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Meet the Musher: Deke Naaktgeboren

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 7:42 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - For part two of the Meet the Musher series, we get to know Deke Naaktgeboren from Nautique Sky Kennels.

Naaktgeboren’s discovery of dog mushing starts with a love of water sports. As a college student Naaktgeboren wanted nothing more than a ski boat but the closest thing he could afford was a dog he named Nautique. But Nautique pulled just like the boat they were named after and soon enough Naaktgeboren and Nautique were skiing on snow.

Eventually A desire to run the Iditarod came to Naaktgeboren and he would end up buying 15 dogs and started a kennel of 17. But for Naaktgeboren, the goal is to always have fun. From his own mouth, Naaktgeboren says, “Cause it’s so much work, time, money, energy. If it’s not fun, then it’s not worth it.”

Part of that fun for Naaktgeboren is naming new pups. He claims that when a dog is about to have puppies, “[I] start scheming on what the theme’s going to be.” Each litter he has comes to be named with a new theme, whether that be Disney characters, or “Fairbanks’ finest establishments.”

This will be Naaktgeboren’s first Yukon Quest.

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