Quail hunters and conservationists in Arizona have formed the state’s two newest Quail Forever chapters. The Southern Arizona Quail Forever chapter, covering Pima, Cochise, Pinal and Santa Cruz Counties, and the Valley of the Sun Quail Forever chapter, covering Maricopa County, are committed to creating and improving habitat for the five species of Arizona quail, along with other wildlife.
Quail Forever is the quail conservation division of the 130,000-member national Pheasants Forever organization. Pheasants Forever launched Quail Forever in 2005 to address the continuing loss of habitat suitable for quail.
“We are excited to see Quail Forever get established in Arizona. Funds raised by those chapters can be used locally to improve quail habitat in central and southern Arizona,” said Mike Rabe, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) Small Game Program Supervisor, “The Arizona Game and Fish Department is committed to helping these volunteers deliver on both habitat projects as well as youth hunting programs, and we believe this is a win-win partnership.”
Quail Forever’s Western Farm Bill Coordinator and former AZGFD employee, Sam Lawry added, “This is a great opportunity to move forward with habitat recommendations included in the Western Quail Management Plan. This document contains on the ground habitat recommendations, so these two new chapters are well-positioned to deliver projects benefiting Arizona quail.”
Valley of the Sun Quail Forever chapter
“Arizona has some of the premier quail country in the world. People come from all over the globe to experience this type of desert quail hunting,” said Brad Olson, newly elected President of Valley of the Sun Quail Forever. “When I joined Quail Forever, I noticed the small representation of upland organizations in Arizona, so I decided to organize a chapter and give the public an opportunity to become more educated on our state’s natural resources.”
In addition to wildlife education, the Valley of the Sun chapter wants to help with the area habitat management and increase the number of youth involved in shooting sports. “We are lucky to have a large amount of federal land, but there has been an alarming decrease in the number of hunters to experience this land. Our chapter is looking forward to simultaneously helping improve habitat on both private and public lands, and we also want to increase the number of youth and adults appreciating the outdoors,” noted Olson.
The Valley of the Sun Quail Forever chapter meeting information can be found HERE. For more information, please contact Brad Olson by Emailing Brad. The chapter is actively pursuing new members and volunteers.
Southern Quail Forever chapter
“Increased public awareness and habitat restoration are the two areas our chapter looks forward to improving in Arizona,” says Jacob Young, the chapter’s newly elected President and Arizona native, “I grew up hunting in Arizona and know the amount of quality wildlife we have. We now need to effectively manage the land, so the public has an ample opportunity to use and appreciate the magnificence of wild Arizona.”
The chapter plans to work with their community to help establish increased suitable habitat for Arizona quail on both private and public lands. In addition, the chapter is a strong proponent of youth outdoor participation and plans to organize youth participation events. The Southern Quail Forever chapter meeting information can be found HERE. For more information, please contact Jacob Young at (520) 780-0300 / Email Jacob. Their first meeting will be held 7pm on Thursday, March 29th at The Steak Out in Sonoita. The chapter welcomes new members and volunteers.
“I am very excited to see Quail Forever establish these two news chapters in Arizona. In order to make this happen, a lot of people deserve credit, like Scott McClenahan, Vice-president of Valley of the Sun Quail Forever, who first contacted Sam Lawry and me and got the word out about our meetings,” said Bob Hix, Quail Forever Regional Representative, “Also, a big thanks to Brad Olson and Jacob Young for stepping up to be our presidents! I want to especially thank Sam Lawry, without his help this would have not been possible.”
Quail hunters in Arizona pursue three dominate species of quail; Gambel’s, scaled and Mearns’ quail. A fourth, the California quail, receives little hunting pressure and is found along the Little Colorado River drainage near Springerville. The masked bobwhite, a fifth species, is federally listed as an endangered species, and if still persisting in the wild, is found only on the Buenas Aires Refuge southwest of Tucson. While the state represents some of the best desert quail hunting, numbers have been negatively affected by the temperamental weather patterns occurring in recent years.
For more information on “The Habitat Organization” in Arizona, please contact Bob Hix at (303) 588-1542 / Email Bob. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Public Relations Specialist, at 651-209-4973 / Email Rehan.
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 130,000 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.