The first half of the 20th Century might well be described as the golden age of the bobwhite. It was an era that produced some of the finest writing ever on quail hunting, thanks to the literary talents of men such as Nash Buckingham, Archibald Rutledge, and Havilah Babcock. Not surprisingly, all were staunch sons of the Southern heartland, where thanks to a happy marriage of geography, suitable habitat, and human affection for the “five ounces of feathered dynamite,” quail were plentiful and the sport’s hallowed traditions ran deep. Their evocative writings carried legions of admiring readers to December’s rising sun setting sere fields of sedge a-sparkle with millions of diamonds when it first touched the night’s layer of frost; to dogs holding fast on sunset coveys; and to mellow middays and savoring sumptuous field lunches beneath towering longleaf pines.
These writers’ tales also titillated sportsmen across the country, most notably affluent sportsmen from north of the Mason-Dixon Line with the financial wherewithal to hunt where they pleased.