Answering the Call from North Dakota, Bird Dogs and All

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The Call of the Uplands is answered in a big way at the 2022 North Dakota state meeting

By Renee Tomala

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 North Dakota Senior Field Representative for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

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 Pheasants Forever member today!