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Meet Ambassador Bailey Petersen

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Ambassador Bailey Petersen is a wildlife biologist and an avid hunter who enjoys time in the woods more than most things. She recently took on an interview with us to share more about her outdoors interests.  {Pictured above with Hatch.}

1. How did you get introduced to the outdoors? Was there a particular moment when you realized, “This is the life for me”?

Here in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (actually almost 15,000 lakes greater than 10 acres), I was fortunate to have a lake cabin “up north” to visit almost every weekend growing up where we eventually moved permanently. Being surrounded by woods and water with no tv or electronics to speak of, my twin sister, older brother and I spent every moment we could outdoors! 

2. What is it about hunting that you enjoy so much?

Mainly I love watching my dogs work. I spend a lot of days alone in the woods for work as a wildlife biologist, and often I find myself mentally planning to bring my dogs back to those spots to really explore them deeper. Hunting in the Northwoods I am constantly learning more about the ecosystems of our local flora and fauna as well as being outsmarted by ruffed grouse and surprised by the rocket-like take-offs of the American woodcock - both birds live in such an iconic, beautiful landscape I feel blessed to call my backyard.  

3. Is there a particular type of hunting that you prefer? 

Upland game birds are simply the best.

 

Grouse pup Riffle showing he is good for pheasant hunting as well

4. You not only hunt but get out fishing occasionally too. Which were you drawn to first, fishing or hunting, and how do they play off of each other for you? 

I grew up fishing with conventional gear; ice fishing came to me as an adult and finally, fly fishing came after we moved over to the north shore of Lake Superior. There is a connection between fly fishing and bird hunting that I cannot really explain, and it goes a lot deeper than just feathers. 

5. You have incredibly handsome dogs.  Can you tell us about the crew?

Thank you! My boys mean the world to me! My crew currently consists of Mogul: a 7-year-old Small Munsterlander, Hatchet: a 3-year-old Llewellin setter, and Riffle: almost 1-year-old Llewellin setter. 

6. With many threats facing the outdoors, be it global warming, loss of habitat, mineral extraction etc, what worries you the most? Are you involved in any conservation groups or movements to oppose these things? 

I think joining every conservation group you can, that you agree with the mission of, is critical in today’s day and age. The loss of public lands and degradation of habitat are concerns at the forefront for most conservationists. Joining a group that advocates for the species you love is the best way to ensure someone is out there fighting for the rights of the wild things and wild places who cannot speak for themselves.  

 

Pictured above are woodcock chicks about to be banded through Bailey's partnership with the Minnesota Woodcock banding program which is permitted by the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory to capture and band woodcock using certified pointing dogs.

7. If you could hunt with any celebrity, alive or dead. Who would it be?  

Aldo Leopold. Famous authors count as celebrities, right?  

8. What is your favorite piece of RepYourWater gear?  

The Greenhead Tee [featuring a reproduction of Garrison’s mallard pastel] and the Upland Feathers Long-Sleeved Tee are my current favorites. It was the Ruffed Grouse Feather Hat, but my husband stole that! 

9. Tell us a little more about yourself, where did you grow up, where do you live, any family information you'd like to share etc.  

I grew up in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and moved to rural north-central Minnesota in high school. I took a class called “Advanced Forestry” where I saw my first ruffed grouse drumming on a log in our school forest and was instantly hooked on grouse, habitat, and just gamebirds in general! I didn’t hunt at the time (no one in my immediate family hunts), but I knew I wanted to learn! 

  

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