By Rod Wilson
For Patricia Stockdill, each morning begins with the sun rising over Garrison Bay on Lake Sakakawea just east of her rural home. Surrounded by fields and shelterbelts, the landscape is absolutely perfect for the most important task of the day.
“Spending time with our Brittanies, (Brittany spaniels) is so much an important part of our day,” Pat shares.
Her kinship with her dogs and time spent afield with them ties conveniently into her career as a freelance writer and outdoor journalist. Pat’s life has always centered around the outdoors.
“I grew up hunting and fishing, it was something I’ve always done,” Pat says when asked about her life growing up near Garrison. “And, I attended North Dakota State University for Horticulture.” Her education would lead her to a job as greenskeeper at the Garrison Golf Course. But, as true journalists will tell you, there is always a desire to return and write about topics you enjoy, and that calling would bring Pat back to freelance journalism mixed in with a four-year stint as a writer for the Minot Daily News.
For Pat, her many outdoor adventures would serve as valuable background resources for her columns. One of those adventures was a trip to Alaska where Pat, in her words, was introduced to packing into the wilderness on horses and accompanied pack animals.
“I started with riding 101 and was given a horse that matched my skill level.”
But, the Alaska trip is only one of the many of her adventures with her husband, Rod.
“We used to hunt mule deer in Idaho for about 15 years and recently have been hunting mule deer in Wyoming,” Pat explains.
And then there is fishing for grayling and hunting ptarmigan in Alaska and sitting in game blinds doing outdoor photography.
“I would rather do photography than writing,” Pat says, “but there’s the logistics of photography. The hours, the equipment … it takes dedication.”
Outdoor writing is not Patricia Stockdill’s only claim to fame. On her website Dancing Prairie Arts, Pat gives a slice of life look at her career.
“As a writer, I specialize in outdoors and natural resource writing as well as people and business profiles, business, general interest, travel, energy, and human-interest stories. In addition, I produce website copy, press releases, and provide copywriter services. Some of my credentials include memberships in the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers and Pheasants Forever.”
In 2016, Pat was asked to continue the publication of the “North Dakota Big Game Records Book” by the book’s founder and publisher, Lyle Hanson of Jamestown, when he retired.
“My first book was the seventh edition, published in 2017. The next one comes out in 2021.”
With a landscape of the great North Dakota outdoors and a lifetime filled with relevant experience, Patricia Stockdill will continue to give readers a life experience through the articles she publishes.
Rod Wilson is a native of Maddock, North Dakota. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of North Dakota majoring in journalism and radio/TV broadcasting. Rod’s greatest love has always been writing, whether it was a 30-second script for television, or a slice of life article for magazines and newspapers.