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Quail Stocking Program Set To Release 20,000 Wild Birds In W.Va.

 A quail pen on display during Gov. Jim Justice's announcement stream Wednesday afternoon.
WV Governor's Office
A quail pen on display during Gov. Jim Justice's announcement stream Wednesday afternoon.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is beginning a program to restock quail in the state’s wild areas.

Stocking is the process of raising birds up to a certain age before releasing them into a designated habitat. A total of 20,000 quail are set to be stocked in seven locations around the state through October with 12,000 already having been released since August.

Those locations include:

  • Cross Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • Huttonsville State Farm Wildlife Management Area
  • Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area
  • Frozen Camp Wildlife Management Area
  • Laurel Lake Wildlife Management Area
  • Greenbrier State Forest

The program, called the “Governor’s Quail Stocking Initiative,” is of personal interest to Gov. Jim Justice, who is an avid fowl hunter. He said he hopes to see a regeneration of 10 to 30 percent in the state’s population.
“It's a cheap way of introducing quail back into West Virginia, and a very hopeful way of getting significant regeneration,” Justice said. “And then off we go.”

Quail used to be a common sight in West Virginia, but habitat loss starting 50 years ago saw a massive decrease in their numbers. A previous attempt was made to reintroduce quail to West Virginia in 2020, releasing wild birds from Texas at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan County.

Eastern Panhandle Reporter, ssnyder@wvpublic.org, 304-449-4653

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