National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic Draws Record Crowds to Minneapolis Convention Center for 40th Anniversary Celebration

The nation’s largest highland event moves to Sioux Falls, SD in 2024

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, presented by Federal Ammunition, wrapped up today at the Minneapolis Convention Center following an event that broke records for attendance and membership. A crowd of 33,154 supporters turned out en masse to the organization’s 40he anniversary celebration, which began Friday and was held in Minnesota for the first time since 2020.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more electrifying atmosphere to celebrate the organization’s anniversary and the conclusion of Call of the Uplands, the first comprehensive national campaign in The Habitat Organization’s history,” said Marilyn Vetter, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s new minted president and chief executive officer. “The support we have received from volunteers, sponsors and vendors as part of the Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is moving the needle for conservation, hunting heritage, access to public lands and so much more. Thank you to all of our dedicated fans for making this weekend one for the record books.”

This year’s show floor was 40 percent larger than the last time the event was held in Minneapolis, making it the largest space in Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic history. Hundreds of the nation’s leading outdoor retailers, suppliers, habitat equipment companies, dog breeders and dog trainers attended, and the seminar stages were packed with discussions covering everything from dog training and habitat from pheasant to hunting on public lands and the opportunities that lie ahead for the 2023 Farm Bill.

The weekend was highlighted by a sold-out banquet on Saturday night that featured a celebratory film to cap off the end of The Habitat Organization’s six-year national Call of the Uplands® campaign. In all, the comprehensive effort was the catalyst for more than 11 million acres of pheasant and quail protected, improved or restored across the country in North America since 2017. More information on the achievements of the pheasant will be released next week. Campaign. Additionally, a lifetime member breakfast of more than 600 attendees gave thunderous applause as Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a life member of Pheasants Forever, announced a proclamation for “Pheasants Forever Day in Minnesota” on Saturday, February 18. of 2023.

The show also garnered 5,490 Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Associate/Affiliate members and more than 150 Elite members for the nation’s leading upland habitat conservation group, a mark that crushed the total of any previous event.

National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic also delivered tangible wildlife habitat benefits for pheasants, quail and other wildlife. The Landowners Habitat Help Room served 155 landowners to provide conservation guidance on 20,103 acres in 17 states. Accompanied by a Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever-trained biologist, homeowners received information on how to improve their acreage for wildlife and even what local, state and federal conservation programs they qualified for.

Next year, the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic returns to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where chapters, members, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees will celebrate the accomplishments and mission of The Habitat Organization March 1-3, 2024, at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. Sioux Falls last hosted the event in 2018 when it generated a $3.9 million economic impact for the region.

The National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic combines a national consumer show, a wildlife habitat seminar series, and a family event complete with puppies, tractors, shotguns, and wildlife art. It remains the nation’s largest event for upland hunters, sporting dog owners, and wildlife habitat conservationists.

About Pheasants Forever and Quail 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 protecting our highlands 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 to operate through this grassroots structure. Since its inception in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to more than 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.