For those of us that are upland bird hunters, the name Pheasants Forever is a name we can easily recognize. They are one of many organizations that are dedicated to preserving the sport we love to partake in. What some of us may not know is they can also throw one heck of a party!
Every year, Pheasants Forever puts on the event that they call Pheasant Fest. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of it now for the last 3 years. Each year they move to a different location to try to reach as many of their supporters as possible. Each year it seems to get better and better and this year, in particular, was very special to me.
Growing up as a kid, I was the same as many: Athletes were who I looked at as who I wanted to be like when I grew up. For me there was, Michael Jordan, Sammy Sosa, Troy Aikman and my love/hate relationship with Bret Favre. As I got older and my passion for dogs blossomed, I started replacing them with the names of trainers. The interesting thing about looking up to people is that you always seem to look up to the best. So, that’s exactly who I was looking up to: the best of the best. Now, the coolest part of my job is, if you look at SportDOG’s Senior Pro Staff list that is exactly what you will find, the best! I am now on the same team as all of the trainers I looked up to in my younger days.
I have been very fortunate with where my path has led me. I can now honestly say that I am very close friends with many of the names that I once and quite frankly, still do look up to. Tom Dokken and Rick Smith were two names that as a kid I wanted to meet so badly and now I can proudly say I am very close with. This year at Pheasant Fest I was able to cross two more names off of that list by finally being able to meet Ronnie and Delmar Smith!
If you are an upland hunter or a dog enthusiast, this event is a must to try to get to at least once. The lineup of seminars on the main stage brought to you by SportDOG and Purina is reason enough to get to this event! With names like Tom Dokken, Rick, Ronnie and Delmar Smith, Rick Grant and Jim Morehouse giving you their knowledge while up on stage, you will not be disappointed. Not to mention all of the exhibitors that are there showing off their products. You are sure to leave with a bag full of goodies and a big smile on your face.
Josh Miller is the newest official member of the SportDOG team, having accepted a position as Regional Sales Manager in August of last year, but he’s been working with SportDOG™ through contract sales since 2008. Josh lives in Wisconsin and has been training dogs for the last 8 years. A few years ago, he started training his brown lab Easton to shed hunt, and the pair recently won the NASHDA World Championship. He is also the proud owner of a English Setter named Breeze.