by Victor Lopez
ECTOR COUNTY--If you're more of a hunter then a shopper, listen up! You might want to head to West Texas Wings Sporting Club in Ector County. It's the only place of it's kind, in this area, where you can hunt, even out of season. NewsWest 9 met the staff and got a tour.
"People come out here and they know they've got the opportunity to harvest some birds or get their dogs to get some birds, so to speak," 22-year-old owner, David Harrison, said.
Harrison is a senior at Texas Tech University. He's had a love for bird dogs and hunting since he was 12. Combining the two, he opened West Texas Wings in 2007.
"When we first started, I was about 17. I kind of dragged my father into the whole hunting thing. The opportunity presented itself so I said, let's give it a try. Why not? So far, we've gotten a really great response from the community, especially being West Texas. Hunting has a strong tradition here," David explained.
Roy Harrison isn't just David's father, he's a business partner. Hunters that come out, sometimes confuse him for the man in charge.
"If they talk to me, I'll eventually have to say, you'll have to talk to him. Not only did he put this together, but he knows more about upland birds and conservation, habitats and things like that, than I probably ever will know," the elder Harrison, said.
Bird season is from October to March. David says their busiest time is now, during Thanksgiving and Christmas. West Texas Wings provides hunters with a choice of pheasant, quail or chukar. All of the birds are bred and grown right on the over two thousand acre facility.
According to David, "This year, we're looking at about 15,000 birds. Our goal next year is 30,000, most of those being Bob White quail and pheasant. We do most of our raising and rearing in the summer and spring months, which translates into an adult bird come winter."
The popularity of West Texas Wings is growing by word of mouth, drawing hunters from all across Texas even some foreign countries. All of them want to experience for themselves, the thrill of the hunt.
"The furthest was two owners of a guide service from Australia that were in town, that wanted to do some upland hunting," Roy said.
According to Andrews hunter, Larry Farrar, "It gives them a chance to enjoy the sport, which is getting pretty rare, if you don't have alot of money. Some of these quail leases are going like a deer lease. The ones I've checked in to, are after deer season. So it's after January 1st, before you can do any quail hunting. It's pretty high dollar."
The closest place like this is almost 200 miles away in Coleman County. It's always bird hunting season at West Texas Wings. It gives hunters a chance to bag a bird, without dropping a bundle.
"It's something that's quick, it's close to town. It something they can easily go out and do and it's not going to cost them an arm and a leg," David said.
"We have people that come and join, just to be around the like people," Roy said.
When asked if this is place is a good thing, Farrar answered, "It's heaven sent."