Quails bring millions to Albany

Quail hunters gather at the Flint Riverquarium for the Celebrity Quail Hunt pre-event reception. / Jessica Fairley

People from all across the country are in Albany for the Quail Unlimited Celebrity Quail Hunt.

The pre-event reception kicked off Wednesday night with dinner and cocktails at the Flint Riverquarium.

Albany is deemed as the 'Quail Hunting Capital of the World' and every year, hundreds flock to the area to take a shot at taking home a prize for the annual hunt.

Over 50 celebrities are in town to participate in the event along with Quail Unlimited corporate guests and others.

"I've been down here to Albany for the quail shoot for probably about six of the last ten years. This is quail country. This is the best place in the world to shoot quail in my opinion," said Chris Breeds, Chef to the Stars in Hollywood.

Before the guns come out, guests will need a place to rest and eat. Their presence in Albany will bring a financial boost to southwest Georgia.

"The economic impact is estimated to be around $1.2 to $1.3 million. We're very proud of that," said Bill Bowles, Quail Unlimited President.

The Quail Unlimited Celebrity Quail Hunt also includes other events like breakfasts, afternoon mixers, and a Golfing Classic with veterans.

Leah Seawright and her drummer, Mark Herndon of the band 'Alabama', are just a few of many performers lined up to hit the stage during the week's events. The concerts are set to bring in even more revenue for the city.

As the week kicks off, organizers say the contest is a win-win; it aids in the efforts of quail conservation and brings attention to the area.

"It's an opportunity for us to shine a positive light on Albany and southwest Georgia and showcase what we have to offer and share it with the rest of the world," said Bill Bowles.

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