25th Annual Upland Bird Extravaganza
Stephenville Evening Lion’s Club
Wow! Is it really going to be our 25th annual event? Started in 1996, the Upland Bird Extravaganza is an event that is looked forward to by countless citizens of Erath and the surrounding Cross Timbers area. Every year the event provides a place for people to share their love of the outdoors and amazing food. Initially hosted at Horton Ranch by Ed Horton, one of the founders of the UBE, the event has garnered significant attention every year, gaining more and more attendees. Started as a small fundraiser to raise money for the Boy Scouts, the event is now a large contributor to a variety of youth organizations. Well over 1 million dollars has now been raised for a variety youth organizations throughout the county, and it all started from a simple idea by a group of local bird dog enthusiasts.
This idea, formed by Mr. Horton and his hunting friends Ron Burk, Calvin Hudson, James Wood, Gail Warren and Robert Hendrix was a friendly competition with three events: Retriever Trials, Pointer Trials, and a Multi-Station Skeet Shooting. And thus, the Upland Bird Extravaganza was born! Each year as the Upland Bird Extravaganza has been held, the events have slowly gravitated away from the bird dog competitions and have centered around various shooting sport events such as: Multi-Station Skeet Shooting, Business/Corporation Skeet Shooting, Individual Skeet Shooting, 5-stand, Sporting Clays, and Covey Flush Competition. Initially held at Horton Ranch, the event has been moved to Rough Creek Lodge just outside of Glen Rose to facilitate the larger crowds that gather each year. For over 20 years now, the Horton Ranch, Preferred Properties of Texas, Tanglewood Pharmacy and Medical Supplies have helped to nurture the Upland Bird Extravaganza. The Upland Bird Extravaganza has also evolved its non-competitive fun from a BBQ dinner and Social to include a Wild Game Dinner at City Hall at City Limits, silent auctions, and a “Rell of a Haffle!” Every sponsor and participant involved play an important role in helping this event give back to our community’s youth.
Over the years, the Upland Bird Extravaganza has been blessed with many local sponsors, and due to these charitable businesses and individuals the Evening Lions Club has been able to help organizations such as, Angel Tree, Fosters Home, Pasture to Packer, 4-H, FFA, The Stephenville Soccer Association, Back Pack Buddies, SHS Outdoor Class, TSU Wildlife Society, Stephenville HS Bass Club, as well as Boys & Girl Scouts of America. Because of this events success the Upland Bird Extravaganza the Stephenville Evening Lions Club adopted it and made it their sole fundraising event. More than $200,000 is raised each year and donated to many youth programs. These programs vary from ones that assist in funding activities which allow kids to learn about livestock and agriculture, to the Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department that puts on youth sport events and many others. Since 2014, they have been able to play a big part in the Stephenville Independent School District’s Education Foundation that helps fund our teachers so that they may afford the supplies necessary to teach. The Upland Bird Extravaganza has grown over the years, and the members of the Stephenville
Evening Lions Club have raised a tremendous amount of money and helped countless kids in the process. It’s been a lot of work, but well worth it to see the results. And it continues to show every year with all the generosity that sponsors and attendees of the UBE show for this fun event. In the end it all comes back to the kids, to helping to get them active in outdoor activities and supporting the leaders of tomorrow. This has always been the focus of the Upland Bird Extravaganza from the start. And why do we do it? Ed Horton probably said it best, “Because these folks believe in the youngsters of the future.”
This year’s shoot is on 3/28/2020 at Rough Creek Lodge and the dinner is on 4/3/2020 at City Hall @ City Limits.