All the experiments have proved one thing: the cost of pen-reared birds in the hunter's bag is staggering. It ranges from $2 to as high as $56, depending on when the birds are released.
The nine members of the Texas Game and Fish Commission knew this. They also knew that trapping and redistributing wild birds, a far sounder procedure, wasn't worth the effort. The state tried it years ago and gave it up. They knew the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service long ago declared releasing pen-reared quail an unsound procedure, and refused to match state funds on such projects. They were told that not a single biologist in their department favored it. Still they appropriated $75,000 to establish a hatchery at the State School for Girls at Gainesville.
Why? Simply because it sounds good to a public that has been demanding that something be done to increase Texas' 12,000,000 quail population. Actually, releasing 20,000 or even 40,000 birds in that vast population will make little difference, except perhaps for laughs, when the tame quail begin looking for home and delinquent girls.