• In this special Pollinator Week edition, host Bob St. Pierre and Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Director of Habitat Education Programs, Drew Larson, chat with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s AnnMarie Krmpotich and Sergio Pierluissi. The group discusses the state of pollinators and monarchs in the U.S. and the many opportunities on both public lands and private lands to improve the habitat for the birds, the bees, butterflies, and human beings.

    Episode Highlights Include:

    · The conversation starts with an entertaining detour as AnnMarie explains her background and career path studying avian influenza and black-footed ferrets. She even unveils here nickname . . . the duck-swabber!

    · The conversation continues with an overview of the decade’s long partnership between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever that’s always taken a holistic approach for all wildlife through the lens of habitat.

    · The group goes around the horn talking about the types of habitat projects that stop them in their tracks (or makes them pull over their vehicle and knock on a landowner’s door), and the joy of listening to diversity’s buzz through nature.

    · The foursome discusses how the pollinator partnership is an all hands-on-deck endeavor and the many ways to get involved from the classroom to a large landscape-level habitat initiative. In the end, everyone has a pathway to make a difference for pollinators.

    · The conversation finishes with a soliloquy about how the The Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold can change a person’s life

  • Dr. Bill Clark, a renowned predator researcher, biologist, and retired professor from Iowa State University, joins host Bob St.Pierre and PF’s Jared Wiklund to talk about predators. The guys have a wide-ranging discussion about all the animals that eat pheasants, from coyotes to feral cats and humans to raptors, with the goal of determining what predator is “Public Enemy #1” to pheasants. The answer is going to surprise you, but the solution should be obvious. Here’s a hint . . . it’s quality habitat!

    Episode Highlights Include:

    · Dr. Clark talks about the age-old debate about influencing pheasant populations from the top down (predators) versus the bottom up (habitat).

    · The trio talk about the perceived impact coyotes have on pheasant populations and what’s fact and what’s fiction about their impact.

    · You’ll also be shocked to learn of the impact weasels have on young pheasant chicks during summer brood time.

    · Dr. Clark talks about the times during a pheasant’s life cycle when the population is most influenced by predators.

    · DYK: There are only two predators of skunks? Great horned owls and “stupid dogs!”

    · Pheasants do not live forever. In fact, only 15 to 20% of the females survive to nest one time in their life.

    · And time and time again, the answer to creating more pheasants and mitigating the impact of predators is habitat.

  • In this episode, host Bob St. Pierre visits with Covey Rise magazine Editor Matt Soberg about bird hunting, bird dogs, shotguns, and the upland lifestyle. The guys also unveil a new Covey Rise promotion that generates a donation back to Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s habitat mission with each subscription sold.

    Episode Highlights Include:

    · Soberg admits to being an attorney by education and explains how he ended up as an outdoors writer.

    · Matt also recounts starting the Minnesota Sporting Journal and reminisces about his time commuting between Minnesota and Pennsylvania as editor of the Ruffed Grouse Society’s publication.

    · The duo expresses their love for the under-appreciated timberdoodle both in the field and on the plate.

    · Bob and Matt also talk about buying teardrop-style trailers during the COVID era in preparation for a socially distant autumn hunting season.

    If you subscribe to Covey Rise through this link https://coveyrisemagazine.com/cpfqf20/

    using keycode CPFQF1, Covey Rise will donate 50% of the subscription total to Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever.

  • In this episode, host Bob St. Pierre and Quail Forever’s Director of Field Operations Tim Caughran visit with Michael Hook, quail biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The trio discuss the great work being done in the state to improve quail habitat and wild bird populations, along with the many ways Quail Forever and its volunteers are making an impact. In the end, they make a deal to eat oysters and ice fish, listen in and enjoy the conversation.

    Episode Highlights Include:

    · The joys of riding in a truck and finding quality shows to listen to, including Northwoods outdoor radio shows based miles away to learn about ice fishing.

    · We learn the Boykin Spaniel is the state dog of South Carolina, and the history of their role in quail hunting in the South.

    · The group discusses the partnership model working in South Carolina between multiple agencies, making all the pieces come together to restore quail habitat across the state.

    · Michael shares his love/hate relationship with sweet gum trees (mostly hate).

