, when he enrolled in the architectural drafting program at the Thief River Falls Area Vocational Technical Institute, commonly known as the AVTI. After a year at the AVTI, he went into active military duty. After his service, he went back to school to complete a two-year degree at the college.
After college, Dana chose to stay in Thief River Falls. He found good employment, and most importantly for him, the area afforded many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“There are more than 1,000,000 acres of publicly accessible lands within 70 miles,” Dana said, “and over 3,000,000 acres of public waters. Lots of places, you have to rely on the generosity of landowners, but here, you’ve got a wealth of natural resources that are available to anybody,” he said.
One of Dana’s favorite destinations is Beltrami Island State Park, Minnesota’s second largest State Park. “You can get lost up there,” he said. “With a million acres, you’ll never set foot on every square foot of it.”
Even closer to Thief River Falls is the 7,000-acre Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, where you might find a variety of migratory birds, moose, deer, and other animals.
As much as he loves everything about the great outdoors, if you press Dana for a hunting or fishing story, he will likely share an account of helping someone else enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s the annual youth fishing derby put on by the Sportsman’s Club or helping a disabled hunter get back into the woods.
Dana seems to have a natural desire to pass on his skills. “I try to entice kids, even adults, into enjoying the outdoors as much as I can. There are some that never will enjoy it because they’re spending too much time on electronics. But, if you want to learn to enjoy nature, go out on your own and see what’s to be had. Even though it’s a fast-paced world and there are improvements everywhere, it slows down when you’re on your own walking around in the woods. A lot of stress disappears.”