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#7086865 - 02/20/18 08:45 PM Eye worms at work
danceswithquail Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 662
Loc: DFW Area
Hunted two different ranches about an hour apart, one south of Lubbock and one going SE about an hour from there. First place was fantastic looking cover, hadnt been hunted but four hours all season and they found 9 coveys in a morning with one GSP. We should have found more birds than 4 coveys in a half day. Started checking birds and exactly 50% had eye worms in one eye. Here is a pic of the bad eye. All blues and bobs on second ranch were fine, no issues. Dont know if the eye worms look for a host in winter time only - that seems to be pattern, lots of birds in Sept and fizzle to minimal birds by Feb. If they are still hosting and jumping to new birds, has me worried for next season.


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#7086969 - 02/20/18 10:02 PM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
bobcat1 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 3180
Loc: Sanger, Texas
Man that's terrible. Hope they find a cure soon.
_________________________
Bobby Barnett


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#7087442 - 02/21/18 10:57 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
reeltexan Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 3276
Loc: Ovilla - TEXAS

very bad deal
_________________________


"Count that day lost whose low, descending sun
Is not, in part, obscured by powder from my gun"
B. Spiller

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#7087853 - 02/21/18 03:47 PM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
tigger Online   sleepy
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 4908
Loc: Round Rock, Texas
Dances I have concerns also but have had issue for several years maybe rain will help most of Rolling plains has been very dry since early summer
Only real hot spot has been big lake area and some very low hunted areas
_________________________
Tigger
If it isn't white it is not a birddog.

KC
Lying is lying. Don't bitch about one doing it and condone another. That's called hypocrisy.
_________________

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#7098762 - 03/02/18 10:37 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
GA DOG 3 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/01/18
Posts: 2
Loc: georgia/ gordon co
some one mentioned a "vaccine" on the forum are they working on a vaccine???
_________________________
Ga Dog 3

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#7098882 - 03/02/18 12:10 PM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: GA DOG 3]
Mundo Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 277
Originally Posted By: GA DOG 3
some one mentioned a "vaccine" on the forum are they working on a vaccine???


Game keepers in Great Britain have used medicated grit to treat another worm parasite in Red Grouse. I suspect this is what they are talking about. There is evidence that the worms are developing a resistance to the anti-parasite drug and biologist are encouraging game keepers to only use the grit when the parasite count is really high.
https://www.gwct.org.uk/media/490036/Medicated-Grit-disease-update-30Apr15-pdf.pdf

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#7099751 - 03/03/18 08:10 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
danceswithquail Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 662
Loc: DFW Area
This is from the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch website

Phase 2 consisted of three new studies to be conducted at TIEHH at an additional cost of $550,000. These experiments were to study if/how eyeworms impact a quail’s ability to forage or escape predators. As part of this project, it was found that eyeworms were often found in the nasal sinuses and other related glands around the eyes, and that they were blood=suckers. This finding upped the ante considerably. Another study would use “DNA fingerprinting” to screen various insects (potential intermediate hosts) for the eyeworm’s DNA. Initially we thought small cockroaches were the primary intermediate host, but this study is finding other species of arthropods are likely as equal or perhaps more important as the intermediate hosts. (DWQ note: Think they are finding grasshoppers are key intermediate hosts).

Armed with the new information about eyeworms (i.e., their abundance in the nasal sinuses