Posts Tagged ‘National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic’
Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Imagine it is 1961, 51 years ago. It is early evening, the dog is still wet and you and your hunting buddies are sitting around the wood stove. You put up your gear, including the guns, to dry off. The stories of the day’s success and good natured ribbing fill the air around you. Then suddenly, the stock on your favorite firearm catches fire!
I’m not sure how my Parker 16 received the burn down the stock, but regardless, my real question is how to fix it? This begs the age old question of whether to restore a classic firearm or leave it in original condition? This same question pertains to classic cars, homes or any antique. In doing the research for this article, I can tell you the question will rage on for years.
Should you decide to restore your old trusty firearm or even enhance it, there are options. Here at Pheasants Forever we have had the pleasure to work with one of the best restorers, Doug Turnbull of Turnbull Manufacturing Co. out of Bloomfield, New York. Doug has specialized in faithful and accurate restoration of vintage firearms, as well as custom work and upgrades, for over 30 years. In those 30 years Turnbull Mfg. has repaired or restored over 25,000 firearms!
The restoration and enhancement of this shotgun was exciting, but what really excited me about this project was how it was going to be accomplished. For one, Turnbull Mfg. uses the same process and techniques used by the original makers to bring these vintage firearms back to original factory condition. All checkering and engraving is done by hand, stocks are carved to exact factory dimensions, case coloring and bluing is deep and lustrous.
When he works, Doug likes to imagine that the original old world craftsmen are smiling down upon him and his crew. “The craftsmen at Turnbull Mfg. are dedicated to continuing the great gun making tradition in this country. We hope the original gun makers would be proud to see the care and attention to detail that we put into every restoration.”
Do It Yourself
One option to hiring a company to restore your firearm is to do it yourself. Start with an Internet search, where there is plenty of information. Many of the supplies you need can be found at your local woodworking store or, better yet, from PF supporters Brownell’s or Midway USA.
I chose to keep my Parker in its original condition. Every time I carry it to the field, I think of a new way that the old burn mark came to be on my gun. Perhaps someday I’ll find the answer.
In the meantime, please be sure to attend National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2013 to see Turnbull’s latest restoration and enhancement of an A.H. Fox 16-gauge.
The Pheasant Fest blog is written by Brad Heidel, Pheasants Forever’s Director of Corporate and Special Event Sales. Look for Brad’s column, “The Gun Shop,” in the Pheasants Forever Journal.
Saturday, December 31st, 2011
The serious search for “My First Bird Dog” began at Pheasants Forever’s National Pheasant Fest* earlier this year. Initially, I’d zeroed in on an English springer spaniel, but after seeing my first-ever English cocker spaniel up close and personal at National Pheasant Fest, I knew. And just before the holiday break, I picked up “Sprig,” a lemon and white female field-bred English cocker, from Thunderstruck Gundogs in Balaton, Minnesota – my first bird dog!
*Speaking now from personal experience, Pheasants Forever’s National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is the must-see event for bird dog owners or soon-to-be owners. While I didn’t purchase a pup on the spot, I gained first-hand info from an exhibiting professional dog trainer and his valuable reference on a quality breeder closer to my home. This year’s show is in Kansas City on February 17, 18 & 19.
An English cocker is the perfect fit for me: A close-working dog – check; adept in the grasslands and wetlands – check; a small breed that’s sized for my small apartment – check; and good looking to boot – check. The breeder, Mark Mercie, said, in his experience, he found females a bit easier to work with, so I heeded his advice. In fact, in the six-month lead up to getting Sprig, Mercie took many questions from Kaily, my significant other, and I on an all-too-regular basis – I can’t overstate how important this was to us. We picked her up at her seven-week mark, and didn’t have to dangle a pheasant wing or practice puppy psychology as she was the only female in the litter.
As I type this, Sprig is sound asleep on my lap. An hour before, she was treating the flesh of my hands as a chew toy. These are the highs and lows of puppy ownership, but she’ll age so quick – my day is her week, seven times faster than me – that doing anything other than simply enjoying this time is silly.
The “My First Bird Dog” series will now shift gears to the training process, with sights set on the pheasant hunting opener in 2012. The thought of this teething, 6-lb. peanut ever flushing and retrieving a pheasant is a near-foreign concept right now, with dog training like a foreign language. My puppy passport has been punched – know any good translators?
Previous “My First Bird Dog” posts:
- Introducing “My First Bird Dog”
- What I’m Looking For
- Gun Dog Experts’ #1 Piece of Advice
- Just Show Me the DOGFAX
- Why Attend a Hunt Test or Field Trial?
- What Was Your First Bird Dog?
- Stuck Between Two Litters
- Rationalizing the Sticker Shock
- Best Bird Dogs for an Apartment
- When everyone’s a Dog Expert
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Many Pheasants Forever members and pheasant hunters ask the question: Why doesn’t Pheasants Forever hold its National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in South Dakota?
With more pheasants and pheasant hunters than any state, it’s a natural and fair question. The simple answer is there currently isn’t a convention or events center in the state large enough to accommodate the size of the show, which annually includes hundreds of exhibitors and more than 20,000 attendees. But the city of Sioux Falls is debating whether to build a new events center, in part to bring National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic to southeast South Dakota.
From the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:
(Sioux Falls Mayor) Huether and city consultants gave a presentation to the council today ahead of tonight’s vote on where to build: Downtown or at the convention center. Huether said that adding 30,500 square feet of additional floor space for trade shows could help the city lure a Pheasants Forever conference to town. The conference draws thousands, but Sioux Falls hasn’t had the minimum amount of space to host the event.
“We can capture the big daddy,” Huether said.
Voters ultimately will decide whether an events center is built in Sioux Falls, and a vote could come this November.