Celebrity quail hunt continues - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Celebrity quail hunt continues

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  South Georgia's annual celebrity quail hunt will go on, despite serious trouble for the organization that runs it. Quail Unlimited is essentially broke.

 Co-founder and longtime president Rocky Evans resigned. It looked as if the quail habitat preservation organization would fold, but South Georgians won't let it die.

Quail Unlimited has a huge impact building and promoting South Georgia's billion dollar quail hunting industry. That's why South Georgians are determined to save it, and the Celebrity Hunt, the organization's biggest fund raiser.

Hollywood, music, and sports celebrities have been coming to Albany for 22 years to enjoy quail hunting, and raise money for Quail Unlimited. That group helps preserve and build habitat for the nation's top game bird. But this fall the organization's board found out the national office was broke.

 "The organization was in trouble and we still have a lot of work to do," said Bill Bowles Quail Unlimited President.

Bowles, the managing partner of Quail Country Plantation, was named National President three weeks ago, and his first job to save their top fund raiser, the Celebrity Hunt. Local volunteers are making sure the 23rd annual event will fly.

"They are working so hard to insure this event comes across with such quality as never before in our community," Bowles said.

The Quail Unlimited Celebrity Hunt has helped market South Georgia's quail hunting industry across the world.

 "It brings in people from all over the United States," said Lisa Riddle, President of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And also gets us coverage so that people further out are seeing what's going on in Albany, and how great the hunting is."

The celebrity hunt only has a $400,000 economic impact on the community, but business owners say events like that are vital to growth.

"Anytime you can get folks from out of town coming in spending money, and they are decide not to, you are going to worry about it," said Moe's Southwest Grill owner Mac Hare. 

Bowles says don't worry, the Celebrity Hunt will go off as planned, even expanding to five days.

"We want to make sure that the future of Quail Unlimited is handed to the next generation behind us," Bowles said.

Longtime celebrity regulars at the hunt are paying their own way to come in January, and South Georgia volunteers are working daily to make sure the hunt continues. 

Bowles is not receiving any salary as the Quail Unlimited President, trying to get the conservation organization back on wing.

The Quail Unlimited Celebrity Hunt will be held January 28th through the 30th at more than 30 plantations across South Georgia.

©2009 WALB News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  Feedback

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • The Latest: Irma weakens into a tropical depression

    The Latest: Irma weakens into a tropical depression

    Monday, September 11 2017 3:27 AM EDT2017-09-11 07:27:29 GMT
    Tuesday, September 12 2017 2:42 AM EDT2017-09-12 06:42:09 GMT
    Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.More >>
    Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.More >>
  • Sisters face drug charges in Coffee Co.

    Sisters face drug charges in Coffee Co.

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:44 AM EDT2017-09-19 14:44:52 GMT
    (Source: Coffee Co. Sheriff)(Source: Coffee Co. Sheriff)

    Krystel Merritt and Christina Maria Lott of Douglas are behind bars at the Coffee County Jail following a lengthy investigation by drug agents. 

    More >>

    Krystel Merritt and Christina Maria Lott of Douglas are behind bars at the Coffee County Jail following a lengthy investigation by drug agents. 

    More >>
  • Albany Target to hire seasonal employees soon

    Albany Target to hire seasonal employees soon

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 5:33 AM EDT2017-09-19 09:33:16 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    Nationwide, the company plans to hire 100,000 seasonal employees to help with the demand.

    More >>

    Nationwide, the company plans to hire 100,000 seasonal employees to help with the demand.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly