Daybreak at the ranch is a majestic moment in time as the morning sun rises from the east behind the grand oak trees along “The Parkway” and the smell of New Orleans Community Coffee brewing at the main lodge. An orchestra of nature plays its early morning country music sounds of ranch livestock, wildlife and birds beginning another day on the farm. A southern, country breakfast is served by the Ranch kitchen staff and your personal hunting guide prepares you for a productive day in the field hunting the historic Southern Bobwhite Quail or hunt in waist deep sorghum grain fields for Ringneck Pheasant or Chukar .
The pursuit of the Bobwhite Quail is an Age-Old American tradition in the Deep South. Due to the pro liferation of “progress” causing the loss of small and large family farms, this historic, traditional, 200+ year old sport has nearly become extinct. The abundant Southern Pine Plantations and farmlands are no longer the once protective home of the Bobwhite Quail. Only a handful of estates, ranches, and farms in the U.S. have invested in the preservation and development of quail and their precious, dwindling habitats. Running Creek Ranch is proud to be one of those family farms.
Our quail conservation and development program is unique to the hunting preserve industry. We do not utilize the traditional “put and take” method of Bobwhite quail hunting of pen raised birds. Our birds are purchased from two reputable, deep south gamebird farms who protect the health and wild instinct of the birds from birth to 12 weeks of age. At that critical time, we accept delivery of the birds and transport them to the Ranch. Within 12 hours after arrival, the quail are released in key locations around the Ranch with plenty of protective cover, water, and cereal grain feed seed. Approximately 10 days later, the ranch hands spreads the feed once per week at dusk throughout the heavy cover areas for protection of the coveying birds from predators. Generally, the Bobwhite will “covey-up” with 14-21 days, thereby giving them added protection and increasing their survival rate. Their releases are timed each year beginning in late August and continuing into the Spring of the next year.
Why would we not follow the traditional flight pen raising and daily “put and take” of birds just before the hunt to give the hunter the “privilege or opportunity” to harvest the agreed upon number of birds?
The answer is simple! Pen-born birds, raised in a flight pen facility, are highly suspectable to disease, ill-health, and death. Also, not being introduced into the wild until minutes, or a very few hours before a Hunt, is not conducive to coveying, nor of even flying. This method of raising and hunting birds is based primarily on economics and the lack of commitment to develop quail habitat and wild quail coveys.
Here at Running Creek Ranch, we many not be able to take you to a particular bush, treetop, or fence line that has a bird in it, but when and if our gundogs find them, you won’t have to worry about them not abruptly fleeing in flight along with others in the covey. Put simply, our quail fly hard and fast because of our programs.
We provide your personal hunting guide, excellent bird dogs, hunting UTV’s, cold beverages in the field and high-quality habitat for plentiful game. Our guides cater to every level of hunter expertise, from the most experienced wingshooter to the totally inexperienced hunter who desires to learn this classic sport.
You’re welcome to come with all of your hunting gear or without a gun, shells, hunting vests, hats or upland hunting clothing and we can accommodate you from our Pro Sport Shop where we sell or rent everything you need to make your hunt a memorable experience.
After the hunt, kick back at the lodge in front of the massive stone fireplace, soak in the cedar wood vintage water tank hot tub or socialize and share your experiences during the hunt with your hunting partners at the Cabana Bar. We can process and package your game for travel or shipping, as well as for the taxidermist.