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#6919877 - 10/13/17 10:04 PM How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago
Michael Wilson Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 426
OK I grew up and still live in Hunt CO. TX. When I was a kid we had quail all over Hunt Co. I never hunted them but would jump them all time while hunting other stuff back in the 70s and 80s. Where my Dad lives is the same as it was back then (no farming everybody still running cows) and most of the land all around him has not changed. So if the land (that use to support them) has not changed what would it take to get a small wild population of quail going again. Where I live now there was a covey of quail living here when we built our house 13 years ago. For about 2 years I could go out and whistle and get replies then nothing. Same thing here no one has farmed any of the land anywhere around where I live so, what happened to them. I am always hearing habitat but the habitat around here has not changed that I can tell.
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#6919892 - 10/13/17 10:16 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
postoak Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 2783
Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
You might find this interesting:


East Texas Quail Restoration


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There are two types of people, those who divide people into two types and those who don't.

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#6919897 - 10/13/17 10:22 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
nate33 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/16/16
Posts: 412
You can't.

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#6919938 - 10/13/17 11:14 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Michael Wilson Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 426
Good read postoak
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God Bless and Semper FI

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#6920032 - 10/14/17 07:11 AM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
NorthTXbirdhunter Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 951
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
Feed, feed, feed. Establish suitable habitat. Eradicate all vermin and feral cats.

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#6920382 - 10/14/17 01:52 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Smokey Bear Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 264
Loc: Texas
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Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.

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#6920393 - 10/14/17 02:08 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Smokey Bear]
NorthTXbirdhunter Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 951
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
There has been enough research done since this report to prove the eyeworm is a minute' problem. Hawks are a much bigger problem.

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#6920467 - 10/14/17 03:29 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Raymond07 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 164
Eyeworm are definately a problem ... That said I agree that the researcher in charge of this program is likely over blowing their significance. That said at least you can do something about eyeworms... Hawks on the other hand are off limits. The problem with Hawks is that by some estimates there are 50x the amount of Hawks there were in 1950. Good habitat will go along way to protect birds from Hawks.

As to OP it's very hard to reestablish wild quail unless there is a large scale habitat initiative. I am talking 3000 or more contiguous acres that are quail focused.

Not to be negative but even if your specific property hasn't changed in the last 40 years my bet is that the places around it may have. Just because the use of the land is the same, in this case grazing, that doesn't mean it is the same. Are stocking ratios the same? The price of beef has not kept up with inflation, not by a long shot, so over time ranchers add an extra cow here or there to make up the difference in $. In addition to this many pastures have had various pesticides and herbacideds applied to them over the years to stifle weeds and promote various grasses. This is largely a response to increased pressure from grazing. The effect of the spraying means that the natural balance of plants insects and everything else is probably not how it was in the 70/80s. Again even if your place is exactly the same your neighbors probably aren't and a sustainable quail population needs several thousand or more acres of habitat.

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#6920644 - 10/14/17 06:41 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Rockhunter Online   content


Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 152
Loc: East of Dallas
PM sent.

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#6920837 - 10/14/17 09:20 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Michael Wilson Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 426
PM answered
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God Bless and Semper FI

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#6920996 - 10/15/17 07:22 AM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 41068
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
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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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#6921210 - 10/15/17 12:29 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Mundo Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 240
Very difficult. Researchers have been trying to figure out how to reestablish populations for years with little success. Almost all released birds die within a week. It took way more than 200 birds released before I got a house covey established. Finally I educated some birds by releasing them half grown, letting a puppy on a check cord follow them and then recalling them. After I did this a dozen times I released the birds--I think these are the ones that finally established a covey. Released quail have no survival skills. Teaching them is very difficult without savvy wild birds.
Also, your habitat may have changed more than you realize and it is possible that the area was never able to support a very dense population. Ideal habitat is @ 20 percent brush for loafing cover and ankle high grass with a great variety of forbs. Some of brush should be half cut so that limbs hand to the ground and provide protection from predators during the heat of the day.
Overgrazing eliminates forb diversity and running cover if the grass is grazed too short.
Spring drought without a good bug hatch can starve all the new chicks and cut the population way down, several years of this kind a drought may kill all the birds in the area.
Without good spring rains it can take an area years to repopulate, if ever. While feeding can ease drought fatalities, there have to be birds there to begin with for it to work. Discing and mowing patches and meandering senderos can help and existing population but I would think that would be pretty difficult around Hunt with the hills and rocks. Predation only becomes a serious problem when you don't have good habitat or an already struggling population. Half cutting brush is much more effective than trying to control predators. If you give the birds a place to hide they will be able to handle predation. Old fencing, with brush in it is good for quail populations. King ranch style fencing is much better than barbed wire. Replacing an old fence with a lot of brush in it with a new barbed wire fence
can put a lot of pressure on a covey that lives in the area. It may have lost an important route to a food source and secure loafing cover. Finally, your population of birds when you were young may not have been as great as it seems. Any quail hunter can tell you stories about deer hunters who jump the same covey throughout the season and conclude that an area holds a lot more birds than are actually there.



Edited by Mundo (10/15/17 12:41 PM)

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#6921327 - 10/15/17 03:06 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
pharmvet Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1278
Loc: North East Tx
Proper quail habitat is very specific. I'm afraid most folks see an overgrown field and make the assumption that it is good quail habitat. The 1990's saw the last of the wild quail disappear from traditional east texas ranges. It was a gradual process. Everywhere I drive I see small "islands" of habitat, but never a large enough area of contiguous habitat. Currently we are in a situation where there are no wild quail close enough to re-colonize habitat even if we create it. Re- introduction of wild birds will be necessary once large blocks of "real quail habitat" are created. Then there is the matter of maintaining this habitat ( burning, disking, spraying, thinning) quail habitat bust be continually disturbed to set back successional growth, but not all at once, and not in too large of areas ( mosaic pattern, patchwork quilt) . Quail also have a tendency to "wander off" or "go forth and multiply" during certain times of the year. . I suspect this is evolutionary in nature and necessary to disperse genetics. However, quail will go on a pilgrimage and end up in poor quality habitat. They don't have the cognitive ability to simply return to proper habitat and thusly they fall victim to predation and starvation (basic habitat needs not met) . These pilgrimages also take place in good habitat but what you have is coveys and single quail simply "trading places". You, as a hunter will likely not know this happens since all quail basically look alike.

Educate yourself on the amount of useable " year around" specific habitat quail need, then take a hard look at your place. Chances are, you will find deficiencies.

Lots of work is being done now regarding the quail decline. Good Facebook groups are TAMU quail decline initiative, Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. UNT QUAIL. There is Aldo a pilot program near Corsicana Texas (Western Navarro County Quail Restoration Project).

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#6921497 - 10/15/17 06:16 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Michael Wilson]
Huntmaster Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 1374
No one knows.

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#6921541 - 10/15/17 06:58 PM Re: How to getting Quail multiplying on land they use live on years ago [Re: Huntmaster]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 41068
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
Originally Posted By: Huntmaster
No one knows.


Yep. They left the big plantations in the southeast years ago. They left the home of Quail Unlimited.
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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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