Quail chicks are lively at Little “q” Ranch.
The Little “q” Ranch is a quail hunting preserve located at 1018 County Road outside Oxford and has been locally owned and operated since 2009. This quaint family ranch is devoted to continuing the long-standing tradition of quail hunting in the South.
Joshua Quong is the proprietor of the Little “q” Ranch and lives there with his wife and two children. As well as managing his 125-acre preserve with his family which has been operating since 2009, Joshua is an Oxford school teacher.
“My inspiration was to find a place out in the country, like the place I grew up in the Delta, to raise my family,” he said. “The quail idea started with stories of bird hunting I heard from my partner/guide Colonel Orville Robertson.”
When you take that left down a half mile gravel driveway, you enter an adventure.
Immediately upon arrival, a swift greeting from his many pointers was the first interaction that I had. I looked up to see the owner, Joshua Quong, welding on an old cotton trailer. Quong repurposes these cotton trailers that date back all the way to the 1940s into hatcheries for the baby quails.
He needed to accommodate additional room for extra quails because of the increasing numbers of clientele. These clients range from locals, family vacationers and weekenders looking to get a little more out of Oxford.
The cotton trailers are perfect, relatively cost effective, candidates for raising the quail. The carriages are large enough for the birds to learn to fly and high enough off the ground to keep out pesky unwanted guests.
The Quail are raised from chicks by Quong during the off-season. As of two weeks ago, 830 baby quail have hatched. Quong lovingly calls them his “Little devils” on his Facebook page. Once the quail are of the respectable maturity for hunting, the birds are transferred into other exhibits. Recently, he hatched 830 chicks. All of which are no more than two weeks old.
“The Bobwhite Quail is one of the most prized game birds of the South,” Quong said. “The pursuit of this elusive upland fowl epitomizes Southern gentility, sportsmanship and heritage. These qualities are only as strong as the individuals who observe them, and is host to many”
Next Quong and I rode around the property on his mule, a type of off-road golf cart, closely followed by his well-trained dogs. He offers hunting dogs for sale and proper dog quail hunting training as puppies. Although the breed has the hunting instinct, Quong trains his hunting dogs from puppies and offers private dog training as well.
Quong grows hay on his ranch. When it comes time to harvest, quail hunting is in the season. During hunting season this hay gets tall enough to harvest and provides the appropriate natural habitat for the quail released. Quong told me that he releases a certain amount of quail into the yard per hunter. When he harvests the hay he intentionally leaves strips uncut. This isolates the hiding possibilities for the birds. The strips of uncut hay that lie in his fields bear a striking resemblance to islands.
To keep up with Little “q” Ranch, visit it on Facebook at Facebook.com/Little-q-Ranch. There you can see more videos of quails hatching, learn more about Joshua Quong’s ranch or book a visit.
Gustave Delaureal is a journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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