Pine Creek Sporting Club Offers Ideal Bobwhite Quail Habitat

A recent New York Times article by James Card entitled “Restoring Tradition of Quail Hunting” hit home for Stephen Myers and the other members at Pine Creek Sporting Club, an exclusive, members-only, champions clays and wing shooting club in Okeechobee, Florida. The mantra at Pine Creek is to preserve the culture of “Old Florida”  and for members to safeguard a legacy of shooting sports for future generations. Card addresses this legacy and the disappearance of bobwhite quail in his article in which he writes:

“The mating call of the bobwhite quail provides the bird its name, a ringing three-count whistle: bob-bob-white. It is a sound many baby boomers have heard while growing up and one their children might have heard. But it is one their grandchildren may never hear. In many parts of their range — from New England to the Dakotas to Texas — bobwhites have disappeared and the sport of quail hunting has fallen on hard times.”

The problem is not hunters or predators, according to the article, but rather an issue with habitat.

“Exotic fescue, Bahia grass and Bermuda grass took hold across the United States in the 1940s. These carpetlike grasses were planted to promote better cattle grazing and edged out the native warm-season grasses that are conducive to good quail habitat. The native grasses grow in clumps, which allow the quail to hide, move and forage and are essential to their survival.”

One of the reasons Pine Creek’s specialty is southern quail hunting is because the overwhelming majority of the club’s land remains the same way it was a century ago, pristinely natural. Myers purchased the property from the Rollins family, owners of the Orkin pest-control empire. It had been untouched for decades and consisted of prime quail habitats. Pine Creek has reserved 1,100 acres exclusively for quail- and dove-hunting fields. It is perhaps the best quail hunting ranch in the south.

Pine Creek’s guides are also some of the best quail experts in the business. The club employs three full-time hunting guides as well as a dog handler who is in charge of a mix of 40 Labrador retrievers and English pointers. Using millions of his own money for land and improvements, Myers hired Mick Howells, a professional British shooter, to design his clays course, complete with a tower and five stands. Myers story was told beautifully in a Forbes profile last June.

Dan Petit, director of bird conservation for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which supports the quail restoration initiative, is quoted in the NY Times article saying, “In my family, the culture of quail hunting is as much part of our lives as barbecue, fried catfish and SEC football. It’s a part of life, a part of growing up and it’s part of what being from the South is all about.”

Myers and the members at Pine Creek could not agree more. For more information visit