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Quail Hunting Alive and Well

Amid the closures of many south Georgia factories and corporations, a decades-old sport is keeping a portion of the area's economy alive. Quail hunting is a lucrative business venture, as well as a popular pastime.

"It may have started out decades ago as a sport for wealthy plantation owners, but quail hunting has blossomed into one of the biggest economic boosters in south Georgia.

"You can do a one-day hunt where you have three meals and guides with dogs, and spend $500, or you can do it for a week!" says Don Shumaker.

Thousands of people from all over the world flock to south Georgia each year to hunt quail. Hunters say the terrain and climate make it the ideal hunting destination.

"This kind of habitat is going away, and if it weren't for these kinds of places, people like me who grew up hunting quail wouldn't have a place to go do it," says David Sumrall.

Some plantations still offer wild bird hunts, but most put some of the money they make into setting farm-raised birds loose, which brings the thrill of the hunt to folks of any skill level!

"The people who live here enjoy the sport, they take care of the land, they've been able to maintain the land so people can come here and enjoy a wonderful sport."

Hunters say whether or not you have a successful day, you'll be killing two birds with one stone, you'll be having fun and keeping a part of south Georgia's history alive.

Quail season typically runs from around Thanksgiving to now, the first or second week of March. The hunt we featured Friday was held at "Red Fox Run" in Bainbridge.


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