Hello Members,

If you are not already aware, spring training has begun. Now is a good time to get out and start training your dog, whether young or old.  Use these training nights to help focus on areas of weakness or maintain skills already learned. Remember that this is a volunteer based training, if you are running your dog next, help plant the birds for the person in front of you. Talk and share experiences with each other. If you are tired of waiting to run your dog next, gather a few members and do an exercise on the side at a different field. We hope that you and your pup will learn a lot this spring to get them ready for the summer/fall tests. below are our training nights which usually last into August. More information can be found at https://mnnavhda.org/training/

Kelly Farms – Hugo, MN

  • Monday “Positive reinforcement training” from 5:00pm till dusk
  • Tuesday and Thursday nights “Traditional Check Cord” from 4:00pm till dusk

Four Brooks WMA – Milica, MN

  • Thursday nights from 5:00pm till dusk

Major Ave Hunt Club – Glencoe, MN

  • Thursday nights from 5:30pm till dusk

Upcoming events:

  1. Mock Natural Ability test – May 4th 2019 @ Kelly Farms
  2. Training Day – May 4th @ Kelly Farms
  3. Mock UT – July 20th @ Kelly Farms


Many of you come to training nights and appreciate access to birds, here’s your opportunity to give back! We’re looking for volunteers on the following dates-some rough details are listed by pick-up and drop off locations.  If you think you might be interested in helping out on any of these, please reach out to Sam Snyder.  We can’t have training nights or host these tests without volunteers, so your help is greatly appreciated!
sam.snyder@mnnavhda.org or 308-249-6413  Call/text/or email and she will get back to you as soon as possible.
Mankato Pick-up
Date Drop-off location
May 10th or 11th Independence and Kelley 100 quail
May 24th or 25th Independence, MN 50 quail
June 7th or 8th Independence, MN 50 quail
June 21st or 22nd Independence, MN 50 quail
July 5th or 6th Independence, MN 75 quail
Stillwater Pick-up
Date Drop-off location
May 24th or 25th Kelley Farms 50 quail
June 7th or 8th Kelley Farms 50 quail
June 21st or 22nd Kelley Farms 50 quail
July 5th or 6th Kelley Farms 50 quail
July 19th or 20th Kelley Farms 50 quail
Aug 2nd or 3rd Kelley Farms 50 quail
Oakwood Farms (Princeton) Pick-up
Date Drop-off location
17-May Four Brooks NA Test 100 chuckar/30 pheasant
30-May Kelley Farms 150 chuckar/40 pheasant
19-Jul Kelley Farms 40 chuckar
31-Jul Kelley Farms 75 Chuckar/6 pheasant
1-Aug Viginia Training weekend 75 Chuckar/6 pheasant
7-Aug Kelley Farms 75 Chuckar/6 pheasant
15-Aug Virginia Test/Kellye Training 225 Chuckar/30 pheasant
21-Aug Kelley Farms 75 Chuckar/6 pheasant
29-Aug Kelley Farms 250 chuckar/30 pheasant
5-Sep Four Brooks NA Test 100 chuckar/30 pheasant



With the record breaking temperatures and the snowfall in the twin cities these past few weeks, we hope everyone is staying warm and cozy inside with their family and four legged friends. We can’t wait to see everyone again at our spring training. In the meantime, here is some reading to help you pass the time.

Fable Fest

The Chapter would like to thank everyone for their donations and attendance at our annual Fable Fest, which occurred on February 2nd 2019 at Chomonix Golf Course. There was an abundance of food, fun and conversations. The most interesting chili was Snapping turtle chili over warm coconut rice, brought in from member Hunter Farrell. We were able to raise a little over $2,000 from the event. The money raised at our annual fable fest helps cover expenses, that make our chapter run smoothly. Without you as our members, we would not be where we are today.

NAVHDA International Meeting

This year, the NAVHDA International meeting was held here in Minneapolis, MN. with over 250 attendees and delegates from across the country. The three day event was packed with judges workshops and speakers such as Pheasants Forever CEO and President, Howard Vincent, Benjamin C. Jones, The Ruffed Grouse Society’s CEO and president, and A.J. DeRosa of the Northwoods collection. This meeting wasn’t all fun, delegates had to vote on motions brought forth from chapters. The motions and votes are as follows:

  1. Invitational Brace Lottery: NO
  2. “4” required in UT field search to earn a prize 1: NO
  3. Disclosure of NAVHDA Insurance Policy: NO
  4. Members receive window decal each year: NO
  5. Writing a new training book: NO

If you would like more information on the motions brought forth by chapters, please contact vicepresident@mnnavhda.org

Avoid Spam

The NAVHDA International Office was notified that several members have received a Go-Fund-Me email request. It came from info@navhda.us. 
This email did NOT originate from NAVHDA. DO NOT OPEN. any information and updates will come from our Chapter Secretary Peter Ness.

Future events

For new and current members. Please join us for our 2019 Training Seminar: Preparing for NAVHDA Testing. This event will be held at the Cabelas in Rogers, MN on March 16th from 10am-2pm. The cost is $20. This half-day seminar will help new or inexperienced handlers prepare for a NAVHDA test. If you are thinking about entering a level of testing you have never run before, or would just like information to help you feel more comfortable with NAVHDA testing, this will be of great benefit to you. The seminar will cover each test briefly, how to prepare for the test, handling tips, and some common handler errors. Participant’s questions will be welcomed.

This year is the second year of the Joe Dolejsi Youth Scholarship, wherein Minnesota NAVHDA awards one youth hunter a scholarship to the Chapter training and events.  The applicant must be 18 years of age or under at the time of their application.

