“Whatch’all chasin’?” he drawled as I let my Brittany into the back of the truck.
“Quail,” I said simply, a little too gassed to make immediate conversation. I pulled three valley quail from my game vest and laid them on the tailgate.
“Sure doesn’t look like quail country to me,” he said, jerking a thumb in the direction of the creek, “and those sure don’t look like the quail back home.”
It turned out he was a transplant from Georgia, an executive for a large online company hoping to put down roots in the Northwest. To him, a quail was “Gentleman Bob,” the bobwhite immortalized by Southerners who appreciated not only its stately appearance but also its tendency to hold tight, a bird that has historically symbolized the sport of Southern gentry. He told me he had never before seen anything but a picture of a valley quail, and I admitted I had seen only one bobwhite in my life.
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