Cayla Bendel

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Cayla was born and raised in the suburbs of the Twin Cities of Minnesota but she could commonly be found aboard her dad’s Alumacraft, shooting her bow in the backyard with her brother, or on adventurous trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Something about the way she felt in those places led her to pursue a career in Conservation gaining her B.S. in Natural Resources Wildlife Management from the University of Minnesota Crookston and going on to receive her M.S. from North Dakota State University. Throughout these years she was introduced to new types of hunting and fishing but it was an initially unwanted move to Bismarck, North Dakota for a job with Pheasants Forever that led her down the formative path she continues on today.

With North Dakota’s resources at her fingertips, a newfound community of hunters, anglers and conservationists to look up to, a flexible work schedule, and her often-too-competitive nature, Cayla began to turn these beloved activities into a lifestyle. She has fallen in love with the opportunities North Dakota offers, as well as its proximity to the lakes and woods of Minnesota and the vast expanses of the west. And while she won’t stake claim to exquisite meals, she’s loved the ability to re-live her time afield at the kitchen table and almost exclusively eat wild game.

Today, Cayla works as the R3 Coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and when not working, can almost always be found outdoors, doing something, with her husband, Scott, and pudelpointer, Finley. She considers herself fairly experienced in fishing, ice fishing, darkhouse spearing, waterfowl hunting, upland hunting (mostly pheasants and sharptails), turkey hunting, archery hunting for white-tailed deer, and shed hunting, and since moving to ND, has also begun foraging for morels, dove hunting, spot and stalk mule deer hunting, and anxiously putting in for antelope, mule deer, and elk tags in ND and elsewhere. Above all else, Cayla loves the way this lifestyle makes her feel; the types of relationships it builds and sustains, the physical and spiritual benefits it provides, and the experiences she feels simply cannot be found elsewhere.