CHIPPEWA FALLS —Andy and Erica Pfankuch, like hundreds of others, brought their dog to the inaugural Wisconsin Game Fest in Chippewa Falls on Saturday.
Their dog, two-year-old Tober, is a German wirehaired pointer, and she seemed to be enjoying seeing all the other canines.
“We wanted her to do the dock-dive, but the list was really long,” Erica Pfankuch said.
Andy Pfankuch is a grouse hunter, and Tober joins him, helping point out the birds. Pfankuch liked what he saw at the show.
“I’m big into hunting, and I wanted to see what was going on,” he said.
Bob Hulbert of Menomonie brought his yellow labs, 14-year-old Lucy and seven-year-old Belle. Both join him in bird hunting. Hulbert said he was intrigued to check out the show because people were encouraged to bring their dogs to the fairgrounds.
“It was a curiosity, and seeing what the show is all about,” Hulbert said of why he attended. “I’m pretty impressed. Hopefully it keeps building.”
Jon Pederson of Eleva brought his children, nine-year-old Hunter and 13-year-old Abigail. They spent about three hours walking around and seeing the displays.
“I liked everything,” Hunter Pederson said. Abigail said she liked checking out the puppies that were for sale.
Jon Pederson said he is a bird hunter, as well as white-tail deer. He’s been to several sport shows, and he came away impressed.
“I like this because it’s outside,” Pederson said. “It was a good time.”
One of the popular displays was Steve Porter’s Trophy Whitetail, where they had three live bucks with mammoth antlers. Dillan Porter explained that they selectively breed the animals so the bucks grow the significantly larger antlers. The animals live in a fenced-in 140-acre grounds in Lake Bronson, Minn., near Canada.
Dillan Porter was pleased with the number of people who stopped at his display and checked out their display of authentic antlers.
“The show is going great,” Porter said. “It’s really impressive for a first-year show. We’re really happy to be brought in for this.”
Event organizer Lisa Gill stood near the front gate, saying she was stunned at the sheer number of people who opted to bring their dogs.
“We’re thrilled with the crowd,” she said. “It’s better than we expected. The crowds are steady.”