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BY Brad Fitzpatrick on Oct. 01, 2010

Return of the Natives

 Thirty years ago the sound of bobwhite quail chattering at sundown was so common in western Kentucky that many residents learned to ignore the almost constant song.  But during recent years the cry of the quail has become far less common across the South and Midwest. “I used to come home after work and hunt quail until sundown in the fall,” says pointing dog trainer Bobby Eddings, of Marion, Kentucky.  “I’d find several coveys each evening…Not anymore.”
 Across the eastern United States quail numbers have dropped dramatically in recent years.  In many parts of the country that were once rich with quail the species has disappeared altogether.  Quail hunting was once a tradition in many farming families.  Hunting was also a lucrative business in many rural areas. Hunting lodges provided jobs and much needed revenue to the countryside.  When quail numbers were at their highest in the 1960’s and 1970’s it seemed that the call of the bobwhite would never fade.

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