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• Recent results of the combined efforts of wildlife enthusiasts around the country indicate the northern bobwhite quail is making a slow, but steady comeback in the Southeast.
Alabama Quail Trail
In Alabama, the Quail Trail has built on the success of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in the state, attracting many sportsmen from around the country to hunting facilities located along a similar train across the state.
In South Carolina the Quail Project has drawn statewide attention and ties in nicely with the NCBI efforts in the state.
At a recent South Carolina field day, which drew over 200 quail hunters from across the state, South Carolina Quail Project Coordinator, Jerald Sholar, noted that some important myths about quail habitat were exposed by a project held in conjunction with the Tall Timbers Game Bird Program.
The Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy is based in Tallahasee, Fla., but has done extensive work in Alabama and Georgia and is now turning its attention to the quail hunting heritage in South Carolina.
Research Station and Land Conservancy is based in Florida, but has done extensive work in Alabama and Georgia and also is now turning its attention to the quail hunting heritage in South Carolina.
Speaking at the recent field day Sholar says, “This property has disproved the theory that lands in South Carolina cannot sustain huntable populations of wild bobwhites. Tall Timbers has both short-term and long-term formulas for bobwhite recovery management practices like control of invasive hardwoods and the creation of brood habitat.”
In addition to statewide efforts, individuals, like Denmark, S.C., businessman and quail hunting enthusiast Johney Haralson, have re-created quail hunting to closely simulate what a hunt of native birds was like 25 years ago.
“I’ve hunted quail all my life, and one of my lifelong goals has been to some day have a small place where I could hunt birds,” he says. Haralson, who holds leadership roles in both the South Carolina Tree Farmers Association and the State Wildlife Association, recently won the Southeastern Tree Farmer of the Year Award and came within a vote or two of winning the group’s national award.
Efforts by federal, state and individuals to bring bobwhite quail back in the Southeast is beginning to pay off. While pen-raised birds are still the norm for quail hunting, more and more farmers and landowners report an increase of native quail on their land.