Linda K Dahlen

For more articles, go to and use search words Linda Burch or Linda Dahlen

Articles by Linda K Dahlen, aka Linda K. Burch

 Outdoor, Hunting and Business Articles - links to Be sure to scroll all the way down for various links to articles.  For more articles go to and my bio has several dozen articles.    Also, go to and use their search feature for "Linda Dahlen" or "Linda Burch".


The Miracle

By Linda K Burch copyright May 2013

There’s only one thing better than being in the turkey woods in spring… and that is being there with a lifelong buddy.   George, 56 and his son Daniel, 24 had hunted together since Dan was age 7.  Safety and ethics with hunting were paramount in their family.  They were hunting the same spot as they always had, on 1200 acres of hilly private land.  They had done their scouting and setup well in advance and were archery hunting from a pop-up blind after sneaking quietly into position before daybreak.   As dawn crept into the eastern sky, both men could hear gobbles and birds flying down from the roost.  It was party time!  The hunters started calling.  At 7am they got a response and carefully wooed a gobbler who decided to hold up about 45 yards out and then proceeded to meander over a nearby ridge and drop out of sight.

 “BLAM!”   Seconds later, the morning silence was shattered by a gun blast.    Father and son looked at each other incredulously saying “you gotta be kidding, no one has permission to be here”.  George commented that they had better be careful lest they get shot.  Removing their facemasks, they decided to carefully advance up the hill and check on the trespasser.  They used large trees for safety and to cloak their silhouettes while advancing slowly to where they thought the gunshot came from.  At the crest of the hill, they could see the dead turkey they had called in, but saw no hunters.

 “BLAM!”   Another shotgun blast echoed over the hills.  Suddenly Dan hit the ground screaming and holding his face.  Panic!   George could now see the hunters and while he was hit too, he yelled “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, we’ve been hit, PLEASE help!”  The two trespassers just sat there motionless.  Ralph looked down and saw his son covered with blood, hands on his face with blood pouring out from between his fingers.  “Did they get your eye?” George asked.  Dan replied “Ya, it’s really bad”.  Daniel was a nurse and knowing what “bad” really was, told his father to dial 911.  George called, gave their location and told the 911 operator they were hunting and that his son got shot in the face.   Once off the phone, George again yelled at the two hunters “We need help”.  The two trespassers were standing now, but still not moving.  George asked his son “Can you walk?” and Dan replied “yes I think so”.   George instructed Dan to cross the bean field toward the road since that was where the police and ambulance would be arriving.  Dan staggered off bloody and dazed, while George ran over to the two trespassers and got in their face saying “I want your ID’s and I want them NOW”.   They casually puffed on their cigarettes.  Their response was “we didn’t mean for this to happen” and that they thought George and Dan were a turkey.  George asked if they had permission to be there, and they lied, saying “yes”.  George asked if they had written permission with them since they were in the State of Ohio which required written permission.  They said they didn’t have written permission.  George grabbed both IDs and ran across the bean field after his son.

 Meanwhile, after hearing that a hunter was shot in the face, the police called out six cruisers and a SWAT team with AR-15’s who formed a perimeter around the area.  The ambulance arrived moments later.  Daniel was now throwing up from the shock and blood loss as George explained to the police where the perpetrators  were and that they had failed to provide any assistance at all.    The medics had to cut Dan’s blood soaked camo clothes off him to deal with the multiple shot he took.  The police found two spent shotgun shells, both 12 gauge.  One was a 3 inch #4 shot and one was a 3-1/2 inch #4 shot.  The turkey appeared to have been shot at about 30 yards, while the distance from the trespassers to Dan and George was just under 50 yards.  Even at that distance, the shot went clean through their three layers of camo jackets and clothes.  Dan took 6 bb’s.  One went into his left eye and lodged at the back of the retina just short of entering his brain. He had immediate total blindness.  He took shot in his face and jaw, had a fractured cheekbone, numbness, inability to taste or feel parts of his face or gums, and could not feel himself swallow.  He also had shot in his neck and chest.  George took penetrating shot in the neck and chest as well.  Dan spent two days in ICU and had two surgeries in as many days.  George was treated and discharged.

