Pheasant Lovers Pick Omaha

Wildlife and hunting enthusiasts from around the country are expected when Pheasants Forever holds a convention at Qwest Center next year, the organization's chief executive officer said Friday.

The nonprofit group will hold its national board meeting during the Jan. 14-16 National Pheasant Fest and the Nebraska and Iowa chapters will hold their state conferences at the same time, Howard Vincent said.

About 1,200 Pheasants Forever members were expected out of those groups and as many as 25,000 others could come for the speakers, 400 vendors including dog trainers and gun companies, as well as other activities, Vincent said.

The first Pheasant Fest was held last year in Minneapolis, and the high turnout convinced the group it should hold a national convention every year, Vincent said.

The festival could generate about $3 million in economic benefit to the Omaha area and it could be the largest convention ever held in the city, said Sonny Mares, executive director of the Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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