Man's dedication to preserving the outdoors, wildlife recognized

Don Quilici can sometimes smell a conspiracy. But he had no clue until last week that Gov. Kenny Guinn had proclaimed today Don Quilici Day.

Quilici, a lifetime Carson City resident and outdoor editor at the Appeal, will be honored tonight at the Ormsby Sportsmen's Association meeting at the Carson Nugget for his conservation accomplishments.

Steve Robinson, deputy chief of staff to Governor Guinn, will present the proclamation at the meeting.

"Whenever he's been asked (to serve) he's always been there to do it," Robinson said. "Not only of this administration but several others. Particularly wildlife issues.

"The governor thought it would be a good time to acknowledge that and this is one way we can do it. And it's well-deserved in this case."

Quilici is taking it all in stride with a touch of humbleness, after reading about the honor in the Appeal last week that his friends and wife, Elaine, had known about long before.

"A lot of people tease Don and I do the same," said friend, Doug Busey. "But look at his achievements and who he's helping, especially with the outdoors show (a local television show that Quilici hosted for years). He had all kinds of people on to educate others on gun safety, boating safety, rattlesnake safety and training - it's education."

"It doesn't mean I'm going to stop teasing him," Busey said.

Slick McCulloch, a friend of 40-plus years, said Quilici deserves the honor.

"He's a good guy, a good close friend, but a lousy fishing buddy."

Don has taken many pot shots in his fishing column at his two fishing buddies, McCulloch and Norm Budden, but the two find ways to get even.

"We enjoy sticking it to him real good," Budden said. "Then he pays us back.

"We do it to him and nobody else knows. Then he pays us back and it's in print for thousands to read and tells us what fools we are. I think this is great. I'm happy for him."

Wife, Elaine Quilici, said he was surprised when he read about the honor in the newspaper.

"Now, he's very humbled. He doesn't do things for recognition. This is a feather in his cap."

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

Hello fellow anglers and outdoor enthusiasts; my name is Doug Busey, long time friend of Don Quilici. As some of you might have read in last Thursday's paper, the cat is out of the bag. As of today, Tuesday the 21st of March, Gov. Kenny Guinn has proclaimed this day, Don Quilici Day. Don will be presented tonight at the Ormsby Sportsman Association weekly meeting at the Nugget with a proclamation from the governor, for his outstanding contributions to the great state of Nevada.

Throughout the many years Don has had his nose in just about everything, but in a good way. But there is another side of Don Quilici that myself and few of his friends would like to share with you. We call it, "The other side of Don."

Each week you can read Don's column here in the Nevada Appeal in Thursday's edition. This is where he shares his trips to the outdoors, whether it be fishing, hunting, or looking at the wildflowers. One thing I have never understood is, why would any person drive for seven hours to a place in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of winter, and sit on a frozen body of water, stare down a 6" hole, to catch fish smaller than the ones I have in my pond at home. I think it's fish envy.

I have ice fished with Don over 10 years at Caples Lake and Red Lake. In those 10 plus years Don has yet to produce anything resembling a fish. Last year at my ice fishing get-together on Red Lake, Don was outfished by a Boy Scout troop earning their merit badges.

Don must have stock in Wal-Mart, because he has at least one of every lure they sell. Don also has a fluorescent orange coat that he tells me brings him good luck. I wonder if he really knows the true color of his coat? I think one of his good friends told him it was really camo-colored. Since Don is color blind he may not realize he is blinding everyone on the lake. I thought he would get a clue when it came with a 24 volt transformer to plug in at night.

One day Don and I will fish together on the ice and he will be victorious, I just hope it's soon. We're not getting any younger. But to be honest Don Quilici, you deserve this honor and have truly earned it. Congratulations, my friend.

- Doug Busey

I was asked to give a brief, personal insight on Don Quilici. To those who know Don, there is no such thing as a brief anything.

Don was born, raised and has lived in Carson City all his life, with the exception of the 4 years he served in the U.S. Air Force. He truly loves the State of Nevada with a passion and is fiercely protective of all that it stands for. His other great passion is the Sierra Nevada Mountains and all that they represent.

Don enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences of living in our area with others. In our time together, he has shown me how to cross country ski at Hope Valley (I actually can do it backwards!), and how to fish at Walker Lake and Pyramid Lake (I usually outfish him!). He's taken me into Winnemucca Lake in July to view the fabulous wildflowers, but forgot to tell me that the trail he takes was blazed by billy goats!

Don's travels have taken him to Southeast Asia on three occasions (he actually took his mother-in-law along on our 19 day honeymoon!) and to his all-time favorite destination of Alaska. Our trip this summer will be his ninth trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun. He always enjoys a trip to Wildhorse Reservoir and our favorite weekend trip is to our cabin in the mountains of Northern California with his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Kathy Quilici. We even manage to occasionally sneak in some fishing at Davis Lake.

For those of you who know Don personally you should know that he loves Manhattans, cold weather, fishing the high mountain lakes from his inflatable raft, and teasing his hunting and fishing partners, along with everyone else.

Don delights in sharing the hunting and fishing mishaps of he and his partners with the readers of the Nevada Appeal's Outdoors page. Everyone has had a misadventure sometime in their life, but not everyone has had it shared with some 50,000 readers. Needless to say, on some Thursday mornings our phone rings early. No one is safe from the pen, not even Don, from himself.

You should also know that he hates hot weather with a passion, and has had miserable (aka nada, nil, zip, zero) luck winning a raffle prize at the Carson Valley Chukar Club's annual banquet (19 years of futility).

Don has a great zest for life which has only increased since his two heart attacks a couple of years ago. How many people would ask their cardiologist, as they are about to have an angiogram done, if they take requests for music, and if so, how about a little Frank Sinatra playing in the background? And they played it - for him!

Don's philosophy has always been that he wants to give more to his community than he takes from it. I personally know of no one who is more an ambassador for Carson City and the State of Nevada than Don Quilici.

- Elaine Quilici, Don's wife


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment