Centre, Ala. – Quail hunters and conservationists have formed the Southeast’s newest Quail Forever (QF) chapter, the Coosa Valley Chapter of QF. Starting with habitat work, the chapter hopes to rekindle an interest in quail, quail hunting and bird dogs in DeKalb, Cherokee, Cleburne, Calhoun and Etowah Counties in Alabama, and Floyd and Chattooga Counties in Georgia. “We’re a group of fellows who dearly miss the good old days of seeing, hearing and hunting the bobwhite quail,” said Freddy Reynolds of Leesburg, the chapter’s newly-elected president, “Most of our members don’t even hunt quail anymore, but they have a dear recollection of a grand tradition. We all love bird dogs and really want to do something to help future generations of folks experience ‘Old Bob’ in the wild.”
The group feels the best way to accomplish this goal is as a QF chapter. Pheasants Forever launched Quail Forever in August of 2005 to address the continuing loss of habitat suitable for quail and the subsequent quail population decline. QF chapters promote local, state, and federal conservation programs that help landowners protect environmentally sensitive acres for quail and other wildlife. They also employ the organization’s unique model of empowering local chapters with 100 percent control of the chapters’ locally-raised funds to complete habitat and youth education projects in the chapters’ own communities.
The chapter’s goals include working with individual landowners to develop quail-friendly land management practices and provide training and information to farmers, growers and others about the importance of developing and maintaining quality quail habitat. “In essence, we want to be a source of information for the public on exactly what has happened to quail populations and how we can now make a difference,” Reynolds said.
The Coosa Valley chapter has also elected Larry Maddox of Centre as treasurer, Merle Grimes of Centre as habitat chair and Philip Abney of Centre as youth/education chair. The chapter meets every first Monday of each month from September through April at 6 PM at the USDA Building on West Main Street, across from the Dari King. The chapter is holding a Bird Dog Fun Trial on Saturday, February 7th. For more information about the chapter, meetings and the upcoming trial, please contact Freddy Reynolds at (256)484-3244 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alabama is home to five QF chapters. For more information, to start a chapter or join and existing chapter, please contact Elsa Gallagher, QF Regional Wildlife Biologist, at EGallagher@quailforever.org.
Since the organization’s inception, over 110 QF chapters have formed in 25 different states. The QF mission is accomplished through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, education, and conservation advocacy.