Hello Minnesota NAVHDA members!   We hope all of your hunting seasons are in full swing and you and your dogs are getting out there and tearing it up!

We apologize for the lack of much communication from the chapter over the last couple months.  Once we got past the CV-19 restrictions limiting our training & testing, it was a whirlwind of a season that went by rapidly and then it was time to go hunting.

Despite all the delays and uncertainty, we still had quite a successful year, running 14 of our originally planned 16 testing days with 118 dogs testing with our chapter.  (92 NA, 1 UPT, 25 UT).    We also tried to implement some more focused small group training this year, and that paid off, with the percentage of NA dogs achieving Prize 1 scores increasing from 36% to 51% from 2019 to 2020.  At the Utility level, we saw success also with 76% of the UT dogs tested at our chapter passing (prizing) with 7 Prize 1’s.  Some of our members tested with OTHER chapters, so this is not a complete picture.  I do know of at least 12 chapter members achieving a Prize 1 Utility Score in 2020 and qualifying for the Invitational.  That is impressive!  Because of this, we are going to try to organize some Invitational Training groups and bring in a qualified Senior Judge from NAVHDA to hold an Invitational Handler Clinic in 2021.

Even though we are in the middle of hunting season, your Board of Directors is hard at work making plans for 2021.    We hope to repeat a lot of what we did in 2020 and continue to add some new elements for our membership.  Our chapter has grown significantly in the last several years, and demand for testing space is high.  To meet this, over the last several years we have expanded many of our test weekends to span 3 days.  We have determined this is tough on volunteers and judges, so for 2021, we are going to move back to all 2 day tests, but ADD 2 weekends to maintain our capacity at a total of 16 testing days.

We also plan to hold more events at Four Brooks.  Last summer work was done to the SE pond to make it suitable for a UT Test Marked Retrieve sequence.  As you are reading this, there is additional work going on there to add a north-south road from the parking lot to the middle tower road, and add some culverts and flatten approaches to the  field access points.  This was a significant investment for the chapter of around $12,000, and we are starting a fundraiser to help offset some of these costs and replenish our operating account.  You can help by donating to our Grounds Fund here.

To see a rough idea of what we have on tap for 2021, follow these links:

We are by far the largest chapter in all of NAVHDA (over 275 members currently), and we hold more testing days and organized training than any other chapter as well.  We do our best to give our members good value for their membership with access to grounds, birds and a variety of training & testing options.   Registration for certain 2021 Training Events will be open soon, and only chapter members get notified of these, so it is important to keep up your NAVHDA International membership as well as your Minnesota Chapter membership.

***Chapter memberships are  now open for renewal for 2021, and you can get a discount by renewing prior to 12/31.  You can follow this link to Renew your MN Navhda membership.

Good luck to everyone with the rest of their hunting season!  (Me and my boys are headed for Iowa on Friday.)

Pete Aplikowski

President-MN Navhda