Friday, May 2, 2014

Quail appreciation day upcoming - Victoria County TX

By Peter J. McGuil

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Victoria County is hosting a Quail Appreciation Day program set for May 20 beginning at the McFaddin Mercantile in McFaddin.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program at 9 a.m. Adjournment is set for 4:30 p.m. McFaddin is on Farm-to-Market Road 445 off of U.S. Highway 77 south.

The region in and around Victoria County has historically been prime quail habitat, and for generations, we've enjoyed the rich culture surrounding the hunting of wild quail. Unfortunately, we haven't enjoyed those glory days in quite a while.

The goal of this program is to offer some thought and show some possibilities being demonstrated at various sites in an effort to once again re-establish viable wild quail populations across the area.

Individual preregistration is $10 by May 12 and $20 thereafter. The fee includes lunch and refreshments. To preregister, call the AgriLife Extension office in Victoria County at 361-575-4581.

The program's keynote speaker will be Dr. Dale Rollins. Rollins is the state coordinator for the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas initiative, director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch at Roby and a retired AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist at San Angelo.

Modern-day Quail Hunting In Alabama

By David Rainer, Staff Writer

Hunting pen-raised birds is now the norm in Alabama, and there is a range of opportunities to do so, from high-end to basic.

Most Baby Boomers who love the out- doors will remember the heyday of hunt- ing bobwhite quail in Alabama, when a group of hunters with quality bird dogs might flush a dozen or more coveys in one day.

Unfortunately, that type of wild bird hunting started to fade in the mid-1980s and the slide continued at a rapid pace. Those used to hearing the male’s distinctive mating whistle in the spring and summer, long to hear that bobwhite again.

Efforts have been underway on nu- merous fronts to try to revitalize the wild population, but progress has been pain- fully slow.

For now, bird hunters must rely on pen-raised birds for any consistent action. In Alabama that means a wide variety of choices from a bare-bones hunt with birds, dogs and a guide furnished on a relatively small tract of land, to a five- star experience in a horse-drawn wagon, world-class bird dogs and a full-time chef waiting back at the elegant lodge.


Rex Clark, 55, and wife, Jacque, run High Log Creek Farm and Hunting Pre- serve near Hatchechubee, Ala. It’s the Clarks’ intention to serve up old-fash- ioned quail hunting with horse-drawn wagons and a kennel full of champion bird dogs. When the hunting is finished, the Southern hospitality spills into a luxurious lodge with a gourmet chef.

“We’ve been doing this for 12 years,” said Rex, who is also a cattle rancher. “I’ve quail-hunted all my life. And quail hunting in Alabama has almost become a thing of the past. There are very few wild birds left.

“I still run a plantation, too, where they’re hunting wild birds. There are several places around still hunting wild birds, but not many.”

Like most outdoorsmen of his era, Rex remembers well when Alabama had an abundance of wild bobwhites, especially in central Alabama, where Union Springs is known for its bird dog field trials.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

NJ Quail habitat coming back

Written by Cody Glenn

DOWNE — Through open fields and hedgerows around his native Heislerville, Rick Brown has fond memories of hunting bobwhite quail with his father.

“It sure was challenging,” said Brown, 36. “They’re small, so they’re hard to find, much less to shoot. And the meat is small too, but it’s good.”

That was 25 years ago, when Brown was barely old enough to hold his gun steady. He hasn’t been able to take aim on the game birds since then because their population has decreased so sharply here.

Earlier this month, sportsmen like Brown joined in a large work party of 60-people strong organized by South Jersey Quail Project on US Silica Land off Dragstown Road in Port Norris to ready the land so the quail can hopefully return back to healthy levels here.