Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to hunt quail. That word — “hunt” may be a bit misleading. I’ve shot pen-raised quail, which is a far cry from earlier hunts two or three decades ago when our part of the world actually had a good population of wild quail. If you grew up in the country as I did, your dad, your granddad and all your neighbors had a truck patch where peas, corn, tomatoes et al were grown. Chances are there was a fence row around the patch left uncut where native weeds and grasses flourished. Many times I’ve gone out to the family garden and flushed a covey of quail from their fence-row living quarters.
Today, the fence rows around those old truck patches and gardens have largely disappeared. We no longer wake up to the clear crisp “bob white” of quail calling from the fence row. For sure, it’s not just the loss of habitat that has caused quail numbers to plummet throughout the south; other factors such as fire ants, pesticides, overall land use changes, etc. are also prime suspects causing the decline.
Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz has been challenging his team to stay humble, stay hungry and always keep working. That has been the message delivered to the team throughout spring practice including in the two-hour practice session at Joe Aillet Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Last season’s mantra to the team was the faceless opponent where the Bulldogs needed to only worry about themselves and execute their game plan to find success. In nine instances it worked like a charm and delivered a divisional title and bowl trophy.