Bob St. Pierre

Bob St. Pierre is director of marketing and public relations for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. A lifelong bird hunter, he chases upland birds each fall from Michigan to Montana with his German shorthaired pointer. He's often on the FAN Outdoors show, 6 to 8 a.m. Saturdays on 1130 AM.

Posts about Fishing

The Bird Hunter with Diabetes

Posted by: Bob St. Pierre Updated: April 3, 2015 - 7:34 AM

Just to the right of the Rooster's head, you'll see my insulin pump clipped to my belt.

CAPTION: Just to the right of the rooster's head you'll see my insulin pump clipped to my belt.

I am a bird hunter first.  I am a diabetic second. 

My doctor, my mom and my wife may disagree with that order, but that’s my reality. 

I didn’t know jack about diabetes before I was diagnosed with adult onset juvenile diabetes at the tender age of 26, but it’s one of those diseases that takes over your entire existence, so you learn quick.  You have to.  From doing a radio interview to going out on my fishing boat, diabetes has added a wild card to every activity in my life; especially bird hunting.

My form of diabetes, Type 1, is the insulin-dependent kind.  You may be more familiar with Type 2 diabetes which develops in folks that are a little older, a little over-weight and a little less physically active.  Type 1, on the other hand, is the old school needle-carrying form. 

At this moment, your blood sugar is probably about 84.  That’s considered normal thanks to your healthy and functioning pancreas releasing insulin to manage your blood’s glucose level.  My blood sugar, on the other hand, has been as low as 28 and as high as 584.  At this moment, the insulin pump monitoring my blood sugar level reads 212.

When I have low blood sugar, I feel weak, disoriented and starved.  When I have high blood sugar, I am agitated and also have difficulty thinking clearly.  Lows in the middle of the night that wake me out of a deep sleep are the absolute worst.  Not only do I binge eat to get my sugar back up, it’s virtually impossible not to over-eat, so my blood sugar jumps super high.  It just flat out makes me feel awful for the entire next day.  The goal is to get my blood sugar as close to normal as yours with the combination of monitoring my carbohydrate intake, taking insulin injections, exercising, limiting alcohol intake and managing stress.  On paper it seems relatively easy.  In reality, it’s a crap shoot with every decision I make throughout the day. 

As a diabetic constantly monitoring my body’s reaction to food and activity, I can tell you without a single doubt that bird hunting is the most physically demanding activity I participate in throughout the year and that is compared to 5-mile runs, lifting weights or chopping firewood.  Now I’m not talking pheasant hunting on the groomed paths and corn rows of a game farm.  I’m talking cattail busting.  I’m talking about walking through a field of chest-high prairie grasses pulling at your legs like “Night of the Living Zombies.”  Forget about P90X, take up pheasant hunting instead. 

Give me a plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, stuffing and a glass of lemonade.  On a normal day, that meal might put me into a blood sugar overdose, but send me out into a snowy cattail slough in mid-December and I’ll be sucking down Gatorade an hour later to push my blood sugar back up to normal just so I have enough energy to make it back to the truck before I pass out. 

The moral of my story is we’ve all got crosses to bear in life.  Mine is diabetes.  Diabetes will likely be what kills me, but I’ll be damned if diabetes is going to be what defines me. 

I am a bird hunter.   

 Bob St.Pierre is Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

Syren, Re-engineering Shotguns for Women

Posted by: Bob St. Pierre Updated: January 29, 2015 - 11:19 PM

Most of us have been there before, in the field with a girlfriend, wife or mom who has shown an interest in watching the family bird dog work and experiencing the “rush of the flush.” With good intentions all around, we hand over our shotgun for the day. However, like golf clubs and hunting boots, shotguns aren’t comfortable fits for both genders, even if it includes pink highlights. Enter Caesar Guerini. 

Last year at SHOT Show, Caesar Guerini introduced the new Syren shotgun specially engineered for the female hunter and sporting clays shooter. The Syren product introduction and subsequent sales have been so successful Syren stands alone as its own division at this year’s SHOT Show. 

The recipe for Syren’s success focused on reengineering the shotgun’s stock. They adeptly recognized that women generally have smaller hands and longer necks than their male counterparts, so the fit of a standard shotgun automatically feels awkward when mounted. If you think about it, a shotgun hits your body at your cheek, shoulder, both palms and trigger finger.  That’s a lot of spots to be potentially off the mark in a tool that’s been designed for men the last couple hundred years. Here’s what Syren changed in these touch points:

1) Trigger Finger: The Syren closed the distance between the stock’s grip and the trigger to better fit a woman’s hand. In fact, many models include adjustable triggers for your own personal fit.

2) Stock Length: Known as the “length of pull,” Syren also closed the distance from the trigger to the butt of the stock to better fit a woman’s shorter arm length.

3) Pocket Fit: The “pocket” is the area between the shoulder and chest where a shotgun’s stock rests against the body. In the Syren, the cast and pitch (angle of stock horizontal and vertical relative to barrel) have been modified to better fit a women’s body.

4) Cheek Comfort: In general, women have longer necks leading to a greater distance between a female shooter’s eye and shoulder pocket. This variable is a big deal when a standard men’s fitted shotgun recoils and slaps against the female shooter’s cheek. In the Syren line, their shotguns feature higher “Monte Carlo” style combs for a better fit against the cheek. 

5) Elegant Design: The Syren will never be confused for a “meat stick.” The entire Syren line features gorgeously engraved receivers and the stock’s grip also includes Syren’s signature engraved roses on the Turkish walnut stock.

As with most bird hunters, you don’t need to know all the details of your shotgun’s fit as long as it’s comfortable. Therein lies the magic of the Syren—the proof is sporting goods stores can’t keep them on the shelves. 

The only downside to the Syren is its cost, with semi-autos starting at $1,950 and over/unders starting at $2,980. They are priced fairly for their high quality, but a challenge for most entry level hunters. Look at it this way, a Syren will be the last shotgun a new female hunter will ever have to purchase. They are a legacy shotgun that daughters and granddaughters to come will cherish.

Bob St. Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

KFAN Broadcasting Live from Minnesota Pheasant Summit

Posted by: Bob St. Pierre Updated: December 11, 2014 - 8:48 PM

“The Captain” Billy Hildebrand and I are taking Saturday morning FAN Outdoors radio show on the road.  We’ll be in Marshall, Minnesota at 6AM this Saturday to broadcast live from the Minnesota Pheasant Summit.

Created by Governor Mark Dayton, the summit will include hunters, farmers, policymakers, conservationists, and key members of the Governor’s Cabinet.  The focus will be on strategies to increase the state’s pheasant population, improve pheasant habitat, and ensure future generations of Minnesota hunters have the opportunity to enjoy one of the state’s most popular and iconic game birds.  

Our broadcast will be live from 6AM to 8AM on 100.3FM in the Twin Cities and on www.KFAN.com worldwide.  Tune in to hear a preview of the day’s discussion, along with some late season pheasant hunting tips and a little ice fishing conversation brought to you by our friends at Clam Outdoors

Minnesota Pheasant Summit Agenda

(on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University)

8:00     Registration in Lobby

9:30     Welcome – Ron Schara, Emcee

9:40     Welcome to the SMSU campus – Connie Gores, SMSU President  

9:45     Comments by Leadership

9:55     Pheasants in MN – Nicole Davros, DNR and Matt Holland, Pheasants Forever 

10:25   Questions & Answers – Pheasant Biology, Habitat or Programs

10:40  Address by Governor Dayton – Building a Strong Conservation Future

10:50   Pre-Summit Survey Results – Tom Landwehr, DNR Commissioner  

11:15   Break-Out Session – Part I (Public Habitat, Private Habitat, Hunting)

12:30   Lunch

1:15     Break-Out Session – Part II (Public Habitat, Private Habitat, Hunting)

2:30     Pheasants and Farming – Dave Fredrickson, Dept. of Ag     

2:45     Post-Breakout: Establish Top Action Items

4:00     Closing Remarks by Tom Landwehr, DNR Commissioner & Ron Schara

Follow on Twitter at #PheasantSummitMN

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

Bird Dog Hunting Life List

Posted by: Bob St. Pierre Updated: November 24, 2014 - 8:32 AM
I had the opportunity to hunt with a wide array of bird dog breeds last week during this hunt in Kansas

I had the opportunity to hunt with a wide array of bird dog breeds last week during this hunt in Kansas

Invariably, every hunting trip shapes a new idea about how I want to do things moving forward.  During this year’s travels, I’ve come to realize hunting over different bird dogs gives me a greater appreciation for the unique talents of each individual and breed.  This got me thinking about how avid bird watchers keep a list of all the species of birds they’ve seen over their lifetime.  It’s called a “life list” and seems tailor-made for a bird dog-loving guy like me to put my own spin to . . . my own bird dog hunting life list.  While I’ve had the opportunity to admire all of the breeds listed below during Pheasant Fest’s Bird Dog Parade, I have only experienced the pleasure of hunting with half of them.

