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Great American Outdoors


The silent song of the Bobwhite!

Growing up I used to love to watch “bobwhite” on my grandfather’s farm.  It was nothing to see a covey or two on the backside of his place as I took my daily jaunts.  Seemed there was always a bird calling somewhere during the summer months.  I’ve watched them feed along under my treestand and flushed many a bird up while taking a walk through the woods.  Several family members plant food and keep cover for the chestnut colored birds.  Today, I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw or even heard a quail here in Virginia.  They have slowly disappeared like Donnie Johnston writes about.  It sure would be nice to take an evening stroll and hear the call of the bobwhite again!  For now, I’ll hold on to my memories.

“On the way to the mailbox one morning in late May, I heard a bobwhite quail calling. Three decades ago, that would have been no big deal, but these days partridges are all but extinct in my part of the world.”

“No one knows why—not the farmers that leave cover for these game birds or the hunters who long ago put away their shotguns because of the scarcity of quail or the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, which is charged with protecting them. ”

“For whatever reason, quail began disappearing about 1970. In the early 1960s, there were two or three coveys of 15-20 birds each on every farm. By 1975, a hunter was hard pressed to find a single small covey in a day’s search.”

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