This is the inaugural year for 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. With special thanks to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and the Ruffed Grouse Society as the area’s sponsoring partners.
Public Lands Stage Highlights
Here’s a preview of the impressive roster of speakers we’ve got slated to be speaking on the public lands stage.
Sam Soholt and The Public Lands Bus: Outdoors photographer, Sam Soholt, has spent a year traveling the country hunting public lands with his Public Lands Bus as his home. The Public Lands Bus will be on the show floor and has become an icon for protecting our treasured public lands.
Land Tawney, President & CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: Tawney is one of the most dynamic speakers in the entire conservation world. We’re delighted to have BHA as a sponsoring partner of the Public Lands Pavilion and our Build a Wildlife Area campaign at this year’s event.
--Friday at 2pm and Saturday at noon
Your Minnesota Public Lands: Outdoor News’ Rob Drieslein will be moderating a session that includes Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Project Leader Scott Glup, Clay County Commissioner Jenny Mongeau, and Pheasants Forever’s Eran Sandquist to discuss threats and opportunities to public lands in Minnesota.
--Saturday at 11AM
A Public Lands State-of-the-Union: We’ve gathered the leaders of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership for our first-ever national public lands panel discussion.
--Saturday at 4PM
Public Land Creators: Since the organization’s 1982 creation in Saint Paul, Pheasants Forever has helped to permanently create more than 200,000 acres of public land for wildlife and hunters. Additionally, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s legislative efforts have helped expand state walk-in programs throughout the country. Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s VP of marketing & communications and co-host of FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN, will help to illustrate how Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever membership has created habitat AND access for public land hunters.
Pheasant, Quail, and Ruffed Grouse Panels
Experts from around the country will be participating in panel discussions about tips and tricks for hunting your favorite birds on public lands.
- Andrew Vavra (Moderator): PF’s Director of Marketing and participated in every single Pheasants Forever public lands Rooster Road Trip since 2010.
- Travis Frank: Host of The Flush television show on Outdoor Channel.
- Tom Carpenter: Editor of Pheasants Forever Journal. "Carp" has been hunting public land roosters across the pheasant range since 1974.
- “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand: Host of FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN.
- Tim Caughran (Moderator): Quail Forever Director of Field Operations and wildlife biologist.
- John Laux: Upland gamebird biologist with Nebraska Game & Parks Commission.
- Bill White: Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
- Chad Love, Editor of Quail Forever Journal.
- Jared Wiklund (Moderator): PF & QF’s Manager of Public Relations and lifelong grouse hunter from Duluth.
- Ben Jones: President & CEO of Ruffed Grouse Society and a wildlife biologist.
- Ron Boehme: Host of The Hunting Dog Podcast.
- Nick Larson: Host of Project Upland Podcast.
--Throughout the day on Friday & Saturday
Planning your own Public Lands Rooster Road Trip:
Experts from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota will be giving public lands tips for each state throughout the day on Sunday.
- Iowa: Uriah Hansen, longtime Pheasants Forever chapter volunteer and public lands bird hunting Iowa native.
- Minnesota: Scott Roemhildt, Minnesota DNR’s South Region Director and former DNR walk in program manager and former PF regional rep.
- Nebraska: John Laux, upland gamebird biologist with the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission.
- North Dakota: Rachel Bush, PF’s State Coordinator for North Dakota and a wildlife biologist.
- South Dakota: Andrew Johnson & John Pollmann, a pair of renowned outdoors journalists and passionate public lands bird hunters.
--All day Sunday
Build a Wildlife Area Campaign
As part of the Public Lands Pavilion, we’ll be raising funds for the purchase of a new wildlife management area open to all Minnesotans. Through partnerships with the Minnesota DNR and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, we’re able to match donations from individuals and corporations. In fact, the following exhibitors in the Public Lands Pavilion have agreed to contribute 10% of their revenue from sales at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic to the Build a Wildlife Area campaign.
We invite all National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic attendees to join our effort to create a new public wildlife area during the three days of our event.
Don’t forget, world renowned public lands advocate Randy Newberg will be the keynote speaker at the Saturday night banquet, make sure to get your tickets now