For the past several years, we have moved to only accepting online registrations & payments for membership registrations & renewals.   Due to the high demand for testing slots in recent years, we have also restricted test entries to chapter members only starting in February.   To help us better serve our members and reduce the workload on our Chapter Secretary and the individual Test Secretaries, the MN NAVHDA Board of Directors has approved the following change to the Chapter Bylaws regarding membership:


Article II: Membership and Dues

Section 4: Members who have not paid Dues by March 31 will be dropped from membership and all the benefits of membership will be terminated.


Article II: Membership and Dues

Section 4: Members who have not paid Dues by January 31 will be dropped from membership and all the benefits of membership will be terminated.

Requirements to change Bylaws:

Article VII: Bylaws Amendments 

From time to time, the Board may approve Amendments to the Bylaws as necessary. Proposed Amendments are to be sent to the full Chapter membership with a two-thirds majority of those members participating in the voting needed to be ratified for approval and adoption. There shall be at least a 14-day time period after notification to Members before a vote is held. The method of notification to Members and voting method and procedures are to be approved by the Board.

Our Full Bylaws and Appendices can be viewed here.

**All current primary chapter members and registered secondary members 18 years of age or older will be sent a Board approved electronic ballot in November  via the email addresses on file with the chapter secretary.

SAVE THE DATE-Mark Your Calendars!-MN NAVHDA Fable Fest/Annual Meeting will be Saturday Feb 3rd at Brookhall in Blaine.   We had a very successful event here last year with around 100 people attending.  We could really use a volunteer to be the point person to work with the venue and manage the logistics on the day of the event.   If you are interested in helping to coordinate the annual meeting, please contact Pete Aplikowski, or 651-485-0055.


Hello Chapter members,

With some of the land parcel sales in transition at Kelley, we need to move our bird pens to the East side of Manning Ave.  We are looking for some people that can help with this project in the next couple weeks.

If anyone has experience moving equipment or structures like this, your skills are needed.  We will also need about 6-8 people for general help and muscle.

    • Large flatbed trailer or large open snowmobile trailer.
    • High Lift jacks
    • tie downs/straps
    • Ladders (8 ft step ladders & extension ladders)
    • tools to disassemble panels as necessary.  (various size wrenches, cordless ratchets, impact tools, etc…)

If you can help, please contact Director of Training Keith Larson at



Hello Minnesota NAVHDA chapter members, please read below for some chapter business news and other items about Training, Testing/Volunteering and our 2023 Raffle Fundraiser.


Per our Bylaws, we are notifying the membership that new nominations for Board members are now open until August 31st.

Here is the current makeup of the board, positions and expiration terms:

Pete Aplikowski 2023 President
Sean Ewaldt 2024 Vice President
Brent Haefner 2023 Treasurer
Andrew Blonski 2024 Secretary
Megan Hennen 2024 Director of Testing
Keith Larson 2023 Director of Training

We have 3 Board positions expiring in 2023.  At our Board of Directors meeting held August 1st, Keith Larson, Brent Haefner and Pete Aplikowski were all nominated to run for another 2 year term on the board.

Our Secretary, Andrew Blonski will be accepting any new nominations from the membership until August 31st.  Please send those to

Please keep in mind that per the Bylaws: Article IV Section 2:  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.


Please see this Post about what is happening with Kelley Farms.

Remaining 2023 Test Events-Volunteers Needed

We are halfway through our testing season, but we still have some big tests coming up that we could use volunteers for. As a reminder, everything we do is done by volunteers without people stepping up we can’t hold any events. If you’ve gotten any sort of benefit training, clinic opportunities, a testing spot-please consider volunteering at one of the upcoming tests. No experience is necessary, we can train you into any of the positions. If you’re available to help any of the upcoming testing days, please reach out to the individuals below.  If you are a newer member, this is a great opportunity to learn, observe, meet people and help out all at same time.

2023 Raffle Fundraiser

We still have about 20 tickets left for our 2023 raffle Fundraiser for the $4,000 value coupon to Upland Gun Company for a custom fitted custom-built Italian Shotgun of your own design.    Full details are here.  If you want to purchase a ticket, please contact Sam Tillman at  Tickets are $100 each.   Five additional runner-up tickets will be drawn for $100 “get your money back” prizes.


