Got a note from reader Joe Adams about my story recounting my husband’s first Christmas at Nightengale Farms, which you can read here. He enjoyed the piece (though he’s worried I may get some negative response to it). Seems pen-raised quail don’t make the best prey for multiple reasons.
The piece brought back similar memories from one of my hunting episodes. We shot pen-raised birds on a bitterly cold day along the Red River. A temperature in the teens and strong north wind caused continual eye tearing, but the pheasants and chukars flushed reasonably well during the initial session. Later in the morning, our attention turned to the quail which had also been released in the pre-dawn hours. Walking one field, I could see a quail standing like a lone sentinel on a rock still quite a distance away. I was surprised when it failed to fly as I moved within shooting range, and then even as I walked alongside. Upon nudging it with my boot, the frozen quail fell over stiffly on the rock—apparently pen-raised birds do not possess the cold weather survival skills of their wild brethren.–Joe Adams