Lone Star Outdoor News received this email today from Bill E. Bowles, president of Quail Unlimited.
As we began to pick up the pieces of Quail Unlimited 2 ½ years ago, and tried to determine exactly what condition QU was in, we quickly realized that this was not going to be easy.
As caring and determined members, we stood together and we overcame one obstacle after another, after another. This has been a valiant effort by everyone and we should all be proud. I would personally like to thank every member for your support. Our great staff and our great Board of Directors have stood the test and they have given their very best effort. However, the entire Board of Directors and I have made the difficult decision to cease Quail Unlimited operations and go out of business effective immediately.
I have a saying, which is really a philosophy, that I have shared with my staff since 1983.
“We never have problems. However, we will have opportunities.”
That is the case once again with our QU. There are a few large challenges that we are about to be faced with. Could we possibly overcome them? We might be able to, but it would require money that we do not have and it would be a huge distraction from our basic purpose — Quail & Youth. I’m left to reflect on how best to accomplish those goals in light of QU’s end, which leads me to recommend Quail Forever as the future of quail conservation in America.
I am reminded of a statement that my uncle shared with me many years ago.
His statement was, “Your pride can sometimes get you into trouble, and your ego could keep you there.”
We share in an obligation to our mission of supporting quail and youth. It is time for us to assure ourselves that we stay focused on our mission. It is my firm belief, at this time, that our beloved quail need us to unite our efforts.
Joe Crafton, of the Park Cities Quail Chapter of Quail Coalition, had this to say.
“We are sad to see the demise of Quail Unlimited,” he said. “For many years, QU was the leading grass-roots organization that was devoted to quail conservation, youth education, and celebration of our quail hunting heritage. It was a national organization that was in a position to lobby the government and share best practices for the preservation of the sport we all love. Good people performed countless volunteer hours to support this organization in order to participate in the mission. Toward the end of their history, the QU model proved to be flawed. Fifty percent of the money raised by local chapters went to the QU Headquarters and the staff had grown to 15, and they constructed a new Covey Headquarters in Edgefield South Carolina.”
Crafton continued, “By 2010, it was obvious that QU was bloated, mismanaged and in deep financial trouble. Taking control of our own destiny, the Texas QU Chapters dissolved, returned their modest treasuries to QU headquarters and formed our own 501(c)3 organization called Quail Coalition. Learning from the mistakes made by QU, our QC constitution allowed each chapter to control their dollars and spend them for quail projects and research in the state. Overhead is kept to a minimum with only one employee statewide who works from home, serves as director and assists chapters with all banquets, fund raisers and administrate duties. This allows the money raised in Texas to stay in Texas. Although the Quail Unlimited demise is a sad story, the good news is that Texas got out in front of the collapse and was able to put millions of incremental dollars to work and now controls its future. We welcome anyone to participate in the important work we are doing and join our 4,000 members at http://www.quailcoalition.org.”