Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

The Covey
A Bobwhite Quail System

The Covey is an alternate farm and open land wildlife management group with interests in quail but also in songbirds, woodchucks, and small game in general. Although there are few quail in the region (as compared to Piedmont-Virginia), there are huntable populations and they are an important bird within the interests on biodiversity and general quality of life. The Covey operates a membership with newsletter and seeks to demonstrate intensive management of farm game, showing maximum populations. These population levels (with computer models describing natural differences) are then suggested as reasonable alternatives and limits and thus limits to cost-effective expenditures. Such limits are poorly known and those that are available are rarely used.

A set of alternative management strategies is available and these, along with innovative work, will be conducted on Pivotal lands. Practices and strategies found successful may then be suggested for other lands.

Similar to The Deer Group, The Raccoon Group, and The Wild Turkey Group, The Covey is a single-species approach to wildlife management.
Bicolor , a bush lespedeza, Lespedeza bicolor, has been a favorite plant for quail. Recommended for edges, it produces substantially more seed when open grown.
While in favor of multiple-use and ecosystem management on public land, its staff advances the concept that people wanting maximum benefits from a resource must concentrate on that resource and find its upper limits, then gradually and conservatively back off of that limit to meet other objectives for wildlife and other resources. We start with quail, then decide how much it will cost over the long run to achieve other objectives on the same land (and adjacent lands).

The group publishes books and photographs for profit on quail, conducts tours and field trips, sponsors special hunts, conducts public lectures on quail-land management, establishes survey routes, and provides expert consultation for land owners. It cooperates where feasible with others interested in quail but offers an alternative that is very field-oriented.
Looking for something different for breakfast?
Try quail eggs.
They have all the nutrition of chicken eggs but less cholesterol.
Place hard-boiled quail eggs in salads for a special treat.
Pickled quail eggs are a cocktail-hour favorite.
Ask for Rural System quail recipes.

Pickled Quail Eggs
Hatchery quail eggs, Water, Salt,Vinegar (white), Kroger or other pickling spice, Onion or other flavoring optional

Put eggs in pot and cover them with cold tap water with about 1/2 cup salt and 1 ounce vinegar per gallon of water. Boil for approximately 3-5 minutes. Test for solid yolk by breaking 1 egg after 3 minutes. Stir eggs a few times while they boil to keep yellow (yolk) in the center. When done, put eggs in very cold water, then in white vinegar for 12 hours.

Peel eggs (strip membrane). Place in jars. Mix 1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 water, 1 cup salt per gallon solution, 1 box pickling spice per gallon and small amount of onion, if desired. Bring to a boil and pour over eggs in jars. Seal. Let stand at least 2 weeks before eating.

Perhaps working with "Quail Unlimited", this group operates a quail management demonstration area, a dog trial area; sells publications, art, sculptures, and photographs; and operates a quail hatchery and "game farm", selling quail and quail eggs to specialty restaurants. Staff present seminars, hold dog trials and related seminars, sell hunting-dog related art and carvings, and seek grants for studies likely to provide new insights into wild quail population increase or stability of profits. The objective is sustained profits from the quail resource and things closely related to it.

Quail have declined in some areas of the state because of radical changes in land use, human occupancy, pesticide use, and increase in specialized predators. They can be abundant on areas where the conditions are right, made so by the intensive work of wildlife managers. Not a "multiple-use" program, unusual patterns of land use and use rotation are required. Wishing for the return of high quail populations or expecting land-use reversals is normal ... but the probability of that working (wishing) is very low. Building on some progress already made with the state programs in quail management, this program demonstrates on the land the high productivity of quail that can be gained with superior management.

See The Covey Card as a marketing tool.

See also GPSlips for marking areas of quail flushes.

Development costs are $40,000
Estimated annual returns at the end of the 6th year:
Low - $3,000
Mod - $10,000
High - $20,000
Perhaps you will share ideas with me
about some of the topic(s) above at

Maybe we can work together
... for the good of us all
... for a long time.

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