Apply now for Action Trackchair grants
Since 2020, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have been a proud partner of the Anisfield-Wilson Track2wing Project, a grant program for recruiting, retaining, and reactivating individuals with mobility challenges into the world of bird dog training and upland hunting.
Through the purchase and donation of Action Trackchairs – all-terrain chairs that have reshaped the possibilities and expanded the world of individuals living with mobility impairments – the Track2wing initiative has awarded a total of 29 units to individuals throughout the United States, 10 of whom are PF or QF members.
Starting now and running until March 31st, the fourth year of Track2wing applications are open for submissions on a rolling basis. Each application is reviewed by a six-person advisory committee to select the next round of Trackchair recipients, and Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever memberships are included for each successful grantee.
Nicole Peterson’s Track2wing Story
The positive success stories that have come out of the Anisfield-Wilson Track2wing Project are numerous, but perhaps one of the most compelling is that of upland hunter, Nicole Peterson.
A member of NAVHDA’s Southern Minnesota Chapter, Peterson lost mobility from the waist down following a car accident many years ago. But as the owner of several German shorthaired pointers, Peterson was seeking new ways to follow her dogs during training, and in autumn’s fields of gold.
“My GSP Hank ran his NAVHDA Utility test this past August at the young age of two. He spent all summer training with his NAVHDA breeders, Paul and Angie Coenen. When test day came, I was unable to witness any of his field work due to the location and condition of the test site,” she explained.
"However, from the verbal reports that I got back from [my husband] Rod and Angie, Hank had a good field day with only one hiccup. From there we drove to the pond where the duck search was going to take place. I would be able to watch him from across the pond in our vehicle. Using a pair of binoculars, I could see Hank perform his task with ambition and determination. I had never seen a duck search before, but I felt that great feeling of joy and pride come over me like I experienced all those years ago with my horses and knew this was a well-done search by my Hank. I couldn’t help but think, ‘what if I was right there with him and not watching from a distance?’ Tears filled my eyes. I was so happy and proud of him and his accomplishment with Paul…but…I longed to be there.”
That’s when an application to the Track2wing Project, submitted on Nicole’s behalf, struck a chord with the advisory committee.
“This is exactly why the Track2wing project was created,” stated co-founder Nancy Anisfield. “The power of hunting dogs and working side-by-side in the field with one another should not and will not be limited by the challenges of mobility. Nicole’s story is a perfect example.”
Fast forward one year to the NAVHDA Invitational, and it’s easy to see (pictured below) how a project like Track2wing is helping change lives for the better. Nicole didn’t run Hank the GSP in the Invitational (Paul Coenen the breeder handled the dog for Nicole and Rodney), but she was able to navigate the various fields and water sites with the help of her Action Trackchair, and has since been much more involved in field work with her dog.
Applications Now Being Accepted
Do you know of someone with mobility challenges who loves bird dogs, field training, and upland hunting? Track2wing applications are open for submissions on a rolling basis through March 31st. Have a question about the application or the program itself? For more information, email email@example.com or call Terry Wilson at 802-482-2561.