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Chalk up a pair for the Grants

Ron Malone, back, and Dick Malone, right, hosted retired Minnesota Vikings head football coach and active sportsman Bud Grant on a turkey hunt April 13 west of Wadena. The 90-year-old Grant shot a 22.5 pound tom turkey with a 10.5 inch beard. Mike Grant, who accompanied his father to the Wadena area, shot a 7.5 inch bearded turkey the same day. Photo provided

A Twin Cities man showed up with his father in tow last week at Dick Malone's farm 5 miles west of Wadena. They had accepted an invitation from Dick's brother, Ron, to hunt wild turkeys.

The younger man was Mike Grant, head football coach at Eden Prairie High School. His 90-year-old father, Bud, used to make his living the same way but on a slightly more competitive level. He coached the Minnesota Vikings over a period of three decades in the National Football League.

Ron Malone became acquainted with Mike and his wife, Colleen, when he recently built a lake home for them in Otter Tail County. When Ron started the project for the Grants he did not realize who they were.

"Mike is so much like the rest of us," Ron said. "He and Colleen are such nice people."

When Mike mentioned to Ron that turkey numbers had petered out where he hunted with his dad, Ron invited them to hunt on his farm. He had a lot of turkeys. The Grants accepted and the wheels started to move. Unfortunately, so did Ron's big turkey flock. Ron turned to his brother Dick for help.

The Grants arrived Wednesday evening and did some scouting on Dick's property. The next morning Mike shot a gobbler with a 7.5 inch beard. Bud did not bag his bird until Thursday evening when the group heard two shots come from the spot where the old sportsman was hunting.

Bud Grant has been called "stoic" and when he brought in his 22.5 pound turkey with a terrific 10.5 inch beard, he lived up to his reputation.

"I told him, man, I've never seen one like that," Ron said in congratulating the NFL coaching legend.

"Well, it's just another turkey," Grant said.