Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Al Ward: National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic Great Fun for Outdoors Lovers

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Al Ward: National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic Great Fun for Outdoors Lovers

Article excerpt

Last weekend I gave my wife a break and took our grandson Reno, who lives with us, to Kansas City to the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic.

It's a candy store for big boys to shop for outdoor toys. All the gun companies were displaying their latest products. Every kind of bird dog was showcased, and some puppies were for sale. (I did not bring a puppy home -- probably a wise decision.)

A few years ago at the Pheasant Fest auction and banquet, I was the high bidder on an auction item to go to the Ithaca Gun Company in Ohio to have a 28-gauge shotgun made to my specs. I chose the walnut for the stock and forearm, and I had my shorthair Woody engraved on one side and my son Dennis' German wirehair pointer Doc on the other side -- two of our better bird dogs.

As Reno and I walked around the convention floor, we stopped at the Purina Dog Food booth to say hello to Bob West, who writes for Gun Dog Magazine. Bob used to train bird dogs. I once sent Bob my Gordon setter Babe, and he wrote an article on force retrieving. Babe was the subject of his article, and she also had a nice photo in the magazine.

Also in the booth were Delmar Smith and his sons Tom and Ronnie. Over 25 years ago, I attended a Delmar Smith seminar at Game Hill Hunting Preserve near Weston, Mo. It was a two-day seminar, and I learned more about bird dogs and training than you could imagine. Tom and Ronnie still put on a seminar around the country. If you get a chance, attend one. It will be well worth your time and money.

At the festival, many hunting operations in many different states were represented. Ken Corbet of Ravenwood Lodge and Walker Game Birds and Hunting Preserve, north of Harveyville, both had booths promoting their operations.

We were walking along and I heard, "Al. …

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