Quail Classic Highlights for the Quail Hunter

7a42cebd-f77f-4654-a63e-c4627699b880 So you can’t wait to attend the 2019 Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic Feb. 22-24 at the Schaumburg Convention Center, but you’re not terribly interested in pheasants because you’re a dyed-in-the-wool hunter of the true king of gamebirds – quail.

Well, never fear, because there’s a good reason it’s also called the “Quail Classic.” In fact, there’s so much quail-related, quail-centric, and quail-exclusive things to do, see, and watch at this year’s event you’ll forget all about that “Pheasant Fest” part of the show. So if you’re more interested in staunch pointers and covey rises than labs and cackling roosters, here are just a few of the many quail-specific events, exhibitors, and activities. 
 

Bird Dog Stage

Ronnie and Rick Smith are synonymous with pointing dogs, and their seminars will offer a wealth of valuable information for making you and your dog a better team. Foundation training for pointing dogs, selecting your next bird dog, teaching the “whoa” command, developing your bird dog, teaching to hunt “dead”, and bird dog fundamentals are some of the topics the Smiths will be covering. These seminars will be like getting a one-on-one session with two of the best bird-dog trainers in the business.
 

Wild Game Stage 

If there’s one thing quail hunters love to do as much or more than hunting quail, it’s eating them. And there’s no lack of delicious quail-themed cookery planned for the show floor. Mr. Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook” Hank Shaw, will show you how to cook a delicious Mexican quail stew, as well as advice on how to get more out of your gamebirds.
 

Habitat Help Desk and Stage

Quail Forever is “The Habitat Organization” and true to that mission statement, helping landowners meet their habitat goals will take a big role in the weekend’s events. Attendees can receive a personalized quail conservation plan by bringing their property’s legal description to the Habitat Help Desk. You can sit down with a wildlife biologist and learn all about which programs are available and come away with a free conservation plan for your property. In addition, there are numerous habitat speaker topics that apply to quail, including talks on precision ag, pollinator habitat, and building quail habitat.
 

Pollinator Pavilion   

You can’t have quail without pollinators, and the Quail Classic’s Pollinator Pavilion is the place to be to learn all about the many critical links between pollinator habitat and healthy quail numbers. Topics include pollinator habitat best management practices, the link between upland birds and pollinators, incorporating precision ag into pollinator conservation, and many others.
 

Exhibitors

The Quail Classic isn’t just about bird dogs, quail habitat, quail cooking, and quail conservation. It’s also all about the bird-hunting stuff we love to browse, and this year there is much indeed to look over. From guns to gear to destinations and every conceivable thing in between; if it relates to quail hunting or quail culture, you can find it here.
Here is a by-no-means-complete list - just a taste, really – of what you can find at this year’s show.

Looking for a new quail gun? Peruse the offerings from Benelli, Beretta, Browning, Caesar Geurini, CZ-USA, and Remington.

Quail-hunting destinations more your game? Alabama Black Belt Adventures will be there to showcase that state’s classic southern quail-hunting adventure opportunities, as well as numerous other lodges, guide services, and outfitters.

Bird dogs are always a big part of the show, and if you’re interested in a new pup, started dog, or a completely new breed, there are breed clubs, breeders, and hunt test organizations ready to answer your questions. In addition, there are dog boxes and kennel manufacturers like Ruff Land, dog food companies such as Purina Pro Plan, and a plethora of dog-training products.

Want some spiffy new duds? Retailers like Hound and Hare can turn you into the best-dressed quail hunter out there.

In fact, with over 400 exhibitors packed into this year’s show, there’s literally something quail-y for everyone. The only real question with so much to choose from, is where to start?