Chris Theisen (our farm’s production manager) and I flew down to Charleston, South Carolina this past week to attend the NAGA convention. The convention went well – I learned a lot. Unfortunately the convention was not very well attended – just over 100 people registered.
From the comments I heard from the attendee’s, most were happy with the speakers and the topics – so hopefully they will go back home and brag up the convention to their friends, and more people will attend in 2012,
I went out to dinner in downtown Charleston three nights in a row. The first night I went with John and Sharon Metzer – John is the past President of the NAGA and breeds ducks large scale in California. The second night I went with Jeff and Donna Oakes – Jeff is the general manager and part owner of Flint Oak Ranch – the largest gamebird hunting operation in the U.S. located in Kansas, Lindsay Waddell – the chairman of the U.K. Gamekeepers Association (they have 15,000 members!!) and Pat LaBoone – a longtime friend and world renowned high end shooting instructor. The third night I went with Brian Beavers – the next generation now running Beavers Game Farm – a large commercial pheasant operation in southwestern Kansas and Russell MacClennan – the owner and manager of the Bluffs of Valhalla – a commercial hunting operation located near Denver.
The opportunities available to me in being able to talk to such successful and knowledgeable people is just incredible. Chris and I spent three days at the convention and I came back with a list of ideas to investigate.
In addition, at the auction at the banquet on the closing night – I continued my run of winning prizes at the NAGA convention – this time winning a Ruger over/under Red Label 20 gauge shotgun. The gun is beautifully engraved with the NAGA logo. The auction brought in over $20,000 to the NAGA – to be used for scholarships and research.
If any of you would like to know more about the NAGA go to www.mynaga.org.