My uncle once said there was nothing better than watching a bird dog do what God intended it to do. Watching the dogs at Triple S Quail Farm and Hunting Preserve was a perfect example of exactly what he meant.
Triple S is a family owned and operated farm that not only raises quail and pheasant for various quail hunting operations, they also do hunts on their own property for anyone wanting a good quality quail hunt at an affordable price. I was lucky enough to be invited with a friend of mine, Kenny Mosley, for a hunt recently, and our experience was nothing short of stellar.
Thomas Stockburger and his son Chris began raising quail in 2002 with very humble beginnings. The house the quail were raised in originally was a chicken coup that belonged to his father and was most likely built in the 1950s. Eventually some upgrades were made to accommodate the number of quail being raised, and the business began to flourish. It was not long before the Stockburgers realized they would need more space. Several chicken houses would be the answer, so they purchased a few to get the space needed to keep up with the demand for their quail.
“We just couldn’t keep up with the demand for our birds,” Thomas said of the old location. “Once we got the chicken houses set up and going, we increased our numbers and began to sell in much larger quantities.”
For anyone who has been quail hunting in recent years, it is no secret that not all birds fly the same. It would be wonderful to find wild birds to hunt, but there are very limited options for that in Georgia these days.
One of the addictive factors of quail hunting is the birds bursting out of the brush and flying hard away. Most farm-raised birds do not hold true to the actions of their wild ancestors. Many times hunters or flushers have to almost kick the bird to get it to fly. The quail that Triple S raise are far from that.
When I travel to Texas every year, wild birds are still pretty easy to find. The quail that Triple S raise are as close to wild birds as this hunter has ever seen. They burst out with the heart-pounding flush and fly nearly like wild birds. One reason is the way the birds are raised. More on that in a bit.
It was not until about 12 years ago that the hunting part of the operation began.
“One day we were just talking and realized we have land to do hunts on, so why don’t we start doing some?” Thomas said.
One part this family prides itself on is offering hunts at very affordable rates. They believe strongly that one should be able to come and enjoy this sport without breaking the bank. The hunts they offer cost much less than hunts at other farms or plantations and include more birds per hunter. In addition, the actual hunting, in my opinion, is better than I’ve found at some of the more expensive plantations.
Being family oriented is their next priority. Their favorite hunts occur when customers bring children. Kids are the future of hunting, and Triple S welcomes them with open arms. Even if the child does not hunt, they are welcome to come along at no charge.
The very first thing we noticed about Triple S’s location is how easy it was to find. The farm is located just a stone’s throw off Interstate 75 in Tunnel Hill. Upon arriving at Triple S, we were greeted by Thomas and his wife Geneva and made to feel welcome immediately. Chris Stockburger, who is Thomas and Geneva’s son, was also there to make sure the hunt went as they expected. It was clear that this was a family operation. Thomas quickly introduced us to our guide for the day, Reece Chambers.
“I wanted you to go out with one of my best guides,” Thomas said.
He was not wrong. Reece made sure we had an outstanding day. After gearing up, I was very impressed that the first thing Reece wanted to accomplish was a safety meeting. He made sure we were all on the same page on how we would be hunting and what were safe shots and also shots to avoid.
“We get all levels of hunters here, and we want to make sure that everyone is safe,” said Reece. “We take safety very serious, and if anyone is not OK with that, then we will not let them hunt.”
We set out on our first hunt, and Traveler, a German shorthaired pointer bird dog, began to locate quail with a vengeance. All of the dogs Reece hunted with were exceptional animals. It did not take long for birds to be found, and as soon as a quail was downed, the dogs were bringing it back to Reece. I have seen numerous dogs hunt both in quail fields and out of duck blinds, and I would put Reece’s dogs up against any of them. Watching the dogs work and work together made the trip worth it. Shooting quail at that point was just the bonus.
“Getting a dog to learn to point is not hard,” Reece said. “It is in their DNA, and they will do it naturally.”
What was really amazing to me was watching another one of the dogs, Toke, back up another dog, Britches, when it was on point.
“It takes a lot longer to get a bird dog to back another dog’s point, or honor as it is called,” Reece said. “You just have to be willing to take the time to train them and have a lot of patience.”
As an avid duck dog trainer myself, I know exactly what he meant.
All through our hunt, the Stockburgers and Reece went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and having a great time. They offered us water and snacks and made sure we rested in between hunts. We were also kept safe at all times, and Reece made sure we were lined up properly for the shot to maximize safety, as well.
Triple S can accommodate any hunter and any group. They have hunts to fit any budget and situation. They offer guided hunts that are sold per person for 10 to 15 birds, and all a hunter has to do is show up and be ready to shoot. Unguided hunts can also be booked if someone has their own dogs. The quail will be put out for the group, and they just have to show up and hunt. Hunters can even bring their own quail and hunt on their farm for a fee.
On any hunt, additional quail can be added at a per each price. Hunters wanting to do something different can also add pheasant to any hunt for an additional charge. Pheasant hunts can also be booked if quail does not interest the hunter.
Each year Triple S puts on a few continental pheasant shoots. Each one books quickly. The price per hunter includes shooting and also lunch and drinks. Children may accompany for no charge if not shooting. If you are interested in these hunts, book quickly since they fill up very fast.
Thomas and Chris gave us a small tour of their operation. One reason the birds fly so well is they are raised completely in the dark. When we were allowed to peek inside and turn a small light on, the birds were jumping up and flying all around in the house. It was obvious why they fly so well. Once planted into the field, they search for the dark by hiding well in the brush. Once the flusher kicks the brush and the light hits the quail, they quickly hit the air. It was nothing short of amazing to see how this is accomplished.
“We are up to raising about 150,000 quail per year,” said Chris. “We also raise pheasant now, and that is doing well, also.”
Of the quail raised at Triple S, most are sold to the same outfitter in another state, but they sell to others, too. The Stockburgers make regular trips to deliver their quail to their customers. This personal touch is to ensure the safety of their quail is astounding. Their attention to detail and the work ethic that is obvious when you meet them is evidence of why their quail and quail hunts are so great.
Quail hunting is one of the most exciting types of bird hunting. Many have never tried it, and most do not know where to go and how to hunt them. If you are looking to do a hunt, you will not find a better operation than Triple S Quail Farm. The laid back family atmosphere is exceptional, and the quail fly like wild birds. Most will never know the difference.
For a great quail hunting experience at a modest price, give Triple S Quail a call at (877) 709-9667 or check them out online at www.triplesquailfarm.com. You will want to make it a regular part of your hunting season.