Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s 2016 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic presented by Federal Premium Ammunition concluded Sunday, February 21st, drawing thousands of supporters to the weekend event at the Kansas City Convention Center. The annual national convention and outdoor tradeshow was highlighted by a very successful, first-ever National Quail Summit hosted by Quail Forever. Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever will bring the nation’s largest upland event to Minneapolis in 2017, to be held February 17-19 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The National Quail Summit brought together policymakers, the nation’s leading upland biologists, and general public in an effort to help reverse the precipitous decline of bobwhite quail since the 1980’s. The event was a standing-room only affair with a large percentage of Quail Forever members and upland hunters filling the hall to capacity. Biologists from various regions of the country charted a roadmap to success for public and private land partnerships that are best suited to return bobwhite quail to their once widespread population status – habitat management efforts were at the top of the list.
National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic provides a significant economic impact for host cities and attending outdoor industry vendors. In fact, Denise DeJulio, Executive Director of Convention Sales for Visit KC, estimated the show’s impact at $5.6 million for the Kansas City area. Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever also uses its national event to recruit members for its wildlife habitat conservation mission. A total of 783 individuals signed up as Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever members at the event, including five patron members and 37 life members.
At the organization’s sold-out Saturday evening national banquet, keynote speaker and renowned conservationist, Shane Mahoney, delivered a riveting speech to nearly 1,000 attendees on the importance of Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and hunter influence for the future of wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Additionally, the 2016 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic boasted a show floor with the most booth spaces in the event’s history – a 20% increase in vendors (105 more booths) exhibiting at the show over the previous year. In total, 20,682 attendees visited National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Kansas City to support wildlife habitat conservation efforts.
The event also delivered wildlife habitat benefits specific to Great Plains and Midwest farmers and ranchers. The Landowner Habitat Help Desk at the show serviced 91 landowners to provide conservation guidance on 28,915 acres of land, predominately located in Kansas, Missouri, and neighboring states. Accompanied by a trained Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever biologist, or partnering biologist from state natural resource agencies, landowners were educated on ways they can improve their acres for wildlife and even what local, state, and federal conservation programs they qualify for enrollment.
Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is returning to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the organization’s 2017 convention. Minnesota represents the origins of the organization where Pheasants Forever (1982) & Quail Forever (2005) had its humble beginnings. Additional details for National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2017 in Minneapolis will be released in the near future: www.pheasantfest.org