Archive for the 'Articles' Category

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.

Continue reading ‘Increasing Nest Predators Deadly for Quail and Other Songbirds’

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.

Quail-hunting opportunities are there!

To those of us that are interested in quail hunting and management, it is a wide spread fact that quail numbers are down across the nation. However, that doesn’t mean that the opportunity to hunt wild birds in nonexistent. There is a nice article in today’s (1/11/07) Houston Chronicle that discusses this very topic. The article mentions that parts of Texas and Oklahoma have outstanding populations of scaled quail, that provide ample hunting opportunity to the general public. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Overall quail production was poor,” said Steve DeMaso, Upland Bird Program Leader for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “The widespread drought really hurt, but some areas — especially portions of South Texas — got late summer rains that encouraged a late hatch. The coastal region south of Corpus Christi probably fared best.”

DeMaso said that despite the fluctuating quail population, Texas hunters typically harvest 25 to 30 percent of the available birds in a given season. In a boom year, the harvest might be as high as 3 million quail; in a bust year, the harvest might drop to 750,000.

Bye bye, birdie: Weather, growth lead to decline in quail numbers

By Mike Belt -The Lawrence Journal-World

In the 1950s when Dennis Domer was a boy growing up in Nemaha County, he didn’t have to walk far from his house to hunt quail.

“In about a mile or so there would be eight covey of quail or more,” said Domer, a rural Lawrence resident. “I never even had a dog. I just walked them up.”

But by the 1970s, the landscape had changed.

“I couldn’t go back there to hunt anymore because it would be like going to the moon,” he said. “That was such a great quail area.”

Landscape changes due to urban sprawl, modern farming practices and adverse weather patterns are among the big factors that have taken a toll on quail, hunters and wild game, experts say.

Continue reading ‘Bye bye, birdie: Weather, growth lead to decline in quail numbers’

Snow Burying Plains Bad News for Quail

Life is hard out there in the sand sage. It’s even harder when you weigh 6 ounces, the snowdrifts can bury standing cows and the only food for miles is you.

When Gov. Bill Owens surveyed blizzard-ravaged southeastern Colorado from a State Patrol airplane Sunday, he saw “just a sea of white.” Highways had been erased, human traffic frozen in memory.

Most folks are warm, hunkered down and still waiting to be dug out. But there will be no rescue for wildlife, including what before the fierce storm Friday and Saturday was a rare abundance of scaled quail.

“I’m singing the blues as far as the quail are concerned,” said Jonathan Wright, district wildlife manager in Springfield. “I’m rather worried for them.”

Continue reading ‘Snow Burying Plains Bad News for Quail’

“I hunt quail, but I don’t shoot them.”

This article by Phil Taunton, of the Emporia Gazette, I think, sums up how many Midwest quail hunters approach and view the current state of upland hunting. Its no suprise that the majority of hunters in the Midwest don’t have the opportunity to hunt areas with a large quail population. The quote, “I hunt quail, but I don’t shoot them,” reflects a common attitude among outdoorsman and hunters. Just getting out and working dogs and seeing birds is a thrill in and of itself.

Read the article in it’s entirety here.

THE COVEY HEADQUARTERS Volume 5 Issue 4 Winter 2006

The winter edition of The Covey Headquarters newsletter is available online. As usual there are several good articles that are written for the landowner.

One of the better reads is the very first article, “The Best Nesting Grass for Quail…Not Much at All” written by ohn Murphy, Private Land Conservationist (Kirksville), stresses the importance of quail bobwhite nesting habitat, and how landowners can work to achieve habitat that is highly suitable for quail nesting success.

The issue is all packed full of upcoming workshops and seminars