Popowski, Bert

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Popowski, Bert

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Bert John Popowski was born in Grafton, North Dakota on February 15, 1904. He lived in Grafton throughout his elementary and high school years. He attended South Dakota State College in Brookings, South Dakota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in printing in 1926. He married Harriet Seymour of Aberdeen, SD in 1930. They had two sons, John Seymour and Jerome Bert. / Throughout his career, Bert lived in various areas of the United States and held several different jobs, ranging from a high school principal to associate editor for Look Magazine. From 1951 to his death in 1982, he worked as a freelance writer, author, and contributing editor for several publications. / During a career that spanned half a century, Bert wrote over 2,300 articles. His first feature story appeared in Outdoor Life in 1931. He served as contributing editor for The American Rifleman writing a column titled "Dope Bag." He also wrote columns for several other magazines, including "Hunting" for The Outdoorsman, "Guns and Ammunition" for Hunting & Fishing, and "The Shot Tower" for Guns and Hunting. He wrote several major books and gained national prominence with his classic Hunting Pronghorn Antelope. Some of his works were translated into Spanish and Japanese. He was also an award-winning photographer, and his photographs illustrated many of his articles and books. / In his earlier years, he was best known as an expert varmint hunter. Several of his books did much to popularize this form of hunting. In 1932, he built a log cabin near the Narrows on French Creek in Custer State Park. There he weathered the Great Depression and did most of his writing. In 1949 he won the National Crow Shooting Championship, using calls of his own design to take first place over 51 other contestants. Bert was always interested in natural history and wildlife management as well as hunting. / In 1979, he donated a collection of his books, original manuscripts, and photographs to his Alma mater, South Dakota State University. At the convention of the Outdoor Writers Association of America in Rapid City, the State of South Dakota presented him with a special award as the Dean of South Dakota Outdoor Writers. In the 1980's, Bert contracted cancer and eventually suffered a stroke, which hospitalized him. He died on February 14, 1982.


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