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Pheasants Fest and Quail Classic balances sport with conservation

Posted at 7:06 AM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 08:06:55-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — This year’s Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic came to the CHI Health Center downtown this weekend.

Organizers called the expo show the largest upland outdoor event in the world, and with more interest in hunting, they can likely only expect more interest.

“We haven’t had it in Omaha for quite a while, so it was our turn to host it here in the state,” Kelsi Wehrman, Pheasants Forever coordinator for Nebraska said.

Wehrman said she expected 25,000 guests at Sunday’s event alone. She added many are discovering hunting as a family activity.

“With covid, a lot of people were looking for reasons to go outside and looking for something to do,” Wehrman said. “Hunting license sales have been up the last couple years and more people are enjoying the outdoors than ever.”

The spike in interest has also led to a spike in revenue for all things hunting. Wehrman said over $100,000 was raised for the public access program Open Fields and Waters.

The Classic is putting the revenue toward efforts to ensure more hunting in Nebraska.

Pheasants/Quail Forever puts on the classic expo each year and conservation efforts play a key role in keeping hunting seasons alive.

Business owners in the hunting world like Jon Zinnel, conservation manager with Federal Ammunition, said they want to do everything they can to help.

The goal for the organization is to conserve Pheasant and Quail populations and keep hunting alive for the next generation.

"Hunting is really important,” Wehrman said. “We have lots of generations that hunt together.”

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