Quail Classic for the Quail Hunter

1e06fc89-837b-401f-a5eb-f9f70bd14e83 It may start with the word "pheasant" but the 2020 Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic Feb. 14-16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis has plenty to appeal to die-hard quail hunters. That “Quail Classic" in the title is definitely not just for show. In fact, there’s a ton of quail-related, quail-centric, and quail-exclusive things to do, see, and watch at this year’s event. 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. 


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, top puppy training techniques, developing steadiness, working with your dog's natural retrieve; these are just some of the topics the Smiths will be covering. In addition, Josh Miller will cover the basics of e-collar training, and veterinarian Seth Bynum will discuss nutrition and the issue of spay/neuter. These seminars will be like getting a one-on-one session with two of the best bird-dog trainers in the business.


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. MeatEater contributor Danielle Prewitt will cook quail with Dijon butter. In addition, chefs Lisa Erickson, Jack Hennessy, and Wade Truong will be demonstrating other upland bird-themed recipes that can easily be used with quail. 


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.


You can’t have quail without pollinators, and the Quail Classic’s Pollinator Plaza is the place to be to learn all about the many critical links between pollinator habitat and healthy quail numbers. The Pollinator Plaza will provide information on popular pollinator species, citizen science research projects, fundraising campaigns, and habitat programs being implemented to provide quality habitat for a host of grassland and wildflower-dependent species and pollinators that are important to quail.


New this year to Quail Classic is the Public Lands Pavilion, our newest stage and exhibitor area celebrating the country’s 800 million acres of prairies, forests, mountains, and public lands open to all Americans for hunting, hiking, and exploring. Some of the quail-specific content includes quail hunting within eight hours of the Twin Cities, Public Land Creators: The Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever story, and public lands info for specific states, including Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.


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, such as Spoke Hollow Outfitters, located in the Texas hill country, and Border to Border Outfitters in Arizona.

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.

In fact, with hundreds of 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?