Here is my best recollection of the bird dog breeds I’ve shared a field or forest with in search of pheasants, quail and grouse so far in my life.

  1. Boykin Spaniel
  2. Brittany
  3. English Cocker Spaniel
  4. English Setter
  5. English Springer Spaniel
  6. German Shorthaired Pointer
  7. German Wirehaired Pointer
  8. Golden Retriever
  9. Gordon Setter
  10. Irish Setter
  11. Labrador Retriever
  12. Llewellin Setter
  13. Pointer
  14. Poodle
  15. Red Setter
  16. Small Munsterlander
  17. Vizla
  18. Weimaraner
  19. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

List of Sporting Breeds I’ve yet to hunt behind include:

1.Airedale Terrier

2.American Water Spaniel

3.Chesapeake Bay Retriever

4.Clumber Spaniel

5.Cocker Spaniel

6.Curly Coated Retriever

7.Field Spaniel

8.Flat Coated Retriever

9.French Brittany

10.Irish Red and White Setter

11.Irish Water Spaniel

12.Large Munsterlander

13.Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

14.Pudelpointer

15.Spinone Italiano

16.Sussex Spaniel

17.Welsh Springer Spaniel

18.Wirehaired Vizsla

19. Braque du Bourbonnais

Ed Howell with his Braque du Bourbonnais

Ed Howell with his Braque du Bourbonnais

How many breeds are on your bird dog hunting life list?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

It’s Pointers vs. Flushers for Pheasants Forever’s 2014 Rooster Road Trip

Posted by: Bob St. Pierre Updated: November 7, 2014 - 10:22 AM

 

Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip — an annual pheasant hunting trip dedicated to showcasing public upland habitat and access — has added a new twist to the upcoming expedition. This year pits “Team Pointer” versus “Team Flusher” in a battle of bird dog supremacy. Follow the Pheasants Forever hunters and their bird dogs online November 3rd through November 12th to watch the friendly competition unfold as the two teams hunt only publicly accessible land in six states.

Once again, the Rooster Road Trip will visit lands Pheasants Forever has played a significant role in opening up to public access, either through land purchase, restoration, or legislation. The effort focuses on how important pheasant hunters who join Pheasants Forever as members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat. In fact, any follower who joins Pheasants Forever as a member online through the Rooster Road Trip webpage from the start of the trip until November 14th will receive an exclusive Browning bonus item (a different item each week) and be entered to win a new Browning Citori 725 over/under 20 gauge shotgun (in addition to the standard benefits of Pheasants Forever membership).

Team Flusher

Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, and his English cocker spaniel, “Sprig,” along with Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever’s marketing manager, and his Labrador retriever, “Beau,” will join up with Pheasants Forever chapter members and hunt in North Dakota on November 3rd followed by South Dakota and Minnesota.

Team Pointer

Bob St. Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s vice president of marketing, and his German shorthaired pointers, “Trammell” and “Esky,” along with Elsa Gallagher, Pheasants Forever’s state coordinator for Missouri, and her dogs “Rooster,” “Pike” and “Ginny” will hunt first in Colorado followed by Kansas and Nebraska. Team Pointer starts on Monday, Nov. 10th.

The good-natured competition will tally Team Flusher’s productive flushes against Team Pointer’s productive points. “It will be fun to stoke this age-old debate during this year’s Rooster Road Trip, but we already know the real winners – anyone who loves chasing roosters,” says Anthony Hauck, “This trip ultimately puts a spotlight on Pheasants Forever’s successful projects, just some of the more than 170,000 acres the organization has helped permanently conserve, a number we’re adding acres to every year.”

“The Rooster Road Trip is a fun way to illustrate the power of volunteer engagement in the cause of conservation,” added Vavra. “Last year’s Rooster Road Trip generated more than 500 new Pheasants Forever members and tens of thousands of sponsorship dollars for the organization’s conservation mission. We’re optimistic this year’s effort will be an even bigger success, ultimately leading to more habitat access for future generations of pheasant hunters.”

Follow Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2014 online at:

Rooster Road Trip 2014 / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Instagram (new!)

Rooster Road Trip 2014 Sponsors

Rooster Road Trip 2014 sponsors include Apple Autos, Browning, Federal Premium Ammunition, Garmin, Irish Setter, Leer, Zeiss, North Dakota Tourism, Explore Minnesota, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Nebraska Game and Parks, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.

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