Local hunting enthusiasts have a great resource in Quail Haven Hunting Preserve, owned and operated by Lloyd Knox and his wife Tamara, both 74. In addition to quail hunting, the preserve, which is on about 100 rustic acres in Harmony, also offers skeet shooting, a pistol range and field trials where you can test your hunting dog’s abilities, Quail hunting season is in full swing until the end of February.
On trying something new: After Lloyd Knox’s health problems forced him to close his Mooresville-based home renovation business, the couple bought over 100 acres in Harmony in 2004. Lloyd turned a hobby into a business, Tamara Knox says. The couple hatch and raise their own quail for the preserve, and also sell quail to other preserves.
On revisiting an old pastime: This isn’t the couple’s first foray into raising quail. During the early part of their marriage, while living in Mooresville, Lloyd set up an incubator in their garage and constructed a building in which they raised nearly 70,000 birds. They also got their two young kids in on the act, and together they all learned how to nurse sick birds back to health. “This wasn’t work, it was fun for us,” says Tamara.
On providing a unique experience: They have two large fields on their property where visitors can bring their dogs for a half-day or full-day hunt. The cost is $6 per bird, with a minimum of 10 birds per hunter. Skeet shooting is $6.25 for a round of 25 skeet. Overnight camping excursions are available, as are guided hunting trips. The Michigan-based nonprofit conservation group Quail Unlimited sponsors the facility’s field trial competitions. Shotguns and pistols are available for rent for $10 per day. Annual memberships ($325 for individuals and $450 for families) are available, which come with free use of the pistol range and reduced fees for shooting skeet.
Quail Haven Hunting Preserve, 267 Noel Road, Harmony, NC 28634. 704-546-2999, 704-546-5676, www.quailhavenhunting.com.