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The Quail Quest Starts in Nebraska

Pheasants Forever’s Bob St.Pierre and his German shorthair pup, “Izzy,” with a trio of public land Nebraska bobwhites. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

The opportunity to hunt quail in Nebraska and Kansas has been one of my favorite aspects of the Rooster Road Trip over the last three years.  As I’ve blogged about many times, I grew up hunting ruffed grouse in the “Northwoods,” and when I encounter a covey of bobwhites I can’t help but draw similarities to ruffs.   Both birds only give you a split second opportunity and their flush is often heard before viewed.

There are definitely unique aspects of bobwhites too.  A bobwhite’s covey rise is a whirl of motion challenging the wingshooter to select a single bird without falling into “flock shooting,” in which you simply look at the entire flock without properly aiming at an individual bird.  “Flock shooting” will almost always result in a miss.

However, it’s the sound of a bobwhite’s covey flush I enjoy most about the bird.  Unlike the chainsaw-like explosion of a ruffed grouse or the cackling bad-ass attitude of a ring-neck, a bobwhite covey sounds like twenty throwing stars whirring threw the air if an army of ninja warriors had just entered the scene to fight Chuck Norris.  (Obviously, Chuck Norris could triple on bobs with one shot).

So with each visit to “quail country,” my affinity for bobwhites grows more intense.  As today’s Nebraska hunt produced more coveys than ring-necks, my mind started to wonder about the public land quail hunting version of the Rooster Road Trip.  I can pretty easily come up with Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas as four states on a hypothetical Quail Forever “Quail Quest,” but the fifth state is a bit debatable.  Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama are all conceivably doable based upon geography, but I have not personally experienced a quail hunt in any of these states.

What do you think the fifth state on a “Quail Quest” would be for the best public lands quail hunt?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

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