Mark grew up along the Minnesota River in a town called North Mankato. The area offered up excellent hunting fishing and trapping. Mark spent lots of time at the river. He started his trapping career at the age of 14. His first muskrat was caught in pond at the city dump with his friend “Herm”. This started a passion that has led Mark down many roads.
Mark didn’t have a full time job until the age of 28. He worked seasonal jobs for the National Park Service, and Forest Service. He always kept his fall and winter open for fur trapping. This was where the bulk of his income came from.
Mark was a nontraditional student, earning a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University and a Masters degree from the University of South Dakota. He married his wife of 34 years when he was 28. He proposed to her in an off-grid cabin nestled deep in the woods of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mark and Sandy raised two boys along with many dogs.
The bulk of Mark’s professional career was spent with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks. He left this career at the age of 53 to grow the Wiebe Knife Company, and Dakotaline Snares.
Along his winding path, Mark has always trapped. Many years he longlined, racking up significant catches. He has mentored up to 50 young men and women, teaching them what he knows about trapping. Some of these students have gone on to work at Dakotaline and Wiebe.
Mark is an author (Hey, Crap in his chimney), and has been making trapping videos since 2005. He’s known for his off-center sense of humor which follows him wherever he goes. Mark, once a free spirit, has made his home in Eastern South Dakota.
Bob the Dog came to live with Mark and Sandy in 2014. They don’t know much about his past or even how old he is. Bob goes pretty much everywhere with Mark. They’ve traveled the east coast, the west coast, Texas-Arizona, Canada, and even the Arctic circle.
Sometimes Mark calls Bob “Orphan boy”. Sometimes Bob pees on Mark’s pillow. Guys being guys. Mark says him and Bob were made for each other.