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Learning and Applying Ways of Old – Grant Pozarnsky

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03/01/2012 - By Gayle Irwin

"I'm a country boy to the bone," says Grant Pozarnsky, professional hunting guide and owner of Grant's General Labor Services.

Taking lessons from his Ukrainian ancestry and from long-ago prairie settlers, Grant strives to make a living with his own hands. His handyman business includes fence repair, lawn and garden maintenance, and minor house repairs. Reach Grant's General Labor Services at (307) 259-4675.

Through his work as a hunting guide in both Wyoming and Nebraska, Grant says he has a nearly 100% success rate in all types of hunts he's guided, which includes mule and white-tail deer, elk and pronghorn. In fact, Grant possesses several hunting trophies, including two Boone and Crockett records, one for antelope and one for elk. He also holds a Pope and Young archery record for pronghorn, creatures that are difficult to hunt with a bow due to their acute senses of hearing and sight and their incredible speed (pronghorn can run up to 60 mph for short distances).

Grant grew up farming and ranching in North Dakota. He moved to Casper in 1990 after an over-the-phone promise of a job. For several years, Grant worked as a machinist. But, the economy displaced his job a few years ago, so he re-grouped, forming his own handyman business and re-entering the outdoors world as a hunting guide.

Although he rented when he first came to town, the country lifestyle beckoned, and he now owns five acres north of town with a home he completely remodeled.

"I started off with just a piece of prairie," he says.

He recently added a four-footed friend to his home with whom he'll share his love of the outdoors. "Tracks", a hound puppy he's training, will accompany Grant on cougar and bobcat hunting expeditions.

Grant says he thoroughly enjoys the wide, open spaces and the sparse population of Wyoming, similar to his home state of North Dakota.

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Raised "old school" with "traditional family values", Grant's ancestry includes a great-grandfather who was a kozak, a Ukrainian horse soldier. Interestingly, Grant's high school mascot was a Cossack (American spelling). His parents used to speak old Ukrainian, and when they talked in that manner Grant says "I knew I was in trouble!"

Grant attends Highland Park Community Church and has been involved with the choir as well as various Bible studies.

"If it wasn't for God, I wouldn't be where I am. Lot's of prayer has gone into my life," Grant says.

The outdoors is in Grant's blood. In addition to hunting, he also enjoys skiing, snowboarding, trapping, ice fishing, fly fishing, boat fishing, shore fishing --almost any kind of fishing. "I've seen lots of cracks (in the ice) but I never went in," he states.

Grant also enjoys country dancing and has played in pool leagues, including an international tournament in Las Vegas.

Sharing his enjoyment and knowledge of the great outdoors is also part of Grant's nature. "I sometimes help people find game or give them advice when I'm in the field," he says.

One of those times happened when Grant was elk hunting. He came upon a man and his son who were mule deer hunting but having a difficult time finding and stalking game.

"The boy was new to bow hunting," Grant recalls. "He was trying to stalk but not having much luck, so I helped them come upon some animals."

Although the man and his son didn't bag a deer that day, the experience stays with Grant. He firmly believes young boys need to be taught hunting and gun safety.

"Curiosity coupled with ignorance is a dangerous combination," he says.

As winter wanes into spring, Grant and Tracks will be spending more time in mountains and on the plains, preparing for the upcoming hunting season. Much like those trappers, hunters and early western settlers of (not so) long ago!

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