Texas rancher A.V. Jones Jr. to be honored for conservation work

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The Dallas Morning News

Staff writer


Published: 23 February 2013 08:45 PM
On March 7 at Dallas’ Frontiers of Flight Museum, Park Cities Quail will honor A.V. Jones Jr. with the T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award.
The award was established in 2007 to recognize sportsmen whose love of the outdoors, respect for natural resources and spirit of generosity make it possible for future generations to enjoy a sporting life. The seventh annual event features a high-profile auction that has already raised more than $2.7 million for quail conservation.
Jones, 80, is an energy entrepreneur, rancher and lifelong resident of Albany, in Shackelford County, east of Abilene. His father settled the family in Shackelford County because it offered the best quail hunting he could find, and A.V. Jr. has committed himself and his resources to continuing that tradition.
“A.V. has been one of the nation’s top benefactors to wildlife conservation,”said Jack Wilson, PCQ’s 2013 event chairman. “He has always been ahead of his time in business and in land and wildlife management.”

Following World War II, the Jones family began acquiring ranch land for gas and oil prospects with an eye toward quail hunting potential. Jones Family Ranches includes about 30,000 acres. As chairman, A.V. Jones has been a steward of the land and wildlife in general but particularly of bobwhite quail, even before the Texas quail decline was widely acknowledged.
“A.V. is an amazing story that needs to be told,” said PCQ founder Joe Crafton. “He represents a dying breed of those who stick with their community and make it better. A.V. Jones was a quail warrior before I was training my first bird dog.”

Wilson said that PCQ’s efforts are strictly voluntary. An 18-person committee does all the heavy lifting. The members’ pay comes in the form of a successful event that has been called “Conservation’s Greatest Night.”

“This allows us to keep our expenses extremely low and maximize our donation to quail research,” he said. “While a handful of loyal volunteers make this evening a reality, there are hundreds of others who lend their support.”

Wilson said he encourages those outside the Dallas area to join the quail conservation cause through PCQ’s parent nonprofit, Quail Coalition (quailcoalition.org). It supports quail research and education with 12 chapters throughout the state and is actively expanding to other counties and cities.

Most of PCQ’s earnings support the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Fisher County. Jones has likewise been a major supporter of RPQRR’s efforts to pinpoint problems and reverse the momentum of a catastrophic quail decline.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Texas Quail Initiative, published in 2005, Texas bobwhites had declined at an annual rate of 5.6 percent since 1980. TPWD estimated a 75 percent loss in the bobwhite quail population between 1980 and 2005.

Quail enthusiasts, particularly in West Texas, will testify that the rate of decline has quickened since 2005. There may be no solution, but a sellout crowd of 950 will attend the PCQ event, in part to honor A.V. Jones and also to raise research money in hopes of saving a marvelous game bird.


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Texas rancher AV Jones Jr. to be honored for conservation work

Dallas Morning News

On March 7 at Dallas’ Frontiers of Flight Museum, Park Cities Quail will honor AV Jones Jr. with the T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award.

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