Quail Classic Bird Dog Stage Lineup Announced

141751e8-796a-4d1f-b132-39f4bd22a846 By Chad Love

There’s no lack of things to do or see at this year’s National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic to be held at the Schaumburg Convention Center February 22 -24 in Schaumburg, Illinois.

But for many die-hard upland dog folks, the Bird Dog Bonanza stage is perennially the most popular spot on the floor. 

Every year some of the best dog trainers in the world dispense a lifetime’s worth of training wisdom, and this year is no different. With a revamped seminar format designed to maximize your time and the experts’ experience, plus an all-star lineup of additional speakers, the only problem you might have is tearing yourself away from the stage to see the rest of the show.

“In the past, we’ve always done one-hour seminars,” says Karl Gunzer, professional dog trainer, senior manager of the Nestle Purina PetCare Team, and chief architect and coordinator of the stage’s seminar series. “This year, however, we’ve gone to a half-hour format. Not only does this give someone who may only have a few hours to attend time to catch a few seminars and see the rest of the show floor, the additional seminar slots give us the ability to feature some more targeted training subjects.” 

Nestle Purina PetCare is a national sponsor of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, and an annual presenter of the Bird Dog Bonanza Stage, while Purina Pro Plan is official dog food brand of “The Habitat Organization.” SportDOG brand, also a national sponsor of the organization, is teaming up with Purina again this year to present the stage.
 

SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS

“Going to this new format to address more topics and more in-depth subjects that I think will be more beneficial for folks trying to learn meaningful training tips to help them with their dog,” says Gunzer. “Last year’s veterinary topics were very well received, so this year we’re bringing in local sporting vet Dr. Dustin Babler to talk about emergency care in the field for your sporting dogs.”

Making experts available for more one-on-one time is another new feature of the Bird Dog Bonanza stage, says Gunzer. “We’re also planning more time with the experts in the Purina and SportDOG booths to give folks one-on-one time for questions and answers on specific problems.”

Shed hunting is a popular off-season activity for many bird hunters, and this year’s seminar will not disappoint, says Gunzer. “Shed antler hunting continues to be a growing sport and pastime, and we’re teaming up with the best in the business, Tom Dokken, to talk about it each day of National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic this year.”

Other highlights include Ronnie and Rick Smith talking how to choose and develop pointing dogs, Josh Miller giving insights into e-collar introduction, and a daily panel discussion/Q&A session.  
 

COMPLETE SEMINAR SCHEDULE

FRIDAY FEBRUARY22

2:00-2:30 p.m.
Training Your Dog to Find Shed Antlers
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

2:30-3:00 p.m.
Introduction to E-collars
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

3:00-3:30 p.m.
Emergency Care in the Field
Dr. Dustin Babler, DVM, Animal Hospital of Woodstock 

3:30-4:00 p.m.
Foundation Training for Pointing Dogs
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

4:00-4:30 p.m.
Selecting Your Next Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

5:00-5:30 p.m.
Sit! Steadying Your Retriever for Hunting
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

5:30-6:00 p.m.
Whoa! Steadying Your Bird Dog
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

6:00-6:30 P.M.
Developing a Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

6:30-7:00 p.m.
Advanced Pheasant Hunting Tips and Tricks
Tom Dokken, SportDOG brand

7:00-8:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion - Ask the Experts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience
The Smiths, Tom Dokken, Karl Gunzer, Josh Miller, Dustin Babler, Purina Pro Plan, SportDOG Brand 
 
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 23

10:00-10:30 a.m.
Whoa! Steadying Your Bird Dog
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

10:30-11:00 a.m.
Emergency Care in the Field
Dr. Dustin Babler, DVM, Animal Hospital of Woodstock

11:00-11:30 a.m.
Training Your Dog to Find Shed Antlers
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

11:30-12:30 p.m.
Teaching Your Bird Dog to Hunt for Dead Birds
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

12:00-12:30 p.m.
Sit! Steadying Your Retriever for Hunting
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

1:00-1:30 p.m.
Selecting a Bird Dog – Critical Decisions
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

1:30-2:00 p.m.
Advanced Pheasant Hunting Tips and Tricks
Tom Dokken, SportDOG brand

2:00-2:30 p.m.
Canine Nutrition – Myths and Misperceptions, Q&A
Dr. Dustin Babler, DVM, Animal Hospital of Woodstock 

2:30-3:00 p.m.
Whoa! Steadying Your Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

3:00-3:30 p.m.
Fetch! Teaching Your Dog to Handle Birds Properly
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

3:30-4:00 p.m.
Introduction to E-collars
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion - Ask the Experts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience
The Smiths, Tom Dokken, Karl Gunzer, Josh Miller, Dustin Babler, Purina Pro Plan, SportDOG Brand

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 24

10:00-10:30 a.m.
Training Your Dog to Find Shed Antlers
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

10:30-11:00 a.m.
Developing a Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

11:00-11:30 a.m.
Emergency Care in the Field
Dr. Dustin Babler, DVM, Animal Hospital of Woodstock

11:30-12:00 p.m.
Sit! Steadying Your Retriever for Hunting
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

12:00-12:30 p.m.
Foundation Training for Pointing Dogs
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

1:00-1:30 p.m.
Retriever Training Techniques from Across the Pond
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

1:30-2:00 p.m.
Fetch! Teaching Your Dog to Handle Birds Properly
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

2:00-2:30 p.m.
Bird Dog Fundamentals: The Critical Components
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan 

2:30-3:00 p.m.
Whoa! Steadying Your Bird Dog
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

3:00-4:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion - Ask the Experts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience
The Smiths, Tom Dokken, Karl Gunzer, Josh Miller, Dustin Babler, Purina Pro Plan, SportDOG Brand