Seminars and Panels


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM BHA Open House - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Have some coffee and meet the individuals behind BHA, including staff and members of the North American Board!

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Omashkooz: Returning a Native, Preparing for the Future by Mike Schrage and Kelsie Lasharr - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and their partner Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have begun the process to expand Minnesota’s elk numbers and range by moving elk from northwest Minnesota to the area of the Fond du Lac State Forest and the Fond du Lac Reservation in Carlton and southern St. Louis counties. Elk are native to Minnesota with historic numbers once estimated in the thousands and whose range encompassed most of the state. Known as omashkooz by the Ojibwe and heȟáka by the Dakota, they were important to the diet and culture of Native Americans in what later became Minnesota. Restoration of elk to northeast Minnesota has the potential to a) restore a big game species likely to adapt well to climate change b) provide recreational opportunities through elk viewing and boost local economies in an area of the state primed for ecotourism and c) provide future hunting opportunities for tribal and nontribal members

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Living Wild Seminar by Ron Rohrbaugh - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Climb into the shotgun seat and buckle up, as Ron Rohrbaugh from The Living Wild Family takes you for a ride into his family’s crazy life of full-time traveling, traditional bowhunting, fishing, and more. Ron will tell stories from their adventures, talk about wildlife conservation, and provide tips for becoming a fully mobile hunter-gatherer. Experience close calls with bears, a boy’s first big game hunt, prowling alligators, frogs by the bucket, backcountry disasters, and America’s colorful tapestry of people and places. You don’t want to miss this one!

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Getting Started in Hunting and Conservation Panel with Dave Simonett, Crystal Lynn Egli, Tekoa Cochran, Chance York, and Mark Norquist - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
An increasing number of adults in North America are gaining an interest in hunting later in life. To that end, their exposure to the pursuit didn’t occur the same way it did for the majority of hunters afield today. Join panelists as they discuss what piqued their interest first, barriers they’ve overcome, and advice they have for novice and seasoned outdoors people alike. As the number of Americans who support hunting decreases, we hope to help showcase how we can grow as a community to extend a welcome invite and longstanding place for bolstering our ranks to ensure the longstanding tradition of public land hunting and conservation.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM DIY Hunt Alaska Caribou by Trevor Hubbs, Mary Glaves, Garrett Robinson, and Sean McCarthy  - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Are you eager to experience Caribou hunting in Alaska but unsure where to begin, especially on a budget? Join our seminar and discover how to plan a DIY Alaskan adventure for under $2,000.00 per person as a non-resident!

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Q&A with Everyone's Favorite Uncle by Randy Newberg - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
You’ve got questions, Randy has answers. With 35 years of conservation advocacy under his belt, Randy has amassed a wealth of knowledge when it comes to defending our public land traditions. These decades of chasing all species across public lands have provided both experience and perspective that has allowed Randy to become the leading advocate for the self-guided hunter; hunters dependent upon public lands for hunting access. What started by accident, has grown into two popular TV shows, Fresh Tracks and On Your Own Adventures, accompanied by the long-standing Hunt Talk web forum. Now added to those platforms is the Hunt Talk Podcast where you get Randy Newberg, unfiltered. Randy uses his platforms to advocate for hunters and public access. In addition to representing hunters in Congress and state legislatures, he serves as a volunteer and board member for many hunting and conservation groups. Join Randy for an intimate Q&A on how you can become a better spokesperson for public lands, waters, and wildlife.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Growing Support for Stewardship Projects Panel by Daryl Ratajczak, Jamie Gangaware, Britt Parker, Paul Keeven, Eli Mansfield, and Devin O'Dea - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Join us for a compelling panel discussion on volunteer-oriented micro habitat stewardship projects. Our panel will discuss the importance of these initiatives as well as their ability to create change and build bridges well beyond the landscapes they take place in. You'll hear from the perspectives of high-level federal agency staff, BHA staff, Chapter Leaders, and Minnesota DNR staff.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Chronic Wasting Disease by Dr. Daniel Storm - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center

This presentation will cover findings from recent research on chronic wasting disease and white-tailed deer in Wisconsin. Topics covered will include research tools & technology, movements and habitat use, and mortality with a special focus on what happens to deer infected with CWD.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Healthy Forest Conservation and the Future of Ruffed Grouse Hunting by Chris Jenkins, Ben Jones, Dave Olfelt, and Patrick Berry - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center

Join experts from around the country as they discuss the future of healthy forests and ruffed grouse populations. Natural disturbances have been largely removed from the landscape and much of our eastern forests have matured into older age classes. While older forest is an important component of the landscape, it is important to have forests of diverse age classes that support diverse populations of wildlife. The panel will discuss some of the factors that led to the current state of our forests and collaborative efforts at conservation that have the goal of restoring healthy forest and wildlife populations. Some of the species we love to hunt, such as ruffed grouse and woodcock, depend on these healthy forest landscapes. The panel will also discuss hunting these species including approaches and techniques.

