November 28, 2023

Texas to North Dakota: The Waterfowl Brigade Camp Inspiring Young Conservationists [EP 412]

Show Notes

Rick Saez
Texas to North Dakota: The Waterfowl Brigade Camp Inspiring Young Conservationists [EP 412]

Welcome to Episode 412 of the outdoor biz podcast and my conversation with Jennifer Kross and Josh Arnold. Jennifer is an Education Biologist with Ducks Unlimited Great Plains region and Josh is an avid hunter helping other young folks learn about hunting and fishing.

Brought to you this week by Ducks Unlimited

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Show Notes

00:02:27 – 00:02:58 How did you get into duck hunting? Josh got into duck hunting through his interest in the Texas Waterfowl Brigade.

00:03:44 – 00:04:06 Do you do any other kinds of hunting? “I’m actually more of a pheasant hunter than a duck hunter”

00:04:27 – 00:04:55 How did you meet Jennifer? “I actually was doing an event down in a little place in North Dakota called Washburn and we went to a DU banquet and I was selling a puppy because we still had a couple of them. I saw an advertisement saying, “join us trip down to Texas”. And I thought that was really fun. So I emailed her and that’s how it started.”

00:05:17 – 00:05:42 What exactly is the North Dakota Waterfowl Brigade? The North Dakota Waterfowl Brigade is a program developed based on the Texas Waterfowl Brigade model. It focuses on educating kids about waterfowl, habitat management, leadership, and teamwork through a five-day camp.

00:09:23 – 00:10:21 Why did you choose the Texas Waterfowl Brigade model? Josh was drawn to the Texas Brigade model because of its seamless setup, emphasis on hands-on learning, incorporation of leadership activities, and the successful engagement of kids in outdoor activities.

00:12:45 – 00:13:26 Which program are you modeling from the Texas Waterfowl Brigade? They are specifically modeling the Waterfowl Brigade from the Texas Brigades’ camp program.

How are you using that program to develop your program? We’re adapting the Texas Waterfowl Brigade model but with a different curriculum focusing on the breeding grounds in North Dakota instead of habitat management for wintering ducks in Texas.

00:14:09 – 00:14:15 When will you launch the program? The North Dakota Waterfowl Brigade program is set to run for five days, scheduled from June 3rd to June 7th, 2024, during the summer.

Is everyone excited about it? Yes, there is a level of excitement surrounding the program, but some individuals are also a bit hesitant or cautious about the new endeavor.

00:21:27 – 00:22:02 Are there any hunting trips in your future? Josh mentions potential hunting trips to Red Lodge, Montana, for Rough Grouse and to Ohio for deer hunting with his father’s friends.

00:22:30 – 00:23:11 Do you have any suggestions and/or advice for folks looking to get into duck hunting? Josh recommends finding someone experienced to teach you, emphasizing the importance of learning from others, even if the hunt isn’t successful. He also suggests that hunting with a group can make the experience more enjoyable. Jensifer’s advice is: that in North Dakota, we have organizations that host different Types of hunts. Like, I know our pheasants forever. Like, they’re they do a youth hunt, and then our the North Dakota game and fish, Excuse me. The North Dakota Game and Fish, we have there’s a they have an r three coordinator who also coordinates some Hunting around waterfowl and things like that, so they’re almost like mentored hunts.

What is your favorite outdoor gear purchase under $100? 00:25:35 – 00:25:57 Josh mentions a good dog brush with dual sides for detangling dog hair, particularly helpful after hunting trips when dogs often get tangled in cockleburs. 00:26:27 – 00:26:32 Jennifer says you’ve got to have a good headlamp.

How about some of your favorite books? 00:26:41 – 00:27:15 Josh talks about “The Lonesome Cowboy with Friends,” a book given to him by an author he met at a camp. 00:27:56 – 00:28:02 Jennifer discusses “Devolution” by Max Brooks, a Bigfoot-themed book that combines fiction with survival advice.

Is there anything else you’d like to say or ask of our listeners? Jennifer promotes fundraising efforts for the North Dakota Waterfowl Brigade through Ducks Unlimited, encouraging support for their camp on February 8th, 2024, during Giving Hearts Day. Josh advises people to spend time outdoors and disconnect from screens.

Where can people find you if they’d like to follow up (email, Twitter, Instagram, etc)? Josh provides his email address: Jennifer shares her email:, and she directs interested individuals to apply for the camp at or contact North Dakota Waterfowl Brigade at