A hunting dog puts his nose to work sniffing out quail earlier this month during a fun trial held by Lincoln Trail Quail Forever on a farm near Rineyville. Members accumulate points throughout the season, but fun trials do not count toward national point standings. “Quail Forever is dedicated to the conservation of quail, pheasants and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs,” according to the organization’s mission statement.
Judges follow in ATVs as hunters follow their dogs waiting for them to point on a quail. This field was run as “old-time trials,” having two dogs and their handlers in a field facing off to see who takes the most quail in a set time.
A hunting dog retrieves a bird to his handler, earning the duo points. In standard trials, each dog and hunter team try to bag three birds in their alloted time. They also are timed and try to take the birds as quickly as possible.