WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 06, 2010, 09:28 AM

Wadena man turns his passion for homing birds into a full-time job

Wadena, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A Wadena man has found his own way of handling our country's economic downturn. After the struggling economy cost him his job, he chose to follow his passion when picking the next one.

Since he was a teenager Dennis Imdieke has been handling, collecting, and racing homing birds.

"It's been a hobby and a sport for me both racing and flying and keeping them."

For 23 years, Imdieke (im-deck) worked near his home at Lund Boats in New York Mills, but about a year ago Imdike at 59-years old was laid off.

"And of course when you get this age you wonder what you're going to do and how hire able you are."

Imdieke decided to take an Entrepreneur course at M-State and turn his hobby into a full-time job. The business: Dove releases.

At things like funerals, weddings or any special event, people can choose the number of doves, and the holding cage you release them from.

"I know people kind of have reservations at first, but once they get their hands on them and do it, if you catch the snap shot of people you can see the sun in their eyes or the enjoyment."

The birds are technically white homing pigeons. The neat part is when you release them; they always come back to the loft.

"For the last five years I've flown them out to Oklahoma which is 663 miles for me. They know, they use the sun, they use the magnetic field the earth, but they can fool with that and they can still find a way to come home."

Imdieke says his business will keep getting bigger and better and why not, he can take his merchandise hundreds of miles away, sell it, then the money and the bird end up right back at home.

Imdieke's business is called "Doves Are Us." You can reach him at