All things upland bird hunting await those who attend the Feb. 17-19 Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
Well, at least the really important stuff.
“It’s a sports show, a habitat show and a hunting dog show,” said Bob St. Pierre, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever vice president. “If you’re an upland bird hunter, it’s the most diverse and important show in the country.”
St. Pierre said Pheasants Forever has been sponsoring the events since 2003, and annually since the 2007 show.
It’s the first time the show’s been in Kansas City, but he knows what will be the most popular.
“The single biggest attraction is always the dogs,” he said. “This year we’ll have about 48 different breeds of hunting dogs. I’d have to learn some foreign languages to be able to pronounce the names of some breeds properly.”
A parade of those breeds helps kick off the show at about 12:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Many of the dogs will be inside the Kansas City Convention Center.
Habitat management may be the most important portion of the gathering. Landowners and land managers will get to spend one-on-one time with Pheasants Forever biologists, and map out exact ways to improve wildlife habitat on a property.
“With the use of satellite imagery, they’ll be able to look at the property as it exists and tell them what they can do to improve it,” St. Pierre said. “They can also tell you what state and federal habitat programs they may qualify for, too. It’ll all be at one meeting.”
Dog training and wild-game cooking demonstrations are part of the event, as is a large area with booths sponsored by manufacturers and many destinations.
“It’s just a very, very diverse show,” said St. Pierre.
For more information, go to www.pheasantfest.org.
Legislative update — Several outdoors-related bills saw action in the Kansas legislature last week.
The bill that would allow hunters to carry handguns for personal protection during all seasons has passed from committee to the house.
A house bill that would allow widespread use of crossbows during the archery deer season was heard in the agriculture and natural resources committee and awaits further discussion. A similar bill has been introduced in the senate.
A bill that could lead to a statewide vote to lower taxes paid on boats and other vessels has cleared committee and been sent to the senate.