I finally figured out what the problem really was. . .the needle valve was shot. . .it wasn't allowing any fuel to fill the float bowl which is why I could get the quad to start with starting fluid, but not continue to run. . .
. . .I bought a carb rebuild kit from Moose and then bought the throttle stop cover gasket, starter plunger set, and the float retaining screw from Bike Bandit and it will now start. . .runs pretty rough right now, but I haven't readjusted the pilot screw either. . .after that gets reset correctly I should be back in business. . .
. . .here's a quick additional question though. . .after getting it start and run it backfires while I'm running it quite a bit and it never did before. . .will getting the pilot screw set correctly fix this problem ans well as smooth out the idle???