Pheasant Fest: Guns and perceptions of Chicago

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What would get my vote for the best visual at the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic at the Schaumburg Convention Center, part of the exhibit at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources booths.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Let’s touch on guns and Chicago perceptions for this update from the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. It runs through Sunday at the Schaumburg Convention Center.

There are guns and gun give-aways all over. It is something to see James Johnson, a development officer for Pheasants Forever, holding a Benelli just inside the entrance of the show at the PF’s entrance booth.

James Johnson fundraising at the entrance to the National Pheasant Fest &amp; Quail Classic..<br>Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

James Johnson fundraising at the entrance to the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic..
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Even the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has shotguns in a stunningly designed exhibit in their section, which sprawls over several booths. That’s the photo at the top.

I think it is the coolest set-up I’ve seen at any booth at the show.

There’s a story behind it.

Tammy Miller stands with the great booth design for the IDNR at the National Pheasant Fest &amp; Quail Classic.<br>Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Tammy Miller stands with the great booth design for the IDNR at the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Tammy Miller, the special projects manager for the IDNR, came up with the idea. The fence posts, the old heavy kind, came from the family farm near Carbondale. Her grandfather Russell Smith Sr. used them to fence pasture. Her dad, Russell Smith Jr., is the one who got them to her.

“Some of the girls in the office cut the forbs and grasses,” Miller said.

The wild scene, complete with shotguns, pheasants and quail, has been quite the draw.

“We have had people come with our dogs,” Miller said. “We were worried about some of the quail disappearing.”

Not to worry too much. There will be enough of the cool scene that plans are for it be in the front of the IDNR offices in Springfield.

Speaking of guns, Syren has a well-stocked booth of guns, designed specifically for women.

The Syren booth of shotguns for women at the National Pheasant Fest &amp; Quail Classic.<br>Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

The Syren booth of shotguns for women at the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

By the looks of it, it’s a real deal.

Now to guns, gun violence, gun restrictions and perceptions of Chicago.

It has been an interesting couple days talking to people from out-of-state about guns, gun violence and guns restrictions and how it relates to their perceptions of Chicago.

Throw in the upcoming mayoral election and there have been conversations that have wandered all over.

I would say a lot of the perceptions just are skewed and out of whack, but some are spot-on. All in all, Ken Abraham and I have had some fun discussions with people.

Abraham, the big man from Schaumburg with an even bigger heart and a Pioneer chapter member, has been sitting in the Sun-Times booth with me. That way the booth is covered when I wander off to a seminar or to see the show.

All in all, it is quite the thing to have Pheasant Fest here in the Chicago area.

The Sun-Times booth (513) is just inside the entrance, right across the from the South Cook County chapter booth. Stop by. The talk and stories are flowing.


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