MADISON, Wisc. — Pheasants Forever's (PF) National Pheasant Fest 2009, presented by Cabela's, runs Friday through Sunday in the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisc. It will house over 600 exhibit booths, 34 breeds of sporting dogs, and a collection of activities and attractions for the entire family.
Adult admission tickets are $10 per person, per day. Admission tickets for youth ages 6-16 are $5 and children under the age of 5 attend for free. Attendees may also purchase a three-day weekend pass at the door for $30. This daily pass includes a year's membership to Pheasants Forever and a PF hat. National Pheasant Fest opens at 1 PM on Friday, closing at 9 PM. Saturday hours are 9 AM to 6 PM, while Sunday hours are 10 AM to 5 PM. Pheasants Forever's eNewsletter On The Wing also contains a $10 off coupon for merchandise at the PF Marketplace at the show.
Dog owners know who really runs the family, and National Pheasant Fest is no different. The event kicks off on Friday at 1 p.m. with the Bird Dog Parade led by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and followed by 34 sporting dog breeds and their owners through the main lobby of Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center. Wisconsin DNR Secretary Matt Frank will also be on hand to get things going with the official Pheasant Fest ribbon cutting. Once inside, dogs continue to be the main attraction at the Bird Dog Bonanza presented by Native performance dog food and SportDOG. The Bonanza is everything dog related, from training tips to health and wellness. It's also an opportunity to see a collection of dog breeds like nowhere else, with 34 breeds participating. We'll have labs and pointers, but even breeds like the Deutscher Wachtelhund.
A number of outdoor personalities will be taking part in the three-day weekend. Pheasants Forever Television host Ron Schara will emcee the National Pheasant Fest 2009 banquet on Saturday night, and Dave White, Acting Chief for the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will deliver the keynote address at the banquet. Some Wisconsin boys made good will also be part of National Pheasant Fest this weekend. Xtreme Shooter Patrick Flanigan, an Oshkosh, Wisconsin, native, holds world records in the sport of Xtreme shooting and will be in the Winchester & Browning booth; and Mauston, Wisconsin, native and NASCAR driver Kelly Bires has joined Wisconsin's Build a Wildlife Area campaign. Wisconsin-based The Big Wild, America's Premiere Outdoor Radio show, will be broadcasting live from National Pheasant Fest on Saturday morning from 7-9 a.m., and The Big Wild co-host "Big Red" will emcee the Sportsman's Banquet on Friday evening.
National Pheasant Fest's presenting sponsor, Cabela's, has included some of its great outdoor products as part of the weekend. The live auction at the Saturday night banquet will include a $1,000 Cabela's Gift Certificate along with the Cabela's Optic's package that includes Cabela's XT Compact Binoculars 10x25, Alaskan Guide 3x9 rifle scope, VLR rangefinder and a Big Sky Spotting Scope kit. Those who purchase a Pheasants Forever membership at National Pheasant Fest will be entered in a special drawing for a $500 Cabela's Gift Certificate, and Fest-goers who donate to Wisconsin's Build a Wildlife Area campaign will receive $10 Cabela's gift cards.
National Pheasant Fest has something for all the senses. Renowned chef John Schumacher, also known as Chef John of Game Gourmet fame, will leave your mouth watering with his wild game cooking demonstrations in The Big Wild booth. Art enthusiasts won't want to miss the collection of talented wildlife artists, including: Scot Storm (Federal Duck stamp winner and multiple state pheasant and duck stamp winner) in the Wild Wings booth; Darrell Bush (multiple state stamp winner); and Wisconsin's Mountain Men — Scott Zoellick, Jerry Gadamus and Don Kloetzke (the trio collaborated on a painting for PF's 2006 Print of the Year). Sports fans will want to make sure to stop by booth #737 for the chance to win a pair of tickets to each of the Green Bay Packers / Minnesota Vikings matchups next season.
National Pheasant Fest 2009 presented by Cabela's will combine a national consumer show, habitat seminar series, and family event complete with puppies, tractors, shotguns, and art. In fact, the Fest promises to be the country's largest event for upland hunters, sport dog owners, and wildlife habitat conservationists. For more information, log onto www.PheasantFest.org.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 130,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.