Minnesota Chapter Annual Meeting

The Board of Directors decided to once again NOT hold our traditional Fable Fest Potluck and in person annual meeting due to continued concerns about CV-19, and the fact that our group size has outgrown the venue we had been using at Chomonix golf course.    We hope we can get back to an in person get-together in 2023.

Our Bylaws do require us to have an annual business meeting during January or February, and like we did in 2021, this meeting will be a virtual meeting on the Google Meet platform.  It will be held Tuesday February 15th at 7pm.   You can join by video or phone.  The agenda will include reports from each Director about the past year, what we have in store for 2022,  and a briefing about the NAVHDA annual meeting held on Jan 29th.

Click here for the Online virtual meeting link or phone call-in details

NAVHDA International Annual Meeting & Auction/Fundraiser

The 2022 NAVHDA International meeting is being held virtually again this year for chapter delegates only, but there is an online auction/fundraiser that is open to all NAVHDA members. Lots of dog and outdoor equipment is up for auction as well as some hunt trips to cool locations. The auction ends 1/29 and is open for bidding now.  Register, browse, and bid here


Applications are Open for the Joe Dolejsi Youth & New Handler Scholarship.  Applications accepted through March 5th, 2022.  Full details and application form here.

Interested in becoming a NAVHDA Judge?   The Bill Jensen Apprentice Judge Scholarship was created to assist chapter members in that journey.  More details here

NAVHDA Aims & Rules Clinic with Blaine Carter-June 4th & 5th

Minnesota NAVHDA will once again hold the popular AIMS & Rules Clinic this year on June 4th & 5th at Kelley Farms.  Clinic Leader will be Blaine Carter from the Yankee Chapter in Maine.  This is a 2 day in depth clinic about NAVHDA principles, the testing system and scorecards.  Limited to 20 people.   Any member interested in becoming a NAVHDA Judge must attend one of these clinics.  Full details & Registration here.

2022 Test Entries

Minnesota NAVHDA is expanding our tests to EIGHT weekends this year to try to meet the demand for test slots.  To also help our own members this year, we are initially restricting test entries to chapter members only.  Entries will open on Feb 1st.  Full testing details and calendar can be found here:  2022 Test Dates & Registrations.

Mock NA Tests are BACK!

After a 2 year hiatus due to the pandemic, we are offering two MOCK Natural Ability tests.  Limited to 12 handlers each day and reserved for chapter members who are signed up for Minnesota chapter NA tests.   April 30th & July 30th at Kelley Farms in Hugo.   Registrations will be by invitation as NA test entries are accepted.

NEW for 2022!

Versatile Dog 101-Search, Point, Track, Swim.  A One Hour introduction to NAVHDA principles.  Good information for new members and Natural Ability Handlers.  Will be run in conjunction with the MOCK NA tests and OPEN training days at Kelley Farms on April 30th & July 30th.

Versatile Dog 201-Heel, WHOA, Fetch. Learn principles about Obedience training  and transitioning from a dog’s natural ability & cooperation to what it takes to create a “finished” versatile hunting dog.   Demonstrations will then be given about each segment of the NAVHDA Utility Preparatory & Utility Test.  Will be run in conjunction with OPEN training days at Kelley Farms on April 30th & July 30th.

Small Group Training

Minnesota NAVHDA encourages all members to work together to form their own small training groups, and we will help support those groups with access to birds and grounds.  For new members who need help meeting people and getting in a group, you can fill out our Training Survey/Questionnaire.

Chapter Members,

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Holiday Season and hope many of you are still out hunting with your dogs.

The Board of Directors met on 12/21/2021 and the decision was made to once again NOT hold the traditional “Fable Fest” potluck, silent auction and annual meeting in early 2022.  This decision was made due to a combination of factors revolving around the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of Omicron variant and that the venue we have been using at Chomonix golf course is no longer suitable for a group of our size and needs.    Our chapter Bylaws require us to hold an “annual meeting” for our members in January or February, and this will be done virtually in mid February, as we did last year. Meeting details will be sent out in January.

Some other reminders:

Chapter memberships are now due, and there is a discount for renewing by 12/31.  Click here to renew.

We will be opening our 2022 test entries on Feb 1st, and it will be for members only until March 1st.   Our tests fill quickly, so make sure if you are planning on running a dog that your dog is registered with NAVHDA and that all owner and handler membership status is up to date with NAVHDA and our chapter.

2022 Testing Dates & Locations

Chapter membership renewals are now open and you can get a discount by renewing before 12/31.  Click here for our online membership registration.

We really like to get people to renew by 12/31 to help our Secretary update the roster.  Chapter members get priority for all of our clinics, events & tests.

Some of what we have in store for 2022

Applications for the Joe Dolejsi Youth & New Handler Scholarship are also now OPEN.  If you know a youth or someone new to the versatile dog world that could use some mentoring, please encourage them to apply.

Our Tentative 2022 Test Dates & Locations:

Test entries will open February 1st for chapter members only.