There will be an email going out to chapter members later this week, but I wanted to get some information out concerning Kelley Farms (Kelley Land & Cattle Company.)  I have been aware of the pending sale of Kelley for about a year. Along with many others, especially the Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Federation of Field Trial Clubs, I have been in regular communication with the involved parties about the legacy of dog training, testing and trialing on these grounds and expressing the importance of maintaining that legacy.

In early June, a contingent of representatives from the MN DNR visited Kelley while we had our Utility Test and Aims & Rules Clinic dual event going on at the same time Northern Flight Retrievers had a big event going on. That contingent was impressed with the scope and scale of hunting dog activities that was happening on these grounds. We remain hopeful that we will be able to maintain the ability to train on some of the portions of land that will end up in the control of the MN DNR. Please keep in mind that this is a complex situation involving many large agencies and these things take time. There have already been many delays. The Northwest portion that includes what we call the “DNR Pond” was supposed to transition last spring, but was delayed. It now appears that portion will be in transition in the next few weeks, which will mean it will be off limits to training and will be “Posted” as such at that time. On the remaining portions of Kelley we should be business as usual for those with 2023 passes for the rest of our effective training season.

**UPDATE 8/1/2023**  The NW portion referenced above has now been transferred and is OFF LIMITS to training.  It will be POSTED.

We will update the chapter by email once we have more information about the future at Kelley, but this may not be until this winter.

Pete Aplikowski
President-Minnesota NAVHDA

FOUR BROOKS WORKDAY-We are very fortunate to have grounds like Four Brooks to train & test on.  Please consider volunteering to help do some maintenance.  Four Brooks Workday is this Saturday July 1st starting at 8:00am.  Fence repairs, brush & tree maintenance.    Full details here.

Duck Search water at Kelley Farms-Due to the low water levels at the east dike/duck search pond and the resulting pressure on the DNR pond, we will be moving the red canoe to the west bank of Mud Lake.  As you go in the first gate to field 14 (across Manning from the farmhouse), go north along the fence to the launch point.  Ducks would be put in the cattails on the island.  Make sure to keep the canoe hidden from vehicles traveling on Manning.

Test Volunteers needed!

We still have several big tests coming up! As a reminder, everything we do is done by volunteers without people stepping up we can’t hold any events. If you’ve gotten any sort of benefit training, clinic opportunities, a testing spot-please consider volunteering at one of the upcoming tests. No experience is necessary, we can train you into any of the positions. If you’re available to help any of the upcoming testing days, please reach out to the individuals below.

Win a custom made Italian shotgun from Upland Gun Company

Full details are here.

We have about 30 tickets left to sell.  To purchase a ticket, send an email to

Hello chapter members,

Just a reminder about some things as the weather warms up and we get started with Training Season:

See our Full Calendar Here


Kelley Farms Annual Pass sales dates time will be:

  • Thursday April 20th 6-7pm-meet near barn next to bird pen area at Kelley.  $375 checks made out  to Kelley Land & Cattle Co.
    • We may have some pigeons and/or ducks for sale by this date, so bring bird boxes.  This will depend on suppliers/deliveries.
  • Saturday April 29th  9-10am-as part of our large Training Clinic & Mock Test Day.  Watch for Orange signs off of Manning Ave to get to our Headquarters/tent area.

We are asking that if you are planning on Training at Kelley this year that you make it to one of the above dates/times to buy your 2023 pass.    The Grogans do not live on the property any longer and will not be as available to catch them on the grounds this season..

We are also asking everyone using Kelley to please stay off the grounds for awhile yet, as the rapid snowmelt has the roads a real mess out there.

For all Kelley Farms Training and small group inquiries, please send an email to:

News on FUTURE of Kelley Farms dog training….. For those of you not aware, all of Kelley Farms is in the process of being sold to a public land trust, with a subsequent handoff to Washington County and the Minnesota DNR. We are told that things for the 2023 season will mostly be like they have been in years past, with some restrictions on certain areas depending on when the parcels start being funded and acquired. The full transfer of what parcels are slated to go to the DNR for the New Keystone Woods WMA is  planned for around September 1st.  We will keep you informed as things develop. We are doing our best to influence the powers that be about the importance of maintaining the dog training heritage long term on these grounds after 2023.  As a member of the Minnesota Field Trial Federation (MFFTC), we are actively engaged in discussions with the DNR.   The parcels that are slated to go to Washington County to add to Big Marine Park Reserve (all parcels east of Manning and north of 155th) will likely not happen until sometime in 2024.  It is not expected that we will be able to maintain any dog training in Big Marine Park Reserve.


