The National Pheasant Fest : An annual convention that focuses on wildlife conservation
Tuesday, February 07, 2023
Pheasant hunting is both an American pastime and outdoor tradition which renews its roots every fall as countless individuals and families set out to pursue the King of Gamebirds. Requiring knowledge, skill, and late-season toughness as one battles the elements of Mother Nature, the thrill of success and defeat in pheasant hunting is what motivates the average hunter to pursue the wily rooster pheasant. An organization dedicated to wildlife habitat conservation was needed, and Pheasants Forever was formed. Pheasants Forever’s mission work quickly garnered it a reputation as “The Habitat Organization,” a tagline the nonprofit conservation group uses proudly to this day.
Pheasants Forever's mission is to conserve pheasants, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public access, education, and conservation advocacy. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever host more than 750 fundraising events annually, most commonly annual chapter banquets. These banquets are an important source of revenue and provide chapters with the funds needed to accomplish thousands of wildlife habitat projects annually.
This year, the National Pheasant Fest will be held in the Minneapolis Convention Center, between February 17 and 19. The much-anticipated convention and outdoor trade show will focus on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting, bird dogs, wildlife habitat management, and pollinators, apart from other topics of interest.
Randy Maddox, Mayor of Redfield, spoke to us about the soon-to-be-held Pheasant Fest:
1. Can you give us a brief description of the Pheasant Fest that will be held in Minneapolis this year?
This is a gathering of upland game bird hunters, their dogs, and their families. They get to see the latest equipment and techniques for harvesting upland birds. There are also classes for cooking the game birds that are harvested as well as an area for children to learn and explore the upland game and what it takes to sustain the numbers.
2. How many people usually attend an event like this? Residents, state, and out-of-state visitors. An approximate number, please.
Pheasant Fest is held every year in different locations throughout the Midwest. The last few years have drawn 20,000 - 30,000 people per year. They come from nearly all 50 states and actually a few foreign countries to find out what's going on in the hunting industry as well as to try to book hunting experiences for the following year.
3. In what ways, according to you, does this event help the local economy?
Even though this event is held throughout the Midwest the number of hunters that we bring into the local economy is quite impressive. Annually you will see the increase in our sales tax throughout the beginning months of the upland Bird season.
4. Any interesting snippets, stories, or incidents?
Many of the representatives of the city who attend this conference have had friendships developed from there. We have people who come annually to hunt with us that we spoke to at this Pheasant Fest. We are excited to get people into our community, give them an opportunity to experience what we enjoy, and make new friends.
Redfield is a growing community in beautiful Northeast South Dakota. Our 100-year tradition of pheasant hunting earned the city the title "Pheasant Capital of the World®". The area is poised for growth and has a number of development projects in the works, including a new school and an airport runway. Contact us here for more information.
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