Sporting Classics’ Brian Raley, Trent Morgan, and I are on the road back to South Carolina today after attending the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. The three-day show was held in Kansas City, Mo., in the Kansas City Convention Center. Final attendance count for the 2016 show: 20,682.
The 2016 Pheasant Fest was the first for Sporting Classics. We attended as a Bronze Level sponsor and instantly knew we were among friends. We had dozens of new subscribers come forward, sold copies of books like Classic Carmichel and The Legendary Hunts of Theodore Roosevelt, and had passersby tell us how much they enjoyed Sporting Classics Daily. A great show to say the very least.
Among the many attendees to this year’s show were Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Midway USA’s Larry Potterfield, conservationist Shane Mahoney, and Outdoor Channel’s Lee and Tiffany Lakosky. We also got to meet up with one of our writers, Chris Madson, who has an article on the ethics of meat hunting in the new March/April issue.
There were tons of great seminars, gundogs galore, and firearms from several manufacturers.
Among the modern gunmakers were the L.C. Smith and Parker shotgun collector clubs. The collectors did all the attendees a service by bringing out unique firearms that many might not have seen otherwise.
Parker’s Charlie Herzog brought by a particularly rare piece for us to drool over: an AHE-grade 16-gauge Parker. The gun features 32-inch barrels made of Damascus steel.
Herzog found the gun in a Vermont friend’s closet and was able to buy the gun 20-some-odd years ago. Since then he has learned everything he could about the gun’s life, and recently had a custom gun case built to fit it.
“It’s an ejector gun. That’s unusual for a Damascus gun to have,” Herzog said. “It’s heavily engraved, deeply engraved, Germanic-style engraving.”
According to Herzog, the man who owned and presumably hunted with the Parker was a Texan named William Clemmons, of New Braunsfels. He is believed to have ordered the gun in 1914 before passing in the 1920s.
A man deeply involved in the public life of his town, Clemmons shared more than just a shotgun with Charles Parker: Both men were responsible for bringing running water to their respective cities.
Fellow Parker collector Bruce Day also treated us to a classic gun. Day visited the Sporting Classics booth with his 20-gauge Parker.
We’ll be back in the office tomorrow Lord-willing, but in the meantime I’m able to work on the Daily thanks to our new WordPress site. Like the wider format of the print magazine, this new tech allows us to continue bringing our readers an ever-better experience. Be sure to bookmark the new site on your mobile devices and update your saved tabs on your computers to access the Daily directly.
Pheasant Fest varies its location each year to allow upland hunters from a wide range of areas to attend. The 2017 show will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., so start making plans now to be part of the largest bird hunting show of its kind in the United States!