During the 2014-2015 avian influenza outbreaks, there was very little focus on the impact of the disease on hunting preserves and clubs. Fortunately, no gamebird business tested positive for the disease during that timeframe. Unfortunately, this led many to falsely believe pheasants could be immune. The current avian influenza outbreak has directly impacted the gamebird industry, and hunting preserves are heavily impacted this time.

Several hunting clubs tested positive in the spring, forcing their shutdown, depopulation, disposal and disinfection. In the fall, the disease struck several gamebird farms, causing severe supply chain challenges for their customers.

With hunting preserves forced to temporarily close down during the heart of hunting season, it’s clear that preserves are directly impacted by avian influenza. How to get birds, how to properly receive birds and how to protect your hunting preserve will all be a part of several presentations at the NAGA Convention in New Orleans February 6-8 at the Astor Crowne Plaza, French Quarter.

“If you run a hunting preserve, and you’re wondering what’s directly relevant to you on the convention agenda, the discussions involving supply chain issues are essential,” explained NAGA President Peg Ballou. Peg and her husband, former NAGA President Sam Ballou, operate both a hunting club and a pheasant farm and understand the challenges the disease poses for both business models.

In the past, many hunting preserves rightly felt like biosecurity protocols and disease prevention were largely a problem for gamebird farms. But 2022 has proven that supply chain disruptions and shipping protocols are a top priority for all segments of the gamebird supply chain. That’s why hunting preserves are top priority invitees to the convention in New Orleans.

Registration for the conference is $325 per person. A guest/spousal registration allows a person to attend special meal functions for those who don’t attend the sessions. The Wednesday night Awards Banquet costs $95 per ticket. Register by sending an email to rob@northamericangamebird.com, and indicate the names of the registrants, the type of registration and the tickets desired.