 In the moments after Dan hit the ground screaming and bleeding, he was thinking about his upcoming marriage in two weeks and thinking “why me?”.  As he rode off in the ambulance he felt the presence of God say “Dan, you are going to lose your left eye.  Do not be afraid”.   At that moment he had a peace to accept whatever outcome this tragedy might present.  He forgave the hunters who shot him.    His fiancé was by his side every day, supporting him.   A week later, another hunting buddy called and asked if Dan wanted to turkey hunt.  Dan said YES, but that his camo had gotten cut off him so he had nothing to wear, and he could not shoot a gun because of the recoil.   That buddy showed up on Dan’s doorstep with a full outfit of hunting camo and Dan went out and hunted with a crossbow, taking a shot and just missed a gobbler.  Dan is to be married  on May 4th, but had to postpone the honeymoon since he has major eye surgery on May 9th.  His wife to be is also an avid hunter.

 These events happened end of April 2013.  As we continue turkey hunting in Minnesota, I was strongly motivated to share this story of my husband’s family members in Ohio, because turkey hunting is the most statistically dangerous of the hunting sports.  As we Minnesota hunters go into a late turkey season due to a long winter, more hunters than ever will be out there in the month of May.  We need to take special care for safety and ethics:   Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.  Always keep your gun aimed in a safe direction.  DO NOT trespass.  NEVER shoot at sound or movement.  And while Ohio does not have a “Duty to Render Aid” law for hunting, Minnesota does.  In Minnesota, if you accidentally wound another person, you MUST render aid to the victim or the result could be jail time.

 Daniel was a miracle, according to the doctors.  Another half inch, and the shot would have gone through his brain instead of blinding his eye.  Be safe.  For complete safety information, you can visit the Minnesota DNR web site at

 Linda Burch is a DNR certified firearm safety instructor


The Aha Moment

  By Linda K Burch copyright October 2011



Mystified, and in near darkness, I stood there in the woods.   After hunting, I always Ninja sneak out of my tree stand without a flashlight when I know the deer can’t ID me as a human.  Deer eyes take much longer to acclimate from light to dark than human eyes and I use that as an advantage to exit undetected.   I searched for my two spent arrows and mentally kicked myself for what I thought were two botched shots.   To find spent arrows is an ethical thing for me.   I clicked on my mini-mag flashlight and searched.  It was under gunned so I switched to a tactical flashlight.   “Found it” I said to myself.  The first arrow was an 18 yard gimme shot.  But I could not find the second arrow at 35 yards.    I clicked off the flashlight and thought about it.


In practice, my in-string peep site would sometimes twist wrong so I could not see through it.  I would torque it a bit with my fingers and it would be fine for many more shots.  The walk to my tree stand that day was noisy with the wind having dried all the new fallen leaves.   This stand was ¾ mile in and sits off a small green field/food plot.  Everything was going right.  I’d arrowed and gun killed many deer from this stand in the past, and I had arrowed another deer already so I was in the groove.   I no sooner settled in and it started to rain, first sprinkle then pour.  It was after 5pm and the deer “magic hour” of feeding was coming up fast.  But deer don’t like to move in a woods noisy with rain.  I hoped it would let up because I was not wearing rain gear.


An hour later, the rain stopped and the deer sprang to feeding within 5 minutes.  Two deer startled at falling acorns and ran right under my tree stand and stood there.   My adrenalin was pumping like liquid  lightening through me.  I had my range finder in one hand as I watched them 50 yards away, and now here I was not ready for the shot.  In slow motion I lowered the range finder, put it in my pocket, slipped my hand on my bow and my release calipers on the bow string loop.   I went to pull my bow back but could not pull it back.  The after effect of the adrenalin left me too weak to pull my bow!   The deer kept walking slowly to 18 yards.


 I pulled my bow again, now totally in the zone, aimed for the heart/lung area and let the arrow fly.  It flew alright… three feet to the right of the deer.   The peep sight had malfunctioned at the moment of truth so my non dominant eye took over and I missed the shot.   The deer now had walked to 35 yards and stopped.  I went to full draw again and the peep malfunctioned.  I let down on the bow string and adjusted the peep.  I pulled a second time, and still could not see.   The third time, I could see through about 1/3 of the site, just enough to get a good aim on the deer and let the arrow fly.  I was sure it was a good shot.


The deer startled and bolted into the woods.  It stood looking my direction from 50 yards away, and then meandered around feeding until out of sight as if nothing happened.   “I could NOT have missed, but I must have missed”, I told myself standing there later in the dark.


Then the Aha Moment hit me like a brick:  Maybe I DID arrow the deer successfully and it didn’t know what hit it, so it wandered off and tipped over without a fuss? 


