At least half million raised for quail by PCQ

 QUAIL1An estimated half a million dollars for quail research was raised Thursday night at the 2012 dinner and auction of Park Cities Quail in Dallas.

The event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum near Dallas Love Field attracted more than 1,000 people who spent an average of $380 to attend. They opened their checkbooks for raffle, silent and live auction items.

Also, entrepreneur, conservationist and avid sportsman Ted Turner was presented with PCQ’s T. Boone Pickens “Lifetime Sportsman Award.”

While proceeds from the event were still being tallied Friday, PCQ officials reported that the auction exceeded the $500,000 mark.

The money will fund PCQ’s mission of research and education to help restore the quail population, and will benefit the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Roby.

Joe Crafton, PCQ’s co-founder and chairman, announced that the group funded the first complete sequencing of the bobwhite quail genome — which has been called a scientific breakthrough and an important tool for researchers.

Crafton said the Bobwhite Genome Project (BGP) would work hand-in-hand with Operation Idiopathic Decline, which is the research ranch’s ongoing effort to determine if diseases are contributing to quail decline.

The genetic information may help researchers to find certain lineages or populations of quail that are more disease resistant.

A report on BGP is in the latest issue of Lone Star Outdoor News. Click here to read the article, which is on Page 5.

“We are very excited,” Crafton said. “Later this year, we plan to openly share the genome with all research organizations. Future generations will likely benefit from the research derived from this important project.”

Among this year’s auction offerings were: a quail hunt at Turner’s Ladder Ranch in New Mexico along with a Beretta Royal Pigeon Shotgun; a trip for six to England with rock legend, sportsman and conservationist Steve Winwood; a fly fishing trip for Peacock Bass in the Amazon; and a dinner for 10 in your home by chef Kent Rathbun.

The chef took the stage and doubled the prize, offering up a second dinner, which added $30,000 to the evening’s live auction.

After accepting the award, Turner took the stage with T. Boone Pickens to share quail hunting stories, laughs and reiterate the importance of conservation. WFAA meteorologist Pete Delkus acted as master of ceremonies and moderated the chat between Turner and Pickens.