Hunting & Heritage  |  12/26/2022

Wander The Grouse Trail at Pheasant Fest

Photo by Mike Paulbeck

Celebrate our native grouse of both prairie and forest at this special grassroots showfloor destination


By Tom Carpenter

North America’s native grouse fit naturally into the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever habitat mission. What’s good for our namesake birds is also be good for sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chickens, sage grouse and all manner of prairie and grassland wildlife … and vice versa.

Even that Minnesota forest favorite, the ruffed grouse, with its love for young habitat and cover transition zones, nestles nicely into that equation.

That’s why you’ll want to visit booths 1004 to 1014 (right next to the public lands stage) on the 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic showfloor this year. We are calling it The Grouse Trail!

Sponsored by the North American Grouse partnership (NAGP) and onX Hunt, this is where to come to learn more about these magnificent gamebirds, the habitat challenges they face, and how our partners along The Grouse Trail collaborate with Pheasants Forever to conserve critical upland habitat. As part of The Grouse Trail, you will find:

Come to a free Grouse Trail Social Hour from 4-5 p.m. Saturday. Fill in a card showing you visited all 5 grouse booths and your name will be entered in a drawing for great Grouse Trail door prizes!

“This year’s Grouse Trail at Pheasant Fest is a special opportunity to highlight the Great Lakes region’s grassroot grouse groups while in their own backyard,” says Jodie Provost, NAGP communications director. “The region breeds grouse conservation groups like no other to conserve their local prairie and shrubland grouse populations. These small and mighty organizations, grown out of necessity to battle natural succession and habitat conversion in open landscapes, have worked steadfastly for decades.”

“The Ruffed Grouse Society will also be along the Trail,” Provost adds. “Its local chapters and staff provide complementary conservation by working to maintain healthy, diverse forests in the Great Lakes region.”

“The North American Grouse Partnership is proud to be a part of The Grouse Trail at Pheasant Fest 2023,” adds Ted Koch, executive director of NAGP. “We encompass all 12 grouse species while focusing on prairie grouse, and it’s great to be with other groups here that are the conservation leaders for particular species and regions.”

Conservation does not happen in a vacuum. Partnerships and collaboration are critical. See how the organizations along The Grouse Trail implement their own brand of conservation on the upland landscape and collaborate with Pheasants Forever to get even more done.

The 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis on February 17-19. Tickets and more information can be found at: