Pheasant group to gather in Minneapolis

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2012 - 9:42 PM

A pheasant flew above hunters in Prior Lake.

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

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Pheasants Forever, the national conservation group founded in St. Paul in 1982, will bring its annual Pheasant Fest to the Minneapolis Convention Center next year to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The organization of more than 130,000 members nationwide (including 9,000 members of its affiliate group, Quail Forever), announced its plans in Kansas City, where it is concluding its 2012 Pheasant Fest this weekend.

"Minnesota is where Pheasants Forever started, and it's appropriate that our 30th anniversary be celebrated there," said Joe Duggan, the group's vice president of corporate relations.

Pheasant Fest was last held in Minnesota in 2008. Attendance during the three-day weekend event at RiverCentre in St. Paul was 29,802, highest of any Pheasant Fest.

"We have more than 24,000 members in Minnesota, the most of any state, and we expect another record crowd next February at the Convention Center," said Bob St. Pierre, PF vice president of marketing.

The anniversary show will consume 175,000 square feet of the convention center. "We're at 140,000 square feet in Kansas City, and the show is sold out," St. Pierre said.

Featured at Pheasant Fest are travel, shooting, dog and wild game cooking exhibits, as well as habitat planting and enhancement demonstrations.

Pheasants Forever last year raised more than $50 million. Uniquely among wildlife groups, it leaves most funds raised by its 740 chapters at the local level for habitat work.

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