A grand night for quail

aaquailPark Cities Quail held its 2013 Dinner and Auction last night at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, and the big winner was Texas quail.

Nearly 1,000 attendees met before dinner to have a cocktail or two, view the silent auction items, see old friends and make some new ones.

As the guests settled in to a steak and grilled quail dinner, T. Boone Pickens introduced the night’s guest of honor — A.V Jones Jr., who received the T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsmen Award.

Past winners include Ray Murski, Ted Turner and Ray Sasser.

The Albany oilman gave a heartwarming speech about growing up chasing quail in Shackelford County.

“He called his grandkids the names of his birddogs,” said one of Jones’ grandchildren in the introduction video. “We always knew where we stood with him by which of the dog’s names he used.”

Jones said when he was a young boy, he thought the quail would be around forever.

“I hunted Shackelford County as a kid,” he said. “God created Shackelford County as he wanted it and put a covey of birds under each bush. I thought it would be that way forever. I was wrong.

“I am honored to represent quail hunting everywhere and we are concerned.”

Proceeds from the auction will go toward conservation programs throughout Texas to help struggling quail numbers, which received a big boost when one attendee paid $140,000 for a 3-day quail hunt with T. Boone Pickens on his ranch.

In the past six years, PCQ has raised more than $2.7 million for Texas quail.

Final numbers have yet to be determined, but Texas quail certainly will benefit from last night.