Local groups in Clinton & Woodward looking to elevate the status of bobwhite quail in Oklahoma to their former glory
Officially known as the Washita River (Caddo and Custer counties) and Covey Rise (Woodward, Harper, Ellis, Major and Dewey counties) Chapters of Quail Forever, the new committees are devoted to working with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and other partners to create habitat improvements for bobwhite quail and increase overall numbers of this iconic upland game bird.
“We are seeing resurgence in our quail hunting heritage with roadside surveys indicating a 66 percent population increase in the last year for bobwhite quail. We’re hoping for another year of weather conditions that are beneficial for quail production,” said Laura McIver, Quail Forever’s regional field representative in Oklahoma. “The individuals who formed the Washita River and Covey Rise Chapters of Quail Forever are tied to the history of this amazing bird. I look forward to seeing these chapters evolve in their respective areas of Oklahoma – both groups are touching the heart of Sooner quail country. ”
The formation of two Quail Forever chapters in Oklahoma comes at a crucial point for the state’s quail population. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reports an estimated 35,000 hunters harvested over 400,000 quail during the 2014 season, a sharp increase compared to previous years (hunters bagged only 116,000 quail in 2013). Building on this upward trend for quail numbers, the newly-formed chapters hope to work closely with state agencies and other partners to positively impact quail populations.
Washita River Chapter of Quail Forever
The Washita River Chapter of Quail Forever has elected Larry Meeks of Clinton as president, Donnita Pitzer of Foss as treasurer, and Kurt Meeks of Clinton as secretary.
The chapter will hold its next meeting on Thursday, May 28, at 6:00 p.m. at Montana Mike’s Steakhouse in Clinton (2020 Lexington Ave. – Clinton, Oklahoma 73601). Hunters and conservationists interested in joining the chapter as a volunteer are encouraged to attend.
For more information about the chapter or to become involved, please contact chapter president, Larry Meeks, at (580) 323-0143 / email
Covey Rise Chapter of Quail Forever
The Covey Rise Chapter of Quail Forever has elected Dusty Cole of Sharon as president and Sue Selman of Buffalo as treasurer.
The chapter will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum in Woodward (2009 Williams Ave. – Woodward, Oklahoma 73801). Hunters and conservationists interested in joining the chapter as a volunteer are encouraged to attend.
For more information about the chapter or to become involved, please contact chapter president, Dusty Cole, at (580) 216-0779 / email.
Quail Forever in Oklahoma
Quail Forever is the quail division of Pheasants Forever. Oklahoma is home to nine Quail Forever chapters, and nearly 1,000 members of “The Habitat Organization.” For more information about Quail Forever in Oklahoma, contact Laura McIver at (907) 750-2600 / email.
About Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $577 million on 475,000 habitat projects benefiting 10 million acres nationwide.
For more information, please visit www.QuailForever.org.