Hunting & Heritage  |  02/14/2024

Smiles All Around: The Magic of Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic


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

By Tom Carpenter, Editor at Pheasants Forever

If your plans are already made for National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic March 1-3 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you have it to look forward to.

If you are on the proverbial fence about going, you have it to discover.

What is “it?”

The smiles.

I first noticed it while attending with my kids, when they 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 aisles... with multiple return visits to Bird Dog Row where bird dogs were petted, cute puppies hugged and many conversations had.

Mom even came one year and found plenty to like at the show herself.

But there is always so much more than those beloved and beautiful bird dogs. Great new products and gear discovered. Shotguns shouldered. Purchases (expected and not!) made. Great seminars attended. Hunt ideas hatched. Recipes gleaned. Enjoyable visits had. Old friends seen. New friends made.

Through it all, at every Fest I have attended (and they are really adding up now), 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 and bird dog lifestyles, insights on how to create great wildlife or pollinator habitat... to the latest habitat efforts at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, bird dogs and training, habitat work, fine upland artwork and books and crafts... as well as aforementioned shotguns and bird dogs and knowledge.

Speaking of knowledge, make sure to take a look at the seminar stage schedules (also in the Show Guide you can pick up) and plan to attend a few sessions. Preview the stages here:

» Bird Dog Stage
All bird dogs all the time.

» Path to the Uplands Stage
Become, or become a better, upland bird hunter.

» Habitat Stage
Create an upland haven from the back 40 to the backyard.

» Public Lands Stage
Hunting strategies, tips, how-to and where-to.

Speaking of which, stop and say hi at the Show. I’ll be:

» Spending a lot of time at the Elite Member booth, as well as anchored there just before the top of every hour for PA announcements

» On the Public Lands Stage for a Q & A panel at 11:00 a.m. Saturday

» Giving one of my favorite presentations, “Bird Dog, Family Dog” at the Path to the Uplands Stage at 2:00 p.m. Friday and 12 noon Sunday.

Oh, and wandering the show in-betweensies.

With a big smile on my face.

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: