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National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic Draws 21,939 to Omaha’s CHI Health Center
Tradeshow and convention moves to Minneapolis in February 2023
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s 2022 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, presented by Federal Ammunition, drew 21,939 attendees to the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, during the three-day event. The nation’s largest gathering of upland hunters and conservationists raised critical funds and awareness for habitat and access in The Cornhusker State for the first time since 2011.
“After more than a decade away, the reception Omaha provided to our members and followers was absolutely incredible,” said Howard Vincent, President and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Nebraskans are such a core part of our organization. Their state is rich with hunting and conservation tradition, and we were proud to celebrate that outdoor heritage in Omaha. I’d like to thank all of our sponsors, vendors, community partners and attendees for making National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic 2022 one to remember.”
Saturday afternoon Vincent, along with other national conservation CEOs, helped headline a panel discussion for the concept of a North American Grasslands Conservation Act. The group discussed the importance of implementing critical legislation to provide landowners with voluntary incentives and opportunities to improve and conserve disappearing grasslands. The idea borrows many of its core principles from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), which has been widely successful in helping conserve America’s wetlands since its introduction in 1989. In the 32 years since, NAWCA has contributed to the conservation of nearly 30 million acres of habitat.
Over 1,400 people attended Saturday night’s sold out banquet, which featured a keynote address from James Beard award winning chef Hank Shaw. Shaw talked about the importance of making food a priority in the pursuit of game.
“Celebrating the feast at the end of the hunt can and should play a vital role in preserving North American hunting, for reasons that go well beyond a good pheasant stew,” Shaw said. “Emphasizing food can not only draw in more new hunters, it can also improve the perception of hunting among the 95 percent of Americans who don’t hunt.”
The Saturday evening banquet was a call-to-action for outdoor access in Nebraska and across pheasant and quail country. Following dinner, members and supporters quickly donated $108,000 to the Call of the Uplands campaign, supporting Nebraska’s Open Fields and Waters access program, as well as Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s signature Build a Wildlife Area program. Additionally, the show garnered 1,176 Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever memberships to the nation’s leading upland habitat conservation groups.
The event also delivered wildlife habitat benefits. The Landowner Habitat Help Room at the show serviced 115 landowners to provide conservation guidance on over 10,000 acres of property across 21 states. Accompanied by a trained Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever biologist, landowners were educated on ways they can improve their acres for wildlife and even what local, state and federal conservation programs they qualify for.
Next year, National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic returns to Minneapolis, Minn. where chapters, members, exhibitors, speakers and attendees will celebrate the accomplishments and mission of “The Habitat Organization.” The event will be held February 17-19, 2023, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic combines a national consumer show, wildlife habitat seminar series, and family event complete with puppies, tractors, shotguns and wildlife art. Pheasant Fest is the country’s largest event for upland hunters, sport dog owners and wildlife habitat conservationists.
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.
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