Habitat & Conservation  |  03/02/2024

National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic 2024: Day Two Wrap Up


Major conservation news adds to Saturday’s excitement

By Casey Sill

The early morning crowd packed the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Saturday morning as day two of National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic got underway. Seminar stages kicked off bright and early with lectures on prairie grouse, public land hunting tips, developing your bird dog and much more. 

The morning ended on a high note as USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie and FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux announced a brand new conservation initiative aimed at Northern Bobwhite Quail. The new program will, for the first time ever, dedicate funding specifically to improve bobwhite quail populations across the country. 

Saturday also brought the first full day of the Women on the Wing Lounge, a brand new aspect of Pheasant Fest in 2024. Located near booth 902, the WOTW Lounge is the perfect place to meet noteworthy women throughout the weekend including industry professionals, biologists, artists and more. Saturday’s featured guests included gun dog pro Tina Dokken, wildlife artist Nicole Heitzman and Cari Goss, the founder of Azyre hunting gear. 

Saturday afternoon featured a panel discussion on South Dakota’s brand new Public Access to Habitat (PATH) initiative, moderated by MeatEater’s Ryan Callaghan. PATH was announced in August 2023 with the objective of accelerating statewide enrollment in conservation and access programs, and has already enrolled nearly 10,000 acres statewide. 

The PATH Panel transformed into the PATH happy hour as the day came to a close, with free beer from Leinenkugel’s fueling the celebration of the new program. Also sponsored by YETI, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks and onXHunt, the happy hour put a bow on Saturday’s show floor schedule. 

Tonight we’ll head to the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever National banquet. Over 1,000 outdoorsmen and women will gather at the sold out event to celebrate the year in conservation and listen to keynote speaker — award winning sportsman, filmmaker and biologist Donnie Vincent. 

We’ll be back on the show floor tomorrow morning when the doors open at 9 am. 

The 2024 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic will take place at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls on March 1-3. Tickets and more information can be found at: PheasantFest.org.