“And pigs fly, too” I thought to myself.    Usually deer do the death run, pile up, and make a racket when they succumb to a shot, whether gun or bow.   I went with my flashlight to the edge of the field where I saw the deer run.  BLOOD TRAIL !!  I was euphoric!    It was your classic blood trail, clear and bright red.   It led to where I saw the deer start its feeding.  It circled around a small area and the THERE IT WAS!  70 yards away from where I shot it in the field and a perfect lung/liver shot.   I thanked God… it seemed like a miracle.    But the arrow was nowhere to be found.  I raced back to camp, change clothes and took the ATV back to get the deer.  Once loaded, I again searched for the arrow.  I found it in the leaves where the deer had been feeding.


Some good lessons were learned that day.    One, never let any kind of equipment malfunction go unattended, no matter how small.  Two, never assume you missed your target when you think your aim was true.  Always find your arrow.  And three, always take the time to look for a blood trail.  Too many hunters give up looking for a deer too soon because they don’t think they had a good shot or they are just too lazy to look.  Ethics demands our diligence when harvesting game animals.  And Aha Moments prove that.


  More Article by Linda K Burch

The Apprentice - 2010 Spring turkey hunt

Adventure Road

The Heritage

The Voices In My Head

Clipped Wing
 - bow hunting with a broken arm

Mother Nature

 - bow hunting with a broken arm

The Prodigal Gun

"QDM 'Secrets'"

"Never Never Never Give Up”

“Fungus Hunter”


“Like A Surgeon” Field Dressing for Girls

"Mud Party" Caring for Mother Nature

"The Gummy Barrel" Women Conquering the Impossible

"Dare To Be Stupid" - My Misadventures In The Great Outdoors

"Skunkzilla" Bear season 2008

The Hunt – Part 4 "These Bears Are Playing With Me!"

I’ve Been Patterned! Part 3 - Bear Hunt 2007

Bear Bait CSI” 2007 Bear hunt – part 2

THE HUNT part 1 Bear Hunting 2007

           Links not completed yet to the articles below.  You can read them all at  Click on "meet the ladies" and then click on Linda Burch for a listing of all articles..

The Prayer - 2006 Minnesota Bear Hunt

Dances With Bears - Manitoba Bear Hunt 2005

Hunting Outside the Box" Minnesota Bear Hunting 2003

Endless Sky" Manitoba Bear Hunt with Big Grass Outfitters

When Women Hunt - 100 Days To Bear Camp

And the Bears Laughed

Almost A Cop

"The Rhythm of the Wild" MINNESOTA ARCHERY OPENER 2001

"Winners Never Quit" Hunting with Catwoman and Tumbleweed

"Nomadic Hunting Babes" Women's Mississippi Whitetail Hunt at Tara Wildlife

"The Flipover Disc" The Food Plots Continue

Food Plots Part 3 "Just a Doe"

"Tuned In" My Introduction to Food Plots - Part 2

"Changes" - my introduction to food plots

"Respect" Minnesota Archery Opener


"The Big Dipper" WomenHunters Deer Archery In Wisconsin Fall 2004

"The Sisterhood" The Nomadic Hunting Babes Ride Again

"The Invisible Girl"

In defense of the "Catered Hunt"


Triple Play Hog Hunting in Texas

Hog Wild

Teach Your Children

"Teach Your Children-Part 2" - Liz Hears the Call of the Wild"

"Dances With Cows" 2003 Kansas Spring Turkey Hunt

"That's Why They Call It Hunting" Fall Turkeys in Minnesota

"Cat Napper" Wisconsin Turkey Hunting 2002

“Conversion” Minnesota Firearms Opener November 2006

"The Schizophrenic Hunter" MN Firearms Seasons 2002

Like Mother - Like Son

Legacy of the Duck Property

“Whippoorwill” Georgia Turkey Hunt – 2007

"When Things Go Wrong" Spring Turkey Hunting 2006

"The Perfect Plan"

"Love is Blind" Wisconsin Spring Turkey Hunt 2003

"The Mountaintop" Kansas Turkeys 2002

"No Fair"

Motor Horse - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

"Dances With Cows" 2003 Kansas Spring Turkey Hunt

Born To Be Wild

"The Compleate Woman" From Woods to Home for the Holidays

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

The Symphony of the Woods

“Jackpine Savage”


“Killing Time at the New Generation Deer Camp"


"Wisdom-Woman to Woman"

"Mind Games"

            Vintage Linda, Earlier Writings

Adventures of a New Landowner

The Old Outhouse

All My Dads

When I Was A Man







Beauty and the Beast

Hunters Anonymous


            Christian and Faith Based Articles



How Awesome

Be Still and Know

        Reviews by Linda K. Burch

Website Builder