Some highlights of the scholarship are:

  • 1-Year Family Chapter Membership (include coupon with mail-in registration)
  • 1 Winter Obedience Class – 10 Week Session (include coupon with mail-in registration)
  • 1 MOCK Test (NA or UPT/UT) (include coupon with mail-in registration)
  • 25% off ONE MN NAVHDA Test Fee. (NAVHDA Testing Incentive Program offers reimbursement for the other 75%)
  • Free Pass to any MN NAVHDA Training Events for that year. Includes any grounds and registration fees. Purchase of birds is the responsibility of the handler.
  • The youth awarded the scholarship must be the individual handling the dog and registering/signing up as the Handler (training or testing)

The deadline for submission is on January 11th, 2018.  The winner will be announced at our Annual Meeting and Fable Fest dinner on Saturday February 2nd.

To apply for the scholarship, please follow this link: Application for Joe Dolejsi Scholarship

To read about last year’s winner, click here.

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to this fund in memory of Joe, please follow this link: GOFUNDME  The Joe Dolejsi Youth Scholarship Fund

The winner of the Joe Dolejsi Annual Youth Scholarship will be selected by vote of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chapter of NAVHDA. Children and grandchildren of members of the Board of Directors are not eligible to participate.

Don’t Leave Home Without It!

While the online world is full of cheap advice, I thought it best to check with our members and see what they always take with them when they head afield with their dogs.  Read and learn from our local experts!

Members Rolf Rogersand Bailey Petersendon’t leave home without a canine First Aid kit.

In addition, Pete Aplikowskicarries a “mini”, or a “Get me back to the truck” kit.

Pete carries “Vet tape, gauze, gauze tape, and scissors for barb wire lacerations, cut paw pads, puncture wounds.  I had all 3 on my recent trip.  The cheapest place to get vet tape is in the Equine section at a store like Fleet Farm.  It is about ¼ the cost of the branded stuff like “Coban” you find in the first aid section at a drug store/grocery, and comes in cool colors like blaze orange.”

Deneise Swansonin Big Fork, MN has experience with skunks.  Deneise says “carryDawn dishwashing detergent and an extra gallon of water for those skunk encounters in the field –  I know from experience that it works!!

Pete adds to that “5 Gallon bucket with an ice cream bucket, baking soda, DAWN, Hydrogen Peroxide.    This is the best de-skunk recipe I have found.  Mix the 3 ingredients together in the ice cream pail and slather on dog.  NO WATER-just this paste.  Rub in thoroughly with your hands and THEN rinse off dog.  5-gallon bucket can be used to scoop water out of a lake, pond, ditch, etc…Repeat as needed.”

But did you ever think of this?  Also from Pete Aplikowski:  “Since I travel with the 3 dogs in 1 large kennel, I also carry a collapsed plastic shell type crate kennel in case I need to isolate 1 dog due to skunk or injury.  When collapsed, it takes up very little space, and you can pack other items inside it-decoys, cooler, clothes, etc…  I know my 3-dog kennel set up is unique, but I think there are a lot of guys who do not use a kennel, and have the dog ride in the cab with them.  This is cute and fun until Pepe LePew shows up.  Having a crate along can make the ride home much more tolerable.”

Tammy Hillin Virginia and Bailey Petersenin Two Harbors both say to bring a good quality compass or GPS.

Bailey made a point to mention burr brushes.  “For every little seed my dog brings home, it could mean a plant with hundreds of seeds in my yard next year! I use a metal toothed comb, long-haired large sized furminator, and a long blade razor comb for the really bad ones. I have a Small Munsterlander and a Golden Retriever so we spend a looooong time brushing burrs.”

As a guy who hunts with Spinone, I concur!  While the wire coat attracts less than a soft coat, it still picks up plenty.  I find that a stripping knife does a great job of teasing out burrs.  Having a spray bottle of Cowboy Magic or Silk Mane and Tail Detangler is invaluable.

Bailey Petersenalso added the following:

Plenty of water for humans and dogs …. Trapping release kit – trapping season has begun!

Snacks …. E-collar …. Blaze Orange …. Hunting Licenses …. guns and proper shells

EYE WASH has been critical this year.  Dogs’ eyes are constantly filled with seeds

Towels – the dogs have yet to come back dry …. Spare pair of boots- the dogs aren’t the only ones who have yet to come back dry this season!

We all know that proper hydration is incredibly important.  Pete Aadds that he carries Pediatric Electrolyte. “This can save a dog that is overheated/dehydrated.  Had to use it on Monty during early season Sharptail in Montana 2 years ago when it was in the 80’s.”


From Dan Sundquist;“Depends on where you hunt, but a pair of side cutters for barbed wire are handy if a dog gets caught up in it. And eye wash for the dog. Maybe a flashlight for those evening hunts as well. “


Tony Hennenfrom Blaine says “Don’t leave home without a tow strap. I pulled a pickup out of a small drainage ditch this past weekend during South Dakota non-resident opener.”


My wife Erin Dunnmakes sure that I never leave home without the contact info for the local vets for wherever I’m going, preloaded into my phone.  Then I won’t have to spend time trying to do a google search in a remote area with poor coverage.


Finally, I’ll give the last word to Spencer Ingaldson:


1) Thermos of coffee!

2) cell phone

3) my dad’s old buck knife


I especially like the old buck knife. There are some things without which we just don’t feel complete.  Oh yeah, and one more thing; the dog.  Don’t forget your dog!