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Leading the Charge: CEO Insights on the Future of Conservation by Patrick Berry, Marilyn Vetter, and Ben Jones - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Don't miss this rare opportunity to learn from key conservation leaders as they discuss the future of conservation and the importance of collaboration and partnership. A panel featuring Patrick Berry, President & CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers; Ben Jones, President & CEO of Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society; and Marilyn Vetter, President & CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever will delve into the opportunities and challenges in an evolving conservation landscape.


9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Using the Whole Animal by Ryan Callaghan and J.R. Young - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Should I pack these bones out? I’d cut weight if I left the tongue behind, right? Each state has legal requirements for what you are legally obligated to consume dictated by their wanton waste laws, but these requirements fall short of what you could and should be hauling back to the rig. From nose to tail, hoof to haunch, and beak to feet, let BHA’s North American Board Members Cal and J.R. walk you through what you’re leaving behind and what should be on your dinner plate. Offal has never sounded so darn awful good!

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM No Matter Where you Live, We are in This Together...A Change in Climate Means a Change in Angler Engagement by Lucas Bissett, Hilary Hutcheson, Corinne Doctor, and Peter Vandergrift  - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Amidst the ominous shadow of Climate Change looming larger than ever, we, as anglers, must rise to the challenge with unprecedented resolve. Across the nation, anglers are witnessing profound shifts in the fisheries they cherish, necessitating a unified response. We must stand together under a singular banner, compelling fisheries managers, agencies, and governments to prioritize Climate considerations in their decision-making processes. Nationwide, anglers have been invited to participate in this panel discussion to discuss the bigger picture and how we can work together to ensure our future generations have the amazing resources we all cherish.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Struttin' & Cluckin' Calling Contest - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Learn More >

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM The Future of Hunting and Fishing in the BWCA
 by Lukas Leaf, Mark Kenyon, Bob St. Pierre, Thomas Hall, and Kelly Straka - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
A panel discussion facilitated by Mark Kenyon, author of That Wild Country and MeatEater team member, exploring the current conservation status of the Boundary Waters and what the future might hold for hunting, fishing, and wildlife in America's most visited Wilderness.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM BHA Awards Ceremony - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
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12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Speak Up For Conservation - Communicating to Win for the Backcountry by Ben Long - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Effective conservation advocates don’t just make noise, they make a difference. Effective communication is vital for any conservation campaign. We will unlock the fundamentals of effective communication and explore real-world campaigns that built success upon success for our public lands, waters, and wildlife.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Offal Wildlife Watching: Hunter contributions to the scavenger community by Dr. Ellen Candler - at Saganaga Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
In Minnesota alone, nearly 200,000 white-tailed deer are killed every year. This results in literally tons of offal, or gut piles, on the landscape. This rich food pulse is made available to scavengers such as eagles and ravens, foxes and fishers, and rabbits and flying squirrels. To better understand all the species that are benefiting from this resource and how the scavenger assemblage differs across the state, Ellen and her colleagues started the Offal Wildlife Watching project. This is a participatory science project that involves hunters setting remote cameras at their freshly field-dressed deer gut piles, sending images to the research team, and people from around the world helping to identify scavenger species recorded on the cameras. In this seminar, Ellen will describe the project, some results, and hopes for future research that involves hunters.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM In the Arena: When Conservation Policy and Politics Collide by Jon Gassett - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Journey through the historical tapestry of wildlife conservation in North America, the intricacies of the U.S. conservation funding model, and unravel the tangled issues that often challenge agencies, customers, and legislators alike. Concluding with forward-thinking reflections on the future, this seminar offers a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in preserving our natural heritage.

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM The Incursion on Science-Based Wildlife Management & The Next Frontier of Hunter and Angler Engagement by Gaspar Perricone - at Basswood Stage in Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Hunters and anglers face new and mounting challenges in defending and promoting science-based wildlife management across the country. As national efforts to restrict the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and reduce the role of hunter-harvest in sustaining wildlife populations intensify, the time is now for sportsmen and women's engagement. Join the effort in promoting responsible wildlife management by defeating the threats of ballot-box biology, weighted game and fish commissions, and state legislative overreach of wildlife management.


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    Patrick Berry
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    Lucas bissett
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    Ryan Callaghan
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    Ellen Candler
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    Corinne Doctor
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    Chrystal Egli
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    Jamie Gangaware
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    Jonathan Gassett
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    Mary Glaves
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    Thomas Hall
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    Trevor Hubbs
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    Hilary Hutcheson
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    Christopher Jenkins
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    Benjamin Jones
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    Paul Keeven
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    Mark Kenyon
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    Kelsie Lasharr
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    Ben Long
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    Shawn McCarthy
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    Randy Newberg
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    Mark Norquist
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    Dave Olfelt
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    Gaspar Perricone
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    Daryl Ratajczak
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    Garrett Robinson
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    Ron & Debbie Rohrbaugh
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    Mike Schrage
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    Dave Simonett
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    Dr. Daniel Storm
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    Kelly Straka