June 6, 2023

Quail Hunting Is Big Business

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Who thinks of quail hunting as big business? Not too many unless it’s Texas that you live and hunt quail in. Today, most people associate quail hunting with vice president Dick Cheney. In all seriousness, in Texas, where everything is big, quail hunting is big.

An article in the Texas A&M News describes quail hunting as being the third most hunted species in the Lonestar State but also suggests it could be much bigger.

“Quail are the third most hunted species of game in Texas, ranking behind deer and dove, based on the number of active hunters,” he said. “But quail rank fifth behind deer, dove, duck and wild turkey in terms of the number of days spent hunting. This suggests that insufficient quail habitat or the distance to suitable quail habitat restricts hunting activity for this game bird.”

I believe what the writer is suggesting is that if Texas could improve its habitat for quail, the popularity or at least the number of quail hunters would increase.

The article also examines the average hunter from Texas and in this case what a typical Texas quail hunter might look like.

“Approximately 65 percent of Texas hunters come from urban areas, so this economic impact is essentially a urban-to-rural transfer,” he said. “According to a United States Fish and Wildlife Service survey, the average Texas hunter spends more than $1,300 each year on hunting and travel amenities.”

A 2001 survey of Texas Quail Unlimited members revealed more specific information about avid quail hunters in Texas, he added.

“The typical Quail Unlimited member responding to our Texas survey was a middle-aged, affluent white male,” Johnson said. “Most were college graduates, and 42 percent reported household incomes above $125,000. They lived in rural areas, small cities and medium- and large-sized urban areas.

“The relevant point is that the average expenditure per hunter responding exceeded more than $10,000 each year on quail hunting,” he said. “That’s money spent on lease fees, dogs, vehicles, transportation, feeds/feeders/food plots, lodging, guns and ammunition, meals and other expenses. A large portion of these expenditures, averaging around 40 percent to 50 percent, are made in the destination county of the quail hunt.”

Now you might better understand why the Texas rancher and landowner might be interested in putting quail and other game species on their land and managing it accordingly.

Tom Remington