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Dave Wallis, Published October 09 2011

Portraits: Clark Emery and Jet

Jet can’t wait to blast off to his target, but he waits obediently and patiently next to his trainer, Clark Emery, waiting for the signal to go retrieve the training decoy as they practice working together early in the evening as the setting sun casts a golden light across the grounds north of Glyndon, Minn. Emery, 43, of Moorhead, has been hunting since he was about 8 years old and has had dozens of dogs over the years. This will be the first year of hunting for Jet, an 18-month-old black Labrador retriever. Emery also has a 9-month-old Chesapeake Bay retriever named Crash, who he is training at one of the two locations of the North Dakota Retriever Club, where he is one of about 65 members. “We’re right in the prime of the hunting season,” says Emery who hunts in the Lake Park and Wheaton, Minn., areas. “Hunting in North Dakota the last 10 years has just been phenomenal,” he adds. Besides doing training exercises three to five times a week, the dogs run field trials and hunt tests during the summer to keep them sharp. “And at the end of the day, they’re still our pets. They can do it all,” he says.