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Points in the Panhandle photography by Russell graves

Just a few years ago in some areas of the Lone Star State, bobwhite quail numbers were so depressed that many observers thought they would never rebound. A sustained drought had persevered all the way through 2014. The following spring, however, ample rains returned to the Texas Panhandle and Rolling Plains. Bobwhite quail numbers exploded, and quail hunters—at least in this region of the country—have been reaping the reward.
On this day at a private ranch in the Panhandle’s Canadian River breaks, hunters pushed an unbelievable 50 coveys in a single day. And that’s unguided! With pointers leading the way, the lucky group got a taste of what bobwhite hunting used to offer in so many places across the South: hard flushes, fast flights, and lots of them. But 50 coveys in a single day? Fifty? Well, that’s one way to know whether the drought has ended.

In 2016, rebounding bobwhite quail numbers in the Texas Panhandle offered plenty of photographic opportunities for Russell Graves, who was hunting private land during January for all wild birds.

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Gray's Sporting Journal MMN
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photography by Russell Graves