West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he fondly remembers hearing the distinctive call of the northern bobwhite quail when he was a boy. Like many others, he hunted the birds well into the 1970s before they largely disappeared from the state.
Now, the governor is trying to bring back the northern bobwhite, also known simply as quail, to the Mountain State by reintroducing 21,000 of them this year in the state’s biggest repopulation campaign to date.
“I’ve missed these little rascals and lots of people have,” Mr. Justice said at a press briefing last week announcing the restoration project. A hunting diary he keeps has an entry from Christmas Eve in 1976 showing that he shot 103 quail that year, he said. “It’s a bird that has been here forever and an incredible wildlife that we need to protect and bring back.”