Habitat & Conservation  |  02/04/2020

The Magic of Pheasant Fest


A show for those who love the uplands and upland bird hunting: There’s nothing else quite like it in the world.

By Tom Carpenter, Editor at Pheasants Forever

I’ve attended National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic every year it has been in Minneapolis since its inception. Add to that a couple other shows (Sioux Falls and Chicago, namely) since I’ve worked for The Habitat Organization.

Of course, "way back when" and when the kids were little, it was an easy sell to get out of the house with them and leave Mom alone in a blissfully quiet house for a winter day while we wandered the Pheasant Fest aisles … with multiple return visits to Bird Dog Row where multiple bird dogs were petted, cute puppies hugged and many conversations had.

(And if I recall right, Mom even came one year and found plenty to like at the show herself.)

But there was so much more than those beloved and beautiful bird dogs. Shotguns were shouldered. Important purchases (expected and not) made. Good seminars attended. Hunt ideas hatched. Great food eaten. Recipes gleaned. Enjoyable talks had. Old friends seen. New friends made.

If you’re planning on coming to Pheasant Fest this year, you know the story. If you’re on the fence or trying to make the time to come, just do it. Here’s why.

It’s hard to find an unsmiling face in the house. It’s difficult to go up or down a row and not find something of interest – from information on a new place to hunt, a great product for your outdoor lifestyle, or insights on how to create great wildlife or pollinator habitat … to the latest game cookery techniques, fine upland artwork and books and crafts … as well as aforementioned shotguns and bird dogs and knowledge.

Speaking of knowledge, two new seminar stages are on tap this year, and both have me pretty excited.

One is PATH TO THE UPLANDS – which tackles the idea of getting new hunters in the fold, and not just youth. The uplands are magical, and the goal here is to get people from all ages and walks of life involved in upland hunting and conservation. On a personal note, I am thrilled to be presenting the session Getting Started in Upland Hunting on this stage at 3:00 p.m. Friday and 12:00 noon Saturday.

The other is the PUBLIC LANDS PAVILION AND STAGE. For anybody that relies on public lands for some or all of their hunting specifically, and outfoor recreation in general, you’re going to learn about maximizing access and enjoyment of YOUR lands. On a personal note here, I’ll be serving on a panel for Top Public Land Pheasant Hunting Strategies at 5:00 p.m. Friday and 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug the WILD GAME COOKING STAGE or the BIRD DOG STAGE either, where I plan to spend some time when not on other duty.

Speaking of which, stop and say hi. I’ll be spending a lot of time at the Elite Member booth, and anchored there toward the top of every hour for P.A. announcements.

From the entire tireless team at Pheasants Forever that is working feverishly on the final details: We can't wait to see you at Pheasant Fest … a magical place unlike any other event in the world.