MollyGreen.com | Fall on the Homestead | Fall 2016 30
being tossed around in a clothes dryer.
We followed the GPS tracker on his collar. The buggy climbed over fallen trees
and went down into mud holes and flattened palmettos. When we finally caught
up to him, he was so worn out that his
time to work was done for the day. We
were relieved the dog hunt was over.
It was a successful day for Grayson. He
embraced the challenge, each covey a
test of skill. Nigel taught us about the
trees, plant life, and habits of the birds
that lived in the preserve. He gave
Grayson an anatomy lesson in quail right
in the field: telling a juvenile by its wing
pattern, its gender by the coloring on its
face, and sharing the beauty of its design.
Nigel’s enthusiasm for this
bird made his
lessons enthralling for us all.
of the hunt, and
filled the camp.
complete with apple pie. There was an-
ticipation in the air as each boy was eager
to learn what the next day would bring.
That 3:30 a.m. wasn’t so bad on Sunday
morning. We were all a bit sore from the
rough ride the day before—but ready
to go again. Sunday’s excursion brought
more quail, broken-down buggies, lost
dogs, wildlife sightings, and memories
burned in our hearts.
Our weekend was over. Everyone began
packing up gear. I made my rounds
thanking each person who was involved
in such a magnificent event. Each took
time away from their families for three
days to spend one-on-one time with
They hope their
love for quail might
inspire them to
carry on an American tradition that
is being lost today.
These men and
women have a love
for the dogs that
devote their lives to
the hunt and to the
conservation of quail that are diminish-
ing fast in the wild.
Small groups of devoted people can
make a powerful difference in the future
of game hunting, one young learner at a
Upon our return home that evening, I
watched as my son fried a batch of quail
in his cast iron skillet. An overwhelming
feeling of nostalgia came over me as
memories of my childhood came full circle. Two generations later, this American
tradition is still alive, now at my dining
Holly Giles has been making
her trail in homeschooling for
seven years with her husband
and two sons. Her family can
be found in Florida’s great
outdoors when the weather is good, either in
a kayak, tent, or with a fishing pole. Holly
loves to share her real-life adventures of in-
spiration and frustration in her weekly posts