Four Brooks training will start as soon as the grounds are suitable.

Group training will be Thursday evenings.  If you are interested in group training at Four Brooks, send an email to:

2023 Passes for Four Brooks can be purchased here:


Please send all Training inquiries to: Wayne Darvell

July 15th MOCK NA Test at Four Brooks

-Private Invitations for this event will be sent out in May for those members signed up for Natural Ability Tests July 22-23, Aug 13-14 and Sep 9-10.

Volunteers Still Needed for upcoming Tests:

Our first tests of the year are not too far away, and our Test Coordinators are still looking for a few more volunteers.  If you can help, please reach out to the Test Coordinators.

May 13-14 at Four Brooks-Nate Hurliman

June 2-3-4 at Kelley Farms-Corey Hagerty

We would like to welcome Keith Larson to our Board of Directors.  Keith was appointed to the board to fill the position vacated by Mitch Carlson, and will serve in the role of Director of Training.  We are looking forward to Keith helping our members with their training needs.

Here is a little information about Keith:

“In 2019, I started looking for a short-haired pointer with a goofy personality to match my late Springer.  Research led me to the Braque D’Auvergne, an old French breed.  A lack of breeders in the US led to many internet searches and a top breeder in France.  Right before Labor Day that year, I picked up Ruckus at O’Hare.  I did the bird and gun intro on my own, then hunted him for the season.  I joined MN NAVHDA and did the winter positive reinforcement class, followed by  field training during Covid in 2020. He earned a  112 NA in July, and then a 184 no prize UT at Labor Day.  Going too fast, and not being an experienced trainer led to Ruckus refusing to go on the duck search.  I’m still trying to fix it, but will try to do it the right way with the next dog.  Even without a UT prize, I still have a high-end upland dog who finds game and retrieves to hand every time.  I will try to  help our members develop their training goals and connect them to the right help when possible.  The goal is to take the right path and avoid common mistakes many of us make with our first versatile dog.”

Keith can be reached at

I also want to thank Mitch Carlson for his service as Director of Training for several years.   During these years, the chapter experienced extreme growth in membership and faced the extra challenges brought on by the pandemic.  Mitch was also instrumental in helping me modernize and re-shape the chapter’s training philosophy to better serve our members and their dogs.

We are now taking registrations for some of our 2023 Clinics.

June 3-4 AIMS & Rules Clinic-Kelley Farms, Hugo.

June 24-25 Invitational Clinic-Kelley Farms, Hugo.

We will be opening 2023 Test entries on Feb 15th at 6:00pm to chapter members only until March 1st. All entries and test fees will be collected online through our website. We do NOT need you to fill out the NAVHDA test entry forms. Fees this year will be $175.00 Natural Ability and $200.00 UPT & UT. Help our test secretaries out by making sure your NAVHDA International membership is up to date and that your dog has a NAVHDA Registration number.
  • May 13-14 Natural Ability- Four Brooks WMA-Milaca, MN
  • June 3-4 Utility Preparatory & Utility-Kelley Farms-Hugo, MN
  • July 22-23 Natural Ability- Four Brooks WMA-Milaca, MN
  • Aug 19-20 NA-UPT-UT-Virginia, MN
  • Aug 26-27 Utility Preparatory & Utility- Four Brooks WMA-Milaca, MN
  • September 9-10 Natural Ability- Four Brooks WMA-Milaca, MN

We will also be doing 2 MOCK Natural Ability Tests.    Entries for these will be by special invitation  to Handlers entered in our tests.   April 29th MOCK test at Kelley Farms will be for up to 20 handlers entered in the May 13-14 test and July 15th MOCK test at Four Brooks will be for up to 20 handlers entered in the July, August & Sept tests.

Saturday February 4th-After a 3 year hiatus, you are cordially invited to this year’s Fable Fest, Minnesota NAVHDA’s Annual meeting.  It’s that time again to get together and share great hunting stories as well as good food and fun! Details of the event are below for your reference and the sign up page can be found at this link: