Brief History of Quail Hunting
What is it about a small brown bird that fans the flames of extremism in sportsmen? Maybe it is the civility of quail hunting that lends much of its appeal. To the gentlemen hunters it is the conversations of good companions, watching a great dog work and the outdoors that count more than the number of birds shot.
On ranches in Texas where a pasture may cover thousands of acres, practicality of covering distances, lead to customized hunting vehicles. Designs are limited only by the imagination and money. Many quail rigs are equipped with a seat behind the cab and jump seats mounted in front of the cab. Particularly in South Texas, where the weather is nice, riding outside the cab is usually comfortable and is the best way to watch dogs work, before bailing out when they go on point of the quail.
A number of custom vehicle shops around Texas specialize in building custom hunting rigs, that run the gamut from one-ton war wagons to Jeeps, Gators, Kawasaki Mules, or similar vehicles tricked out to fit the specific needs of each hunter.
You may ask yourself why don’t Texas hunters simply walk behind their dogs? Some of them do, but it is more efficient to ride, particularly in huge country where it’s a long way to the next logical cover and the deep sand of South Texas makes walking tough.
The Texas Quail Rigs are as much a tradition to gentlemen hunters as the hunt itself. Today the generation of the gentlemen hunters and their rigs are slowly dying. With the lessening of the numbers of quail, the expense of leases and guides, and the aging of a generation of traditional gentlemen hunters, there is little doubt that it is a tradition that is slowly disappearing and needed to be documented for history.