  • May 14th-15th Natural Ability (NA)-Four Brooks WMA Milaca, MN
  • June 4th-5th NA-UPT-UT-Kelley Farms Hugo, MN
  • June 11th-12th Natural Ability (NA)-Pineridge Grouse Camp Remer, MN
  • July 23rd-24th Natural Ability (NA)-Four Brooks WMA Milaca, MN
  • August 13th-14th NA-UPT-UT-Pineridge Grouse Camp Remer, MN
  • August 20th-21st NA-UPT-UT-Iron Range Retriever Club Virginia, MN
  • August 27th-28th NA-UPT-UT-Four Brooks WMA Milaca, MN
  • September 10th-11th-Natural Ability (NA)-Four Brooks WMA Milaca, MN

If you have a new puppy or a dog that has not tested previously, make sure you verify your dog is registered with NAVHDA. 


While it is still hunting season, there is no rest for the weary, especially for the largest chapter in the NAVHDA system. Your Chapter Board of Directors is busy planning 2022 Testing Dates & Training Clinics and opportunities. We will be opening up chapter membership renewals very soon, and test entries will open after January 1st. We are planning EIGHTEEN days of testing over EIGHT weekends in 2022! To maintain Minnesota Chapter membership, you must be a current member of NAVHDA International. To enter a dog in a test, the Handler & Owner of the dog must be current members, and the dog must have a valid NAVHDA registration. It is a good time of year to check on these things! You can verify membership and dog registrations at:

Hello chapter members, the Chapter Bylaws require the current Board of Directors to notify the membership by August 15th of each year of the status of the  board members and their terms.  Your current Board of Directors, their current boards position and their term expirations are as follows:

  • Pete Aplikowski-President (October 2021)
  • Brent Haefner-Treasurer (October 2021)
  • Mitch Carlson-Director of Training (October 2021)
  • Sam Snyder-Vice President (October 2022)
  • Peter Ness-Secretary (October 2022)
  • Sean Ewaldt-Director Testing (October 2022)

Nominations will be accepted by the Secretary from the Membership until August 31st.   Members may nominate themselves. Members who are not nominating themselves must  agree to accept the nomination which is to be verified by the Secretary.

If there are more nominations than open seats, there will be an election.  Please reference the Bylaws Article IV for more information.  Please also reference the Bylaws for a description of each Board Position and duties.

The three individuals with expiring terms (Pete Aplikowski, Brent Haefner and Mitch Carlson) have all been nominated for another 2 year term.

Send any nominations to:


We are getting reports of dogs getting sick from being in the water at Kelley Farms.  There have also been reports of algae blooms of the bluish-green variety.  Please be aware of this if you are using these grounds.   The lack of moisture this summer has also hindered the growth of grass, and the grounds have been heavily grazed over by the cattle.  To allow us to hold a high quality NAVHDA test, the chapter Board of Directors has decided to relocate our Labor Day weekend test on September 4th & 5th to Four Brooks WMA.    We are still looking for volunteers for this test.  If you can help, please contact Scott Green at

Here is a brief Spring Update to some things going on in the chapter.

Grounds Access:  Please be aware that to be on the grounds at Kelly Land & Cattle Co. in Hugo/Marine AND the Four Brooks WMA dog training area north of Milaca everyone MUST have an annual grounds pass OR be part of a chapter sponsored paid event like a Test, Primary Clinic, or an OPEN Training night.  You can find info on how to get passes here.    New for 2021, to help new members or those that do not wish to buy a pass, we are having OPEN training & puppy exposure nights on the 3rd Thursday of each month at Kelley.

August 7th & 8th Training Weekend-Virginia: There is still plenty of room left for the Traditional training weekend on August 7th & 8th at the Iron Range Retriever Club in Virginia.  More info and registration here.

AIMS & RULES CLINIC (formerly Handler Clinic): We still have spots available in our 2021 Aims & Rules Clinic at Pineridge Grouse Camp in Remer, MN on June 12th & 13th.  This clinic will be led by longtime chapter member and Senior Judge Terry Petro.    Full details here.

BIRDS: Birds are generally distributed through the small training groups or at the OPEN training nights on Thursdays at Kelley.  If you have questions about obtaining birds, please email  The effects of the CV-19 Pandemic has disrupted our normal bird supply channels.  Obtaining birds this spring in sufficient quantities of what our chapter has been customary to has been challenging.  The growth in membership is also creating more demand for birds.   We have chapter volunteers who are spending a LOT of time trying to source birds for us.  They have made some new contacts and hope to have more consistent quantities arriving in the coming weeks.  If you know of anyone that can supply us with Pigeons or Chukar, please send an email to:

Testing Season is Starting: Minnesota NAVHDA has expanded our testing to span SEVEN weekends in 2021 starting May 15-16 with an all NA test at Four Brooks.  All of our tests are full with waiting lists.  We are in need of volunteers.  Coming to a test is a great way to meet people, see a variety of dogs, and learn about NAVHDA. If you can help, please contact the Test Coordinators.


We are holding a  NAVHDA AIMS & Rules Clinic on June 12th & 13th at Pineridge Grouse Camp in Remer, MN.

We have about 10 spots remaining, and we would really like to fill this up.  We are discounting the price to $120,00 from $165.00.    There are also additional meal & lodging options.

Wondering if this event is for you?  Full event details and registration are here:

(Those already sighed up will be receiving a partial refund)