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#6581869 - 12/11/16 11:14 AM East Texas quail restoration
pharmvet Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: North East Tx
Being born, raised, and residing in east Texas, and remembering the days when we had wild birds, I would love nothing more than to be involved in the restoration of quail back to this part of the world. I have read and studied everything I can get my hands on and am aware of the many factors suspected of having led to/caused the decline/extinction of quail in this region. I have spent lots of time talking with "old timers" in my area and I always ask them about the good old days. Specifically......I ask them what was different. They always come up with a few things, but the thing that comes up over and over again is that back in the 60's & 70's everyone here had a small "truck patch" of some sort. Corn, peas, beans, watermelons, etc. Bermuda grass was here, and there was no "native grass" . There was probably more pastures left ragged over the winter and allowed to grow up with broomsedge bluestem,.

It is my opinion that west Texas is and always has been "natural" quail country, and that east Texas had quail as a direct result of the ways in which we utilized our land during the first 3/4 of the 1900's.

This has me wondering..........if THE main difference in then and now is that there are no longer areas being regularly disked? I realize that beans, corn etc. was probable eaten by quail some, but I suspect that they benefited most from disturbance, succession, forb production, insects, bare ground, and dusting areas. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.


Edited by pharmvet (12/11/16 11:17 AM)

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#6581973 - 12/11/16 12:42 PM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
postoak Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 2718
Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
Quail are an eastern bird. East Texas is natural quail country.
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#6581989 - 12/11/16 12:56 PM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: postoak]
pharmvet Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: North East Tx
Originally Posted By: postoak
Quail are an eastern bird. East Texas is natural quail country.


one limiting factor that we usually have in abundance is RAIN

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#6582198 - 12/11/16 04:07 PM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
poisonivie Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 7510
Loc: Bridgeport, Tx
Alabama and Mississippi have birds, why doesn't east Tx? La, I don't know about.
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#6582352 - 12/11/16 06:01 PM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: poisonivie]
pharmvet Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: North East Tx
Originally Posted By: poisonivie
Alabama and Mississippi have birds, why doesn't east Tx? La, I don't know about.


Does AL and MS have huntable populations of wild birds?

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#6582627 - 12/11/16 08:54 PM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
shooterwalter Offline
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Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 1612
Loc: Poetry, Texas Kaufman County 8...
I have known my land for 61 years. I am 67. 1956 my dad bought his first piece of farm land in 1956 from Walter A Moreland . The land was very over grown and had lots of quail. My dad like lots of new land owners started clearing trees and brush to make pasture land. And the quail lost their habitat. Predators and more plentiful.
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#6582646 - 12/11/16 09:12 PM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19995
Loc: Corsicana
I, too, grew up in deep east TX. Quail were plentiful and everyone had dogs when I was young. Habitat changes and fire ants are the main factors I hear for the disappearance of quail. They were gone so quickly I tend to lean towards fire ants or disease as the reason. I'm just guessing.

Certainly habitat changes have occurred - the two major ones being the disappearance of home gardens and clearing of fence rows.

Some restoration efforts are taking place, but I would love to see a major push to that end.
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Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6582905 - 12/12/16 06:21 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
LABIRDDOG Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/21/10
Posts: 123
Left Miss. for Tx because of bird populations. I hear Miss. has some improvement. La is a wash as for hunting quail.

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#6582995 - 12/12/16 07:44 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
CCBIRDDOGMAN Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 9563
Loc: CEDAR CREEK LAKE
Not much in a hay field, creek bottom or pine forest for quail. Would be impossible to get enough landowners to let their hay fields grow back into native grasses to get the quail to rebound in East TX. IMO, Quail are gone for good in East TX. And fire ants have very little to do with it.
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#6583058 - 12/12/16 08:22 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
ALM TXhunter Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 160
Loc: Sugar Land, TX
I believe back in the hey-day quail were most populous in East Texas compared to other regions of the state (I'll try to find the article I read that in). There are huntable populations of quail in western LA on public land in the pine forests, albeit they are probably in patches. I had a long discussion with a biologist over there and he pointed me in the right direction - just haven't had the time to check it out.

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#6583060 - 12/12/16 08:23 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
pharmvet Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: North East Tx
In your opinion, how many contiguous acres of PRIMO quail habitat would be necessary to have a wild bird population?

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#6583061 - 12/12/16 08:26 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19995
Loc: Corsicana
They all went the way of the dodo over about a two year period. I don't have the answer as to the reason, but that doesn't point to habitat loss as the sole reason.
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Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6583095 - 12/12/16 08:43 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: CCBIRDDOGMAN]
flintknapper Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 985
Loc: Deep East Texas
Originally Posted By: CCBIRDDOGMAN
Not much in a hay field, creek bottom or pine forest for quail. Would be impossible to get enough landowners to let their hay fields grow back into native grasses to get the quail to rebound in East TX. IMO, Quail are gone for good in East TX. And fire ants have very little to do with it.


^^^^^^^^^^ Sadly, I agree.

I doubt we will see 'good' populations of Wild Turkey either.

When I moved to Deep East Texas in the mid 80's there were a few quail, but they were already on their way out. I believe habitat change is more the reason than anything else.

Yes, "Fire Ants" are more widely spread than ever and they DO contribute to the problem, but I'd wager Feral Hogs are more damaging to ground nesting birds than ants.

Then consider the high population of other animals that seek out and eat the eggs of ground nesting birds.

Where I live the list is long:

Feral Hogs
Coyote
Fox
Raccoon
Possum
Skunks
Bobcat
Snakes

And that's just on the "A" list. There are other animals that will raid a nest too.

Yes, other States have these predators too, but we have them in great numbers. When combined with habitat change and the fact that most land holdings are small farms and ranches with little to no interest in Wildlife, you have an inhospitable environment for Quail (or Turkey for that matter).

I don't believe we will see any widespread success bringing either of them back.
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#6583109 - 12/12/16 08:48 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 26363
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Quail and Turkey had their time here... no going back
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#6583115 - 12/12/16 08:49 AM Re: East Texas quail restoration [Re: pharmvet]
postoak Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 2718
Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
It makes me wonder if before Europeans came along and created widespread farming if the quail population wasn't much smaller and we aren't just returning to those smaller populations. So perhaps what we have now is more "natural".
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