    · The guys discuss the great work done by the Quail Forever chapters in the state, and the unique partnership the Low Country QF Chapter has created with the U.S. Forest Service.

    · The trio also talk about new hunters who are jacked up about bobwhites and the many ways they’ve been introduced to hunting via family, friends, and of course, bird dogs in the South.

    · Finally, the group discusses how to improve habitat in South Carolina, which not only benefits quail, but other ground nesting birds. The first target on the list – recreational mowing – is defined as well.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the work Quail Forever is doing in the Southeast, listen to our previous episode, Quail Forever on the Rise in the Southeast at https://quailforever.org/BlogLanding/Blogs/Quail-Forever/Podcast-Quail-Forever-on-the-Rise-in-the-Southeast.aspx.

  • In this episode recorded prior to COVID-19, host Bob St. Pierre visited with Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever President and CEO, Howard Vincent. The two discuss how Howard moved from volunteer accountant to the organization’s director of finance, and eventually became the second CEO of Pheasants Forever. During the episode, the pair discuss the many “touchpoints” throughout Howard’s career and his joy of leading a team of people passionate about the organization’s wildlife habitat mission.

    Episode Highlights Include:

    · Bob and Howard start talking about their baseball backgrounds. From there, baseball symbolism, metaphors, and analogies abound. Bob even likens Howard’s leadership style to Johnny Bench.

    · Insights into Howard’s vision for the organization and how its’ habitat mission is always more important than the brand behind it.

    · We learn the importance of handshake deal for Howard, from a bar in Kansas to the creation of the Sage Grouse Initiative.

    · Bob and Howard also discuss the lessons learned from introducing wildlife to the Farm Bill in the 90’s that has led to new legislative language just last year in the Transportation Bill.

    · We learn the origin story of Quail Forever and the effort to engage a new community of volunteers in local habitat restoration and engagement.

    · Howard also talks about the agriculture community’s sustainability movement and how water quality is the key to the future for all of humankind.

    · Finally, the duo discusses the future of the organization and the need to foster a conservation ethic in future generations.

    · Along the way, Howard tells stories about some of the amazing people he’s met through his career and even cuts open a few veins giving a look inside his heart.

  • From COVID-19 to digital tools for at-home upland scouting, this special episode of On The Wing podcast is our first listener-generated session that focuses questions collected from our online audience. Host Bob St.Pierre has grouped them into categories and poses them to Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s President & CEO Howard Vincent and V.P. of Government Affairs Dave Nomsen.

    Episode highlights include:

    · Biology: Nomsen, a wildlife biologist, talks about last winter’s impact on the birds and the early spring’s conditions for nesting pheasants and quail. Nomsen also discusses similarities and differences between pheasants and quail in nesting, re-nesting, and dietary needs.

    · The Organization: Vincent challenges upland bird hunters to take the hunter-mentor pledge to help introduce new people to the joys of upland bird hunting, while Nomsen asks conservationists to contact elected officials when the organization issues an action alert. And of course, the crew discuss the ramifications of COVID-19 on the organization.

    · Habitat: Mother Nature hasn’t stopped and neither has the organization’s drive to accomplish our wildlife habitat mission. From prescribed burning to land acquisitions, the trio talk about what the organization has been doing to create more habitat even during the pandemic.

    · Legislative Issues: Nomsen has been working conservation policy for the organization through every Farm Bill since 1992 and throughout this episode he talks about the importance of federal conservation programs to pheasants and quail, as well as public land hunters.

    · How You Can Help: Bob introduces the upcoming Give to the Uplands Day slated to happen on May 5th and the variety of ways supporters can help contribute to the organization’s wildlife habitat mission.

    · Hunting: The largest category of questions covers pheasants, quail, Huns, and prairie grouse tips and advice for where to find them and how to identify them in the air. The crew talk public land and private land, as well as how to use digital tools for pre-trip scouting. Howard also talks about the coming 2020 bird hunting season with a pandemic backdrop.

    · Dogs: In the most controversial segment of the episode, the guys debate flushers versus pointers, then talk about some of the great pups they’ve hunted behind over the years.

  • In this very special episode, host Bob St.Pierre talks with three folks critical to helping create the brand new Cupido Wildlife Management Area as a public property. The players include Brian Winter from the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, Rob Baden from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Eran Sandquist from Pheasants Forever. The name “Cupido” references the greater prairie chicken’s Latin name – Tympanuchus cupido – as this 955-acre property adds on to a sprawling 5,450-acre complex protecting some of the best remaining critical habitat for the bird in Minnesota’s northwest corner.

    Episode highlights include:

    · This parcel was identified on the original Minnesota DNR project map in the 1970s as an important tract to protect as critical habitat. Baden talks about how the DNR and partners have tried four different times over the years to secure the property for the public.

    · Brian Winter gives a fascinating overview of Minnesota’s prairie chicken history, the bird’s biology, their spring booming ritual, and an explanation for how critical this land acquisition is to the prairie chicken population in Minnesota.

    · The land sits in the bed of ancient Lake Agassiz, includes 300 acres of native prairie, and is home to some of the state’s largest remaining populations of greater prairie chickens.

    · Sandquist discusses how the landowner approached Pheasants Forever about a land transaction after years of unsuccessful farming and how a partnership formed to bring a grant application in front of Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Council for Legacy Amendment funding.

    · St.Pierre then explains how this $2 million acre acquisition crossed the finish line with a roster of partners contributing through Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area campaign while at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic last February in Minneapolis.

  • As spring aspirations turn to autumn days in the field behind new hunting partners, the danger, warns pro dog trainer Josh Miller, is that folks rush through important steps properly introducing young pups to birds, guns, and e-Collars. In this episode, host Bob St.Pierre and Josh Miller focus on properly introducing young bird dog pups to the e-Collar as a training tool that ultimately helps you ensure their safety when their running free in the field, forest, or your neighborhood. This episode is brought to our listeners in conjunction with the 2020 Bird Dogs for Habitat campaign and sponsored by SportDOG BRAND.

    Episode highlights include:

    · The guys start with an introduction of Josh’s background as a bird dog trainer for both flushing and pointing breeds, his love of field trialing, and his early success as a shed hunting champion.

    · Miller also talks about his business, River Stone Kennels, which focuses on breeding British Labrador retrievers. He compares some of the attributes of American Labs to their British relatives as well.

    · Josh explains how a dog owner must first ensure the pup understands the expectations being asked using a leash or check cord before introducing the e-Collar.

    · The guys also talk about the different features associated with e-Collars from beepers to GPS, and which styles of collars are the best fits for waterfowl, ruffed grouse, pheasant and quail hunters.

  • Spring is usually the peak season for adding a puppy to the family. COVID-19 also has a lot of folks working from home right now which has people thinking about an easier path to potty training. The combination has led people in the Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever community to reach out to our host Bob St.Pierre with questions about adding a second bird dog puppy this spring. To help navigate the decisions in that thought process, Bob catches up with pro dog trainer Tom Dokken. This episode is brought to our listeners in conjunction with the 2020 Bird Dogs for Habitat campaign and sponsored by SportDOG brand.

    Episode highlights include:

    · The guys talk about how the age of your veteran bird dog should play into your thought process for adding a second puppy to your pack.

    · Bob and Tom discuss the best way to pick a puppy out of a litter that will fit your family and hunting style.

    · Dokken talks through the process of introducing a puppy to an adult dog, as well as what to look for in avoiding a dangerous confrontation.

    · The guys also discuss the fact versus fiction associated with an old dog teaching a young dog how to hunt.

    · And the guys dream about the magical scenario of working a pointing dog with a flushing breed in the field.

  • In the spirit of kicking off Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s annual Bird Dogs for Habitat campaign, host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Tony Peterson, host of Sporting Dog Talk podcast. Peterson is also the host of Hunt for Real podcast and frequent contributor to MeatEater, Outdoor News, Outdoor Life, Gun Dog, and Petersen’s Hunting. Known as one of the country’s foremost public lands whitetail bowhunters, Peterson talks about his equal love for public land bird hunting and his fascination with bird dogs. Episode highlights include:

    · Peterson compares and contrasts bow hunting whitetails to bird hunting, especially the role of scouting in both.

    · The pair talk about how some spots elicit the “Spidey sense” more than others.

    · Peterson discusses interviewing hundreds of dog trainers over the years and how the really good dog folks think differently compared to the average bird dog owner.

    · The conversation also expands into how bird dogs need and want a job, and how those jobs go beyond searching for feathers all the way to sniffing drugs, diseases, and endangered species.

    · Peterson also explains his vision for connecting the outdoor adventure with the hunting audience through a mutual love of dogs. Dogs are the natural bridge to bring two different audiences together around shared goals for wildlife, habitat and public lands.

    · St.Pierre also gives an update on his new German shorthair puppy, Gitche Gumee, and her comical introduction to birds.

  • While at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic last weekend, host Bob St.Pierre snuck away from the show floor to talk about the uplands with Ruffed Grouse Society’s President & CEO Ben Jones. Joining the conversation were Jim Inglis, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s director of government affairs and Andy Edwards, Quail Forever’s regional representative, who also happen to have spent their college years with Jones. This is an incredibly fun episode that starts with college memories then dives into grouse and woodcock habitat management.

    Episode highlights include:

    · Jim Inglis talks about Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s letter to USDA Secretary Perdue requesting a CRP extension which occurred at the start of National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic

    · Andy Edwards talks about how a radio-collared turkey, mistaken as a dead radio-collared bear, led to meeting Jim Inglis, then ultimately resulted in Andy meeting Ben Jones playing a mandolin in the back of a bus. Chris Farley was not involved.

    · The Public Lands Pavilion at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic and the partnership with Ruffed Grouse Society and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

    · The difference between ruffed grouse drumming counts and pheasant/quail roadside counts.

    · The groups explore the biology of the woodcock migration and how Lake Superior influences the bird’s travels around the Great Lakes.

    · Jones provides an update on the impact of the West Nile Virus on ruffed grouse.

    · The crew discusses the regional nomenclature for the bird and where grouse, partridge and pats are the most common name.

  • Quail Forever is part of a collaborative called Missourians for Monarch which is focused on creating pollinator habitat for a wide range of wildlife species. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Kelly Srigley-Werner, U.S. Fish & Wildlife private land coordinator in Missouri; Donnamarie Duffin, Missourians for Monarchs coordinator, and Kim Cole, Quail Forever education & outreach program coordinator to talk about the habitat connections and conservation efforts linking bobwhite quail and monarch butterflies.Episode highlights include:· The monarch butterfly’s fascinating life cycle spanning a multi-generational migration from Canada across the United States to Mexico.· The importance of Missouri as the geographic center of the monarch’s migration.· The 45-member Missourians for Monarchs partnership work to improve almost 400,000 acres for monarchs, and in turn quail, in just five years.· How drones are being developed to count the critically important milkweed stem-by-stem to ensure healthy monarch populatons.· And speed-dating for conservation . . .

  • The precipitous decline of America’s bobwhite quail populations has been well-documented over the years. However, the state of Missouri has a few shining examples of reversing that quail decline with landowner enthusiasm for conservation aided by the expertise of local biologists. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Chris McLeland, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s southern regional director along with Lee Metcalf and Tim Kavan, private lands conservationists with the Missouri Department of Conservation and Quail Forever chapter volunteers, to explain what’s bringing back bobwhites in Missouri.

    Episode highlights include:

    · An explanation of the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and how Missouri fits into the national plan for quail management.

    · How adding more forbs and more shrubs to northern Missouri private lands projects has produced three times more quail.

    · The benefits of edge-feathering and the disadvantages of brush piles for bobwhite

  • Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Land Tawney, President & CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers to talk about BHA’s origin story and the partnership around the new Public Lands Pavilion at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2020 in Minneapolis this February.

    Episode highlights include:

    · The son of a family with deep roots in conservation, Tawney recounts his dad’s role in the early days of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and his own career steps toward his leadership role with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

    · Tawney also talks about how Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was started over an Oregon campfire in 2004 and the three areas of focus for the organization’s mission

    · The duo gives an overview of the new Public Lands Pavilion and Public Lands Stage making its debut at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Minneapolis this February with BHA, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Minnesota DNR as sponsors.

    · St.Pierre also talks about how Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area concept was created and how Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Ruffed Grouse Society, Minnesota DNR and a handful of other partners are going to help create a new public wildlife management area during the three days of National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.

  • Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever President & CEO Howard Vincent for a conversation with Randy Newberg, a renowned public lands advocate, television host, and hunter. Newberg is slated to keynote this year’s National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic banquet on Saturday, February 15th in Minneapolis.

    Episode highlights include:

    · Vincent and Newberg share startling similarities as two guys who grew up in northern Minnesota and became public accountants. Incongruently, at least in Bob’s mind, they also developed into terrific public speakers and two of the most respected people in conservation.

    · Newberg talks about his outdoors roots hunting partridge in Minnesota, desert quail in Arizona, and pheasants in Montana.

    · Newberg also recounts how he got into the outdoor television world to save his failing health and how his son was the catalyst for the initial show concept.

  • Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Dr. Kate Kaufman, veterinarian with Blue Pearl Pet Hospital; Jeff Zajac, regional wildlife manager for the Minnesota DNR; and Jared Wiklund, PF & QF public relations manager for a conversation about native grasses featuring large awns. The group discusses both the biological side of grass awns and the potential health ramifications for bird dogs.Show highlights include:-Zajac talks about the species of grasses featuring large awns, their ecological role, and their historic use in CRP mixes.-Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever eliminated species of grass featuring large awns from the organization’s seed mixes, where applicable, to help mitigate risk to bird dogs.-Most of these grass species, particularly Canada wild rye, occurs naturally on the landscape, so Dr. Kaufman provides important tailgate tips for preventing awn problems in your bird dog.-Dr. Kaufman also talks about other important field injuries and diseases, and best practices for keeping your pup safe and healthy all year.

  • Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Pheasants Forever chapter volunteers Scott Rall, Scott Roemhildt, and Kenny Reed for a conversation about how their volunteer efforts brought them together as close friends and traveling hunting buddies.

    Show highlights include:

    · Scott Rall was a Field & Stream Hero of Conservation finalist, known as “The Protector of the Prairie.”

    · Rall was also part of Pheasants Forever’s very first land acquisition, Pheasant Run One in Minnesota’s Noble’s County, now a public Wildlife Management Area.

    · The group talks about their motivations for volunteering, interests in wildlife habitat, and passion for permanent land acquisitions to create new public lands for hunters.

    · There’s also an interesting debate between the group, who all own land they manage as pheasant habitat for hunting, about what’s more of a trophy: a public lands rooster or a rooster they “created” on habitat they nurtured

  • Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Andrew Vavra, PF’s director of marketing; Logan Hinners, PF’s graphic design manager and trip photographer; and Jake Schiller, PF’s video production specialist for a recap of the final day of this year’s Late Season Longtails themed online event.

    Show highlights include:

    · Pheasants Forever’s distinction as a Public Land Creator accounting for more than 200,000 acres of new permanent public lands.

    · Tips and tricks for filming an upland bird hunt.

    · Commemorating a bird dog’s 100th rooster retrieve.

    · Waterfowl Production Areas are great for pheasants and quail too!

    · Highlights of the 2019 Rooster Road Trip.

  • We start this episode with major news for the uplands – the USDA will hold a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup beginning on December 9th for the first time since 2016. This news brings more than 8 million acres of habitat opportunity! Following the CRP update, host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Andrew Vavra, PF’s director of marketing; Laura McIver, Quail Forever’s regional representative for Oklahoma, and Chad Love, editor of the Quail Forever Journal for a spirited conversation about our Rooster Road Trip turned Quail Quest. Recapping the day’s hunt leads to a wide-ranging conversation comparing pheasants to quail. We cover habitat, hunting, bird dogs, cooking, and every other debate between the two birds.

  • Nebraska never disappoints! Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Andrew Vavra, PF’s director of marketing; Marissa Jensen, PF’s education & outreach program manager; and Jerrod Burke, a member of the Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever National Board of Directors, a native Nebraskan, and a three-time Rooster Road Trip participant to recap the crew’s first day in Nebraska. The conversation starts with a focus on Marissa’s role as the organization’s quarterback for the new Women on the Wing initiative and the overwhelming social media feedback to her Rooster Road Trip blog about her vision for the position. We then turned to Jerrod as he explains his opinion about the importance of Rooster Road Trip from one National Board member’s point of view. And once again, Andrew closed the episode out with a fun round of questions from our Instagram followers.