I grew up in Virginia in a better time when the standard quail hunting protocol involved cruising the countryside in search of promising hedgerows and briar patches.
The birds were wild, often plentiful and, since we didn’t have enough money to join a high-dollar hunt club, it worked out well. We’d find the landowners the day before and assure them that all gates would be closed, no livestock would be liberated and, if needed, we were available to help with any heavy lifting or grunt work as repayment.
We didn’t have dogs, just a good sense of where bobwhites like to hang out and we could always find enough rocks and sticks to scare them out of a brush pile or berry thicket. I’ve since never been without at least two setters, both English and Gordon, and it sure makes it easier to locate a covey or two.
Many years later, I was quail hunting with a group of locals in north Alabama when they remarked that there just weren’t as many quail as there were several years before. They knew where to find every covey in the county and they did their best to kill them all. Hmmm…wonder where the quail went? Had they left half of the covey intact, there would be plenty the following season. Very few folks in the U.S. brag about the abundance of quail in their areas. I suppose that, if you do have a boatload of quail in your neck of the woods, you’d want to keep that to yourself.
VIDEO: This video illustrates how to stuff and cook quail. In the video, I used quail with the rib cages removed for easier stuffing and eating. Your quail will more than likely have all of the skeleton intact (and a pellet hole or two). No worries. Unless you’re adept at boning out a quail, go ahead and stuff without boning. The recipe also calls for rabbit-rattlesnake sausage, but any sausage will do.