Who We Are

The Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation (RPQRF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focusing on one thing: understanding and managing bobwhite and scaled quail in West Texas. Everything we do centers around quail and quail hunting, as reflected by our mission:

“To preserve Texas’ heritage of wild quail hunting for this, and future, generations.”

The Foundation and its Research Ranch were established to provide a living laboratory to devise land management strategies for the benefit of quail and also as an exemplar property to demonstrate the best methodologies and techniques to other “students of quail.”

Board of Directors

Joe Crafton – President
Joe Crafton is the owner of Wingshooter Investments, LLC. The firm’s investment focus is in wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation. Wingshooter owns Collectors Covey, a leader in wildlife and sporting fine art. In its 40 years, Collectors Covey has made direct donations of over $10 million to wildlife conservation.

Joe retired as Chief Executive Officer of CROSSMARK, Inc. in 2014. Prior to joining CROSSMARK, Joe held a variety of sales and management positions with Procter & Gamble.

Joe serves on the advisory council at the University of Tennessee, College of Business where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing in 1984. He is also the founder of numerous wildlife conservation groups including Park Cities Quail and Quail Coalition. Joe is the president of the Dallas Hunting and Fishing Club, serves on the Upland Advisory Committee for Texas Parks & Wildlife and is a director of Texan by Nature and the Trinity Park Conservancy.

Joe is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, previously serving as President of Circle Ten Council and Vice President of the National Executive Board. He recently developed the Joe Crafton Sportsman Complex at the Bechtel Summit National Scout Reserve near Beckley, West Virginia.

Joe is the father of three sons and lives in Dallas with his wife Amy Simmons Crafton.

Dan Craine – Director
Dan Craine grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. Upon graduation from high school, Dan attended Texas Christian University, where he met his wife Sallee Turner. The pair wed in January of 1970, Dan and Sallee have three children: Jeff, Matt, and Elizabeth. The children are all married and live in the DFW area.

In 1980, Dan and his two brothers bought the Miller Beer Distributor business in Ft. Worth, Texas. For 30 years the three were very involved in the business. There is a time to buy and a time to sell, and to that end, Dan and his brothers sold the beer distributorship in 2008. From 2008 to the present, Dan has been semi-retired.

Dan has served on many boards and civic organizations, including the Board of Trustees for Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. Dan and Sallee are members of River Crest Country Club, Steeplechase Club and the Exchange Club. They attend Christ Chapel Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

Pete Delkus – Director
Pete Delkus has been the Chief Meteorologist at WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas since 2005. He has over two and half decades of meteorology experience which includes extensive work in severe weather, hurricane forecasting, wind analysis and winter storm prediction. Pete has won 16 Emmy Awards for weather anchoring and special show hosting. Delkus holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and is board certified by the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.

Pete’s love for the outdoors began when he was a very young boy hunting alongside his father in the Midwest. Whether it was waterfowl, big game or upland birds, his fondest memories are of quail hunting, which is why he is so passionate about passing this legacy onto his son and others.

In 2005, Pete and his wife, Jacque, along with their kids, Emily and Peter, moved to Dallas and have loved everything about the great state of Texas.

Pete serves as a Trustee at Dallas Baptist University, is a Director of Park Cities Quail Coalition and a Life Member of Quail Coalition.

Dwayne Elmore – Director
Dwayne Elmore is a Professor, Wildlife Extension Specialist, and Bollenbach Chair in Wildlife Biology in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University. He earned degrees in wildlife biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin, Mississippi State University, and Utah State University. Dwayne works with various stakeholders including private landowners, state and federal agencies, and private conservation organizations to assist them with wildlife habitat management. His research is primarily focused on upland game birds, and he has worked with 10 different species including northern bobwhite.

Dwayne is passionate about all things quail including hunting, bird dogs, research, and land management. He and his wife help manage family property in southern Georgia for bobwhite and gopher tortoise and he is especially interested in helping other landowners achieve their wildlife management objectives.

