Missouri Provides Youth-Only Quail and Pheasant Seasons

To provide more opportunities for hunters ages 6 through 15, the Conservation Commission has established youth-only quail and pheasant seasons. Both seasons take place Oct. 27-28. Youths who are not hunter education certified must hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed and hunter ed-certified adult. Adults may assist youths, BUT THE ADULT MAY NOT HUNT quail or pheasant. The quail season takes place statewide. The pheasant season will be held in the north zone only. The north zone is defined as north of Interstate 70 and also in the portion of St. Charles County south of Interstate 70.

Read more here

Is Switchgrass the Next Cash Crop?

For the past month and half there has been a lot of talk about cellulosic ethanol. The majority of this discussion has stemmed from the President mentioning switchgrass on multiple occasions when speaking on the topic of energy dependence and biofuels. Recently President Bush has called for a huge, government-mandated increase in renewable energy production – mainly ethanol. Ken Cook, of Mulch describes Bush’s plan in more detail in this article.

The problem with the President’s plan is that it could possibly cause a reduction in the amount of land currently enrolled in the CRP. Many believe this could put pressure on corn growers to switch CRP land over into corn production. It has been well known that for the US to achieve greater levels of ethanol production without exhausting our current corn industry, a transition must be made to cellulosic ethanol production. Enter stage right, switchgrass.

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Southern Nevada Quail Unlimited Skeet and Sporting Clays Shoot

The Southern Nevada Chapter of Quail Unlimited will host it’s first Skeet and Sporting Clays shoot February 17, 2007, at the Las Vegas Gun Club. The event, which will start at 11am, will be a combined skeet and sporting clays event, and will include a round of skeet and 50 targets of sporting clays, a year’s subscription to the Quail Unlimited magazine and a year’s membership in Quail Unlimited.

“Quail Unlimited’s method for matching funds and its system for keeping most of the money in the region where it is raised were major factors in starting the chapter,” said Chapter Chairman Chris Zundel. The chapter retains a portion of every membership sold and 60 percent of every dollar netted. This allows chapters to spend the habitat dollars and youth project money in their area.

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SE Kansas Quail Unlimited Event to Feature National Habitat Director

The SE Kansas Quail Unlimited Chapter will be hosting a cookout/membership drive which promises to educate, inform, challenge and even satisfy the hunger of quail enthusiasts. The program is slated for Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 6:00 pm and will be held at the Producers Co-op in Girard.

The multifaceted event will feature guest speaker Roger Wells, Quail Unlimited National Habitat Director. Wells will be presenting a program entitled “Quail on a Kansas Farm”. Dennis Clutter, Crawford County Conservation District Buffer Coordinator, will also be addressing the group and will be providing answers to landowners questions regarding the popular Farm Bill program known as Practice CP33 (Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds).

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Whistling Pines – Mississippi’s newest QF Chapter

Residents from south central Mississippi have formed the state’s second chapter of Quail Forever (QF). The new chapter, to be called the Whistling Pines Chapter of QF, will focus their efforts on improving habitat for bobwhite quail in Amite, Pike, and Walthall counties. The new chapter is led by McComb resident Robert Felder.

“I grew up on a cattle farm near Pricedale where my dad taught me about bird hunting and conservation,” explained Felder about his reasons for starting the Whistling Pines Chapter of QF. “I’ve watched the area’s quail population drop over the years without much being done about it. So, I thought it was my time to get involved.”

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Winter Weather and Quail Survival

With the harsh winter conditions that much of the midwest United States has faced over the past few weeks, landowners and wildlife managers are concerned about the survival of quail. Prolonged periods of snow and ice cover is hard on all wildlife but especially bird like quail that make their living on the ground. Quail get their food off the ground and a layer of ice makes that hard to do.

Donnie Buckland, of Quail Unlimited, has a nice podcast that addresses some of the questions and concerns related to harsh winter weather and quail survival. You can listen to that by clicking here. In the podcast he talks about supplemental feeding of quail during tough times, and discusses how feeding can a double edged sword for quail. The surplus of available food is an obvious benefit, however quail are most at risk for predation when feeding.

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Chisholm Trail Chapter to Meet in Abilene

Abilene, KS (January 19, 2007)—The recently formed Chisholm Trail Chapter of Quail Unlimited, will be meeting to plan their chapter activities for 2007. The meeting, which is open to conservation-minded individuals, will be held on Wednesday, January 31, at 7:00 pm at the La Fiesta restaurant in Abilene.

“The new chapter is seeking enthusiastic and dedicated individuals that are sincerely interested in being a part of their quail recovery efforts,” said Bob Peterson, Quail Unlimited (QU) Central Plains Regional Director.

“Your membership in Quail Unlimited supports promotional and advocacy issues at state, regional and national levels. We’re actively involved in the conservation community, spending hundreds of hours annually participating in policy making meetings, setting the stage for quail-friendly practices and programs that benefit all quail enthusiasts,” said Peterson.

For directions to the La Fiesta Restaurant in Abilene, please contact Tonya Stroda at 785-366-7409. Refreshments will be served at the meeting.

For additional information concerning Quail Unlimited, contact Bob Peterson, Quail Unlimited Central Plains Regional Director, at 417-359-5807 or by email at bpeterson@qu.org or visit http://www.qu.org

Coalition for Conservation

Farm Bill 2007The 2007 Farm Bill is important to Oklahomans, and their lifestyle. That’s why twenty plus organizations are joining forces to support the Conservation Title in this years legislature. The group, calling themselves “The Coalition for Conservation,” has the intent of raising awareness of the benefits associated with the programs contained within the Conservation title of the 2007 Farm Bill.

The Conservation Title of the Farm Bill contains the legislation behind all the wildlife habitat programs such as: CRP, WHIP, WRP, and EQIP. All of which have been extremely valuable to wildlife in the state of Oklahoma, and virtually every other state in the U.S. The Coalition for Conservation be working to educate farmers, landowners, policy makers, and the general public on the benefits of wildlife conservation.

Below is a list of groups involved, and links to their websites if applicable:
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Increasing Nest Predators Deadly for Quail and Other Songbirds

Bobwhite nestIt should be no secret that loss of habitat is the primary reason behind the decline of the nation’s quail population. However, in the complicated web that is nature, other reason’s play a part in the survival of a quail. A much debated and sometimes controversial topic is nest predation. For years wildlife professionals and quail enthusiasts alike have agreed that predation of quail is a natural phenomena that does not drastically affect quail numbers. But, the tables may be turning.

R.J. Robel, a retired Kansas State professor and acclaimed upland bird biologist, along with Ron Klataske, Audubon of Kansas executive director; believe that an increasing raccoon population in the state of Kansas could be taking its toll on quail as well as a variety of other ground nesting birds, as stated in a recent Wichita Eagle article.

And they are not alone. Across the country predator control management plans are being put into place to curb the number of quail nests that are being depredated by raccoons and other mesopredators such as opossums and skunks.

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Mild Winter in Illinois is Great for Bobwhite Quail

Illinois DNRA recent article in the Illinois State Journal-Register, dicussed this year’s mild winter and the positive effect it could have on next year’s quail population. Quail are especially susceptible to harsh winters, however the mild season could mean more birds next year.

Specifically, the Illinois DNR manages the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area specifically for upland habitat. The area allowed 55 hunters per day, were allowed to hunt a 14 day stretch. During that span hunters harvested more birds than ever before. A sign that quail numbers are on the rise, and with the thus far mild winter, the quail population should enter the spring breeding season in good shape.

For information and click here to read the entire article.