Like most of my stories, this one starts with a bird dog.
About this time last summer, I was on my way into Pheasants Forever’s offices and listening to sports talk on KFAN 100.3FM during the drive. The morning show was interviewing Nick Hoffman, a professional fiddle player born in Minnesota and transplanted to Nashville. The conversation bounced from Nick’s 12 years as a member of Kenny Chesney’s band to his love of Minnesota Vikings football to his new band “The Farm” to his new bird dog. I remember immediately liking Nick’s sense of humor and unpretentious storytelling about Nashville’s country music scene.
When I got to the office that morning, I immediately fired up Twitter and searched for Nick. Sure enough, @nickfiddle popped up with an image of a black Labrador puppy. I tweeted about the pup’s handsome looks and inquired of the dog’s name.
“Waylon!” Nick fired back within seconds, “Named after Waylon Jennings of course.” Before my first cup of morning mud, we were on the phone talking bird dogs, music, and the approaching hunting season.
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” Nick whispered into the phone. “I’m in the midst of creating a new television show focused on hunting, music, travel and food. I think you better get your calendar out.”
Fast forward to October. I picked up Nick at the airport and we immediately made our way to Worthington, Minnesota, home to Pheasants Forever’s 2014 top habitat-producing chapter. Guided by Scott Rall and Les Johnson, two of the Nobles County chapter’s stalwart leaders, we were able to treat Nick to an epic homecoming pheasant hunt on some of the best habitat in the Midwest. While you’ll have to catch the show next year to see all the hits, misses and impromptu concert, I can reveal that we did make a pilgrimage to Pheasant Run One, the first land acquisition open to public hunting in the organization’s history. Needless to say, Nick is a conservation convert and today is proud member of Pheasants Forever.
On August 5th, Pheasants Forever will mark its 33rd anniversary. To recognize that special day, Nick has created a short video to help us promote Pheasants Forever membership. Using the power of social media, Nick plans to enlist his Nashville network of country music friends, fans and hunter-conservationists to help us spread this video through shares and retweets. I’d like to request you help us to do the same. We’ve witnessed millions of acres of upland habitat destroyed over the last decade. Our pheasants, quail, prairie grouse, pollinators, monarchs, water quality and soils are all suffering. Our very way of life is at stake. Please join Nick Hoffman in sharing our conservation message and joining the cause of conservation through Pheasants Forever.
By: Bob St. Pierre