Stephen Howard – Director
Stephen Howard grew up in Midland and graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Business.  He is the Founder, President and CEO of Basin Oil & Gas, a privately-funded oil and gas company with a diversified portfolio of energy assets across the United States.  Stephen currently serves on the Board of Ciera Bank and the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and is a member of the Fort Worth Wildcatters and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Stephen lives in Fort Worth with his wife and 2 children.  A lifelong hunter, Stephen can often be found pursuing quail on his family ranch in West Texas with his 3 best friends, his father and 2 brothers.

He frequently travels for pursuit of upland and waterfowl game and is actively involved in multiple conservation efforts.  Stephen founded and serves on the board of the Permian Basin Quail Coalition Chapter, serves on the banquet committee for the Cross Timbers Quail Coalition chapter and is a life member of both Ducks Unlimited and Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock Society.

Raymond Morrow – Director
P. Raymond Morrow lives in Dallas with his wife, Maggie, and their three boys Brit, Doak and John Parker.  He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University.   Raymond is a Partner at Coronado Resources. Coronado has acquired and manages over 200,000 mineral acres, primarily in Texas and Louisiana.

Raymond was introduced to quail Hunting by his father, who along with his brother, are his primary hunting partners.  Raymond has also served on the Board of Directors for Park Cities Quail for 5 years.  His interest in quail conservation has only grown over the years, especially the desire to preserve the quail hunting culture for his children to enjoy.
Raymond is member of Highland Park United Methodist Church. In addition to quail hunting, he enjoys hot coffee, fishing, hiking and mountain biking, especially when he is able to go with Maggie and the boys.

Steve Snell – Director
Steve Snell lives in Starkville, MS, with his wife, 3 sons, and 18 hunting dogs. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1992 with a degree in General Business Administration. Steve and his brother, Rob, own and operate Gun Dog Supply, a hunting dog training supply business founded in 1972 by their parents, Anne & Warner Snell.

Steve grew up in Mississippi surrounded by bird dogs and quail hunting. He saw first-hand, how the loss of habitat decimated wild bird populations across the Southeast in the 1970s and 80s. While his father was very active in the attempts to rebuild habitat on public land, they eventually started quail hunting in Texas in the 1990s. This is where Steve became interested in habitat management of Texas ranches for the mutual benefit of both cattle and wild birds. Steve is a graduate of the 2015 Quail Masters program.

Steve hunts as much as he can during quail season, and travels the country with his 14 pointers.

Justin Trail – Director
Justin Trail serves as president of RPQRF. He lives in Albany, Texas with his wife and 3 young daughters, whom he enjoys the outdoors with every chance he gets. He is the founder and president of Commercial Insurance Solutions Group, LLC, a national retail insurance brokerage company specializing in the risk management of real estate investment portfolios, founder and CEO of C1 Insurance Group and cofounder and director of Spicewood Funding Group, a specialty finance company. Justin serves as a director at Triumph Bancorp, and several of their subsidiary holdings. He also serves as a director at the NMHC and numerous non-profit organizations and is currently president-elect of The Feed Store (a nonprofit serving youth in the Albany, TX area). Justin graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science in Wildlife Biology in 1994 and a Master’s degree in 1996.

Justin grew up bird hunting in the small farming towns east of Dallas in the early 80’s. He carried that passion for quail hunting behind good dogs to West Texas upon graduation from college and is still an avid quail hunter. He is also the president of Texas A&M University’s “Reversing the Quail Decline” Initiative. Justin has received numerous awards, including being named a Lone Star Land Steward in 2018 by Texas Parks & Wildlife for his conservation work on Trail Ranch.


Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy – Executive Director
O’Shaughnessy, a native of Zimbabwe, earned a Ph. D. in Wildlife Ecology from Southern Illinois University in 2014 followed by a postdoctoral research faculty appointment with Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University. He has spent the past several years as an Orvis-endorsed quail hunting outfitter in west Texas.

Joe Crafton, President of the Board for the Foundation, remarked “we are very excited to have Dr. O’Shaughnessy on our team to head up our quail research efforts. Ryan has the training, skills and passion for quail hunting to help us expand our efforts in quail conservation in Texas.”

“And he feeds 27 bird dogs” continued Crafton, “so, you know he’s deeply vested in our mission to preserve Texas’ wild quail hunting heritage. That’s an important linkage for us as we rely almost solely upon donations from quail hunters to fuel our efforts.”

O’Shaugnessy also earned a Masters of Business Administration during his time at Sul Ross, expertise that will no doubt prove useful to the Foundation’s goals.

“I feel that this job position was written just for me—I could literally check all the boxes. I am really looking forward to this opportunity and to visiting with our stakeholders” said O’Shaughnessy.

“Being an avid quail hunter and conservationist, I look forward to the opportunity to serve in a role allowing me to provide a greater good to quail hunting and conservation within Texas”.

Dr. Dale Rollins – Director of Outreach
Dr. Dale Rollins founded RPQRF in 2007 and served as its executive director until 2021. A native of Hollis, Oklahoma, Dr. Rollins earned his BS from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, his MS Degree from Oklahoma State University (studying bobwhite and scaled quail in his home county), and his PhD from Texas Tech University. He also served as Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension in San Angelo from 1987-2013.

Dr. Rollins retired from Texas Agrilife Extension Service in August 2013, but returned as the Program Coordinator for Texas A&M’s “Reversing the Quail Decline” initiative. He also founded the Texas Brigades program in 1992 and has taught a dozen sessions of QuailMasters, an annual 12-day course on quail and quail habitat held at various locations across the state.

Dr. Rollins has received numerous awards including being inducted into the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame in 2018, named a ‘Hero of Conservation” by Field & Stream Magazine, named a “Quail Crusader” by Outdoor Life, and winning the National Quail Calling Championship from Quail Unlimited in 2002.

Dr. Dan Foley – Research Scientist/Principal Land Management Consultant
Dan is a native Texan, born in Lubbock and grew up in Dallas. Dan was introduced to hunting and fishing at a very early age. But of all the game species he was exposed to wild quail stood head and shoulders above the rest. Dan happily concedes his childhood duty of caring for an ever-evolving string of 4-6 English Pointers likely influenced his passion for the art of quail hunting. Dan credits these early childhood adventures with cementing his passion for the outdoors and focusing his desire to learn everything possible about wildlife.

Dan earned a Bachelor and Masters in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in 1991 and 1994, and a Ph.D. in Biology/Ecology from Utah State University in 2001. In previous jobs Dan worked as a Research Biologist with Maryland DNR and TPWD on the Gus Engling WMA. For the past 20 years Dan has served as a professor of Biology at Sul Ross State University.

In his spare time, Dan endeavors to keep his 4 German Shorthaired Pointer’s noses into the wind and chasing wild upland game birds across Texas and the western US as much as humanly possible!

Dana Wright – Program & Communication Coordinator
Dana has a B.S. in Biology from Tarleton State University and studied Wildlife Management at Texas Tech University. Dana has worked in the Western Rolling Plains for 30 years as a Wildlife Biologist with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Panhandle District. Dana has worked with numerous landowners and written wildlife management plans and provided habitat management recommendations on close to one million acres, educated thousands of people on wildlife conservation, helped with restoration efforts for Rio Grande Turkeys and Pronghorn, conducted wildlife surveys and research for species such as Lesser Prairie Chickens, Pheasants, Quail, Dove, Turkey, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Pronghorn and numerous nongame species.

Dana Wright has received numerous awards including receiving the TPWD Employee Recognition Award for Community Outreach in 1996, the Area I Soil & Water Conservation District Conservation Professional of the Year in 2009, the Joe Kurtz Excellence in Wildlife Management Award from the National Wild Turkey Federation in 2014 and the Fugate Memorial Wildlife Division Professional of the Year Award from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in 2023. Dana and her husband Frank live near Paducah, TX where they manage properties for livestock and wildlife. Dana enjoys ranching, hunting, fishing, photography, and anything outdoors.

Phil Lamb – Principal Consultant
After a 15-year career as a litigator and general counsel, Phil joined RPQRF as Director of Development in 2017. He cites his longtime involvement with various conservation groups as a catalyst for his career change. Phil serves on the Advisory Council of the Dallas Chapter of Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation’s “Stewards of the Wild” program, which engages young professionals across the state to stay informed on conservation issues, spend time outdoors and protect the wild places and things of Texas. Phil is a member of Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation’s Board Fellows program, serves on the board of directors for the Modern Huntsman Foundation and is a member of TPWD’s Upland Game Bird Advisory Committee, as well.

Phil learned to hunt during high school, when his church youth minister invited him dove hunting. Since that first outing, Phil has become a passionate upland, waterfowl and big game hunter and fly fisherman, as well. Phil lives in Dallas with his wife and their three sons, whom he hunts and fishes with often.

Mitchell Riggs – Land Manager
Mitchell earned a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. He started his professional career at a ranch in Comstock, Texas. From there, he worked as a technician for Wildlife Systems in San Angelo, and MT7 Ranch in Breckenridge. Continuing his work in the private sector, Mitchell served as Ranch Manager on a ranch outside of Marfa, where he managed cattle and wildlife. Following his work in far west Texas, he worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Throckmorton. Mitchell eventually found himself with Quail Forever as a Coordinating Wildlife Biologist. In this role, he worked with federal, state, NGO, and private landowners to promote grassland conservation across the Rolling Plains.

From an early age, Mitchell developed his leadership qualities, attending National Youth Leadership training and later earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Currently, Mitchell serves as a Co-Chair of the Excellence in Wildlife Conservation Committee with the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society and is the Secretary and Treasurer of the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigades. Additionally, he is the Habitat Chair for the Big Country Quail Forever Chapter and a James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute Fellow.

In his spare time, you can find Mitchell hunting game birds, like dove, duck, and quail. Outside of hunting season, Mitchell enjoys carpentry and spending time in the workshop.

Maya Vaughn – GIS Specialist
Maya earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University in 2020 and a M.S. in Range and Wildlife Management from Sul Ross State University in 2023. At Sul Ross, Maya worked as a Graduate Research Assistant for Borderlands Research Institute studying Montezuma quail. Through her research, she investigated unstudied factors potentially affecting Montezuma quail populations, such as feral pigs and extreme weather events in the Davis Mountains of west Texas (Jeff Davis Co.).

Maya grew up in the suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth, often escaping to west Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico to go backpacking with her family. Maya attributes her love for ecology and the outdoors to those childhood experiences. Maya and her husband live outside of Marfa, Texas with their two bird dogs, often running around the wild country of Far West Texas.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch
1262 US Highway 180
Rotan, TX. 79546

Physical Address:
Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch
1262 U.S. Highway 180 West
Rotan, Texas

The Ranch is located 12 miles west of Roby on U.S. Hwy. 180. Look for a white house on the north side of U.S. Hwy. 180 (about 400 yards East of intersection U.S. Hwy.180 and FM 611) Tours of the property are available by appointment; please contact Ryan O’Shaughnessy by telephone or e-mail.

Executive Director – Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy
email: roshaughnessy@quailresearch.org
phone: 321.279.6506

Research Scientist/Principal Land Mgmt. Consultant – Dr. Dan Foley
email: dfoley@quailresearch.org
phone: 830.719.9397

Principal Consultant – Phil Lamb
email: plamb@quailresearch.org
phone: 214.498.1234

Program & Communication Coordinator – Dana Wright
email: dwright@quailresearch.org
phone: 806.346.7409

Our Partners

Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation works closely with the following conservation organizations, universities and governmental agencies: