Answering the Call from North Dakota, Bird Dogs and All

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Staff Photo

The 2022 North Dakota state meeting had us back where we belong

By Renee Tomala, North Dakota Senior Field Representative

State meetings offer invaluable opportunity for the three C’s: connect, collaborate and celebrate. After a Covid hiatus, the 2022 North Dakota state meeting had us back where we belong: celebrating together as we centered around a theme of Answering the Call based on the Call of the Uplands campaign.

A room of 32 volunteers and PF staff rallied to welcome 14 folks into the life member club with an additional 2 becoming dual life members by pledging to Quail Forever! One of those new life members is our National Youth Leadership Council member, Lexi, who belongs to the Knife River chapter. We celebrated Lexi’s 16th birthday the morning of the meeting, but she got her sweetest birthday gift later that day: a life membership from her dad, Randy, and another devoted volunteer, Kurt.

Then the call got answered even louder: alongside the 16 humans, 17 beloved bird dogs became life members that day! It was a beautiful tribute to the bird dogs that we’re lucky enough to hunt behind today, as well as those we’ve loved and lost. Honoring a bird dog in the field with us today, or commemorating one from the past, creates more habitat and is a beautiful thing. We were all able to celebrate those 17 dogs with each other, sharing tears over how undoubtedly impactful their time is with us.

I am forever humbled by the volunteers I’m privileged enough to work alongside in North Dakota. Here are the 17 dogs that became life members at the 2022 North Dakota State Meeting:

Moses – Steve Santini
Belle, Ilo, Gigi, Storm – Aaron Olson
Goose – Erika & Kevin Pagel
Copper – Randy Huntimer
Remington, Jade, Little Anne, Skeeter – Kurt Swenson
Ryder – Craig Paulson
Desi – Traci & Chris Knopik
Molly – Kevin Ritter
Bea – Casey Bergthold
Kash – Rick Pokrzywinski
Sako – Jeremy Stahowiak

Renee Tomala is a Pheasants Forever Senior Field Representative in North Dakota

This story originally appeared in the 2022 Summer Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a member today!