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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6471691 - 09/28/16 05:30 AM How to help a wild Bobwhite covey?
deewayne2003 Online   content


Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 4167
I finally got my own place, located about 15mi east of the Choctaw Casino in Durant Oklahoma and much to my surprise there was actually a wild covey of 20+ birds on it the other day when I was there.

Question being..... How can I help them prosper?

The first hunting I ever did was with my grandfather, quail hunting around southern Oklahoma until their numbers got so low we just quit hunting thinking it would help them rebound - That was 20 years ago and I have always seen a scattered bird or breeding pair here and there but I literally haven't seen a covey this size since I was in the 3rd grade.

Property(160ac) is a 50/50 mix of timber and pasture and currently working with the state on doing a controlled burn then trying to establish native grass on the pastures........

Any other advice?

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#6471797 - 09/28/16 07:43 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
duckbill Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2237
Loc: Mckinney, Texas
Quail need cover, food, and water. Where I typically find the most and largest quail coveys in west texas is where there is a line of mesquite trees and bushes that runs parallel with a more open, grassy field that produces seeds for food. The birds can use the tree/bush line for cover, then come out and feed in the field in mornings and evenings.

Try spreading seed under a bush near the area where you saw the covey. Flag the bush so you can return and spread more seed later in the same bush. Dump the seed right on top of the bush and let it fall down do the ground underneath. This will allow the birds to eat under cover.

I'm just scratching the surface here. More folks will chime in.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: LandPirate
Yeah, don't listen to me. I'm just an idiot.

Originally Posted By: East
Lol. Duckbill that was funny!

Originally Posted By: thecoach
The dude up top has already taken lots of bone before this deer, both mule and whitetail.

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#6471879 - 09/28/16 08:27 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23447
Loc: Texas
Been a while since I did any research on it, but from memory I recall seeing that feed/watering did little and the biggest factor was habitat management, like said above they don't like heavy cover nor vast open, a mix of grass with scattering of cover is best.
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#6471894 - 09/28/16 08:37 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
MS1454 Online   content
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Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2703
Loc: Houston/Sealy
Most of the water comes from insects they eat.
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Originally Posted By: Fooshman
I'll take a Black Female every time.


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#6471909 - 09/28/16 08:44 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
ronlhodges Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/06/15
Posts: 179
Loc: West Texas
I just watched a Texas/Parks and Wildlife show on PBS a few weeks ago and they had a story on exactly what you want to do . Actually the State helped with training on how to better prepare your land for Bobwhites and they also brought in a large covey to the section they were working on to help them get started in that section of Texas . I think if you can contact the right people the state of Texas will help you develop your section and possibly bring in more BW free to you . It would at least be worth checking into .
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#6474578 - 09/30/16 06:52 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: ronlhodges]
pharmvet Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1094
Loc: North East Tx
Originally Posted By: ronlhodges
I just watched a Texas/Parks and Wildlife show on PBS a few weeks ago and they had a story on exactly what you want to do . Actually the State helped with training on how to better prepare your land for Bobwhites and they also brought in a large covey to the section they were working on to help them get started in that section of Texas . I think if you can contact the right people the state of Texas will help you develop your section and possibly bring in more BW free to you . It would at least be worth checking into .


I would be very interested in watching this . Can you give specifics and possibly where I can find it? Thanks

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#6474610 - 09/30/16 07:30 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 32659
Loc: Richmond
Plant some hay grazer near the edges next year. It may not do all that much to help the quail you already have but it will draw more in.
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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill




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#6474666 - 09/30/16 08:16 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: pharmvet]
Sailor Soane Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/09/16
Posts: 170
Loc: Austin, Texas
Originally Posted By: pharmvet
Originally Posted By: ronlhodges
I just watched a Texas/Parks and Wildlife show on PBS a few weeks ago and they had a story on exactly what you want to do . Actually the State helped with training on how to better prepare your land for Bobwhites and they also brought in a large covey to the section they were working on to help them get started in that section of Texas . I think if you can contact the right people the state of Texas will help you develop your section and possibly bring in more BW free to you . It would at least be worth checking into .


I would be very interested in watching this . Can you give specifics and possibly where I can find it? Thanks


X2

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#6474680 - 09/30/16 08:20 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: MS1454]
duckbill Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2237
Loc: Mckinney, Texas
Originally Posted By: MS1454
Most of the water comes from insects they eat.


Or the dewy grass
_________________________
Originally Posted By: LandPirate
Yeah, don't listen to me. I'm just an idiot.

Originally Posted By: East
Lol. Duckbill that was funny!

Originally Posted By: thecoach
The dude up top has already taken lots of bone before this deer, both mule and whitetail.

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#6474771 - 09/30/16 09:16 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
First_Chance Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2310
Loc: dfw
Habitat, Habitat, Habitat.

Provide areas of cover, bunch grasses for nesting, and disturbance for loafing and feeding. Water will help, but it's better served by creating small swells on the ground where they will create micro-environments for bugs/insects and still allowing for watering in extreme dry spells. Like has been said, quail typically get enough water from their diet. Young chicks need insects, not seeds, but older birds will feed on seeds. Disturbance will produce croton (first plant in the sequence) and it is a great food source. Managing grasses by selective grazing also helps. Too much grazing takes away valuable cover and nesting habitat, not enough grazing allows non-seed producing grasses to take over loafing and feeding areas.

Manage your habitat properly, and you'll have birds.
_________________________

"In dog beers, I've only had one..."

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#6474790 - 09/30/16 09:37 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
Mundo Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 117
Call or email this guy.
Dale Rollins
7887 U.S. Highway 87 North
San Angelo, TX 76901
Phone: (325) 653-4576 /ext. 218
Fax: (325) 653-4576
e-mail: d-rollins@tamu.edu
He is one of the quail gurus and earned his degrees in Oklahoma and still has connections there. He can probably put you in touch with someone who can put you with a grad student who can look at the land and offer some habitat opinions. I've done this--It usually covers a contribution to a wildlife foundation and covering travel expenses but is worth it. However, at 160 acres you are looking at a couple of coveys at best and with a 20 bird covey you may already be pretty much prime habitat.


Edited by Mundo (09/30/16 09:39 AM)

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#6474950 - 09/30/16 11:45 AM Re: How to help a wild Bobwhite covey? [Re: deewayne2003]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 32659
Loc: Richmond
A friend and I were on our lease in Concho county several years ago. There was a little drizzle so we stopped on a county road to wait out the rain before wen went I to our pasture on the north side of the road. There was a hay grazer aka Sudan grass field on the mort side of the road. We counted 13 coveys crossing from the brush to our side of the road. We got nervous waiting. Finally we walked in with our dogs. We killed 2 quail.
_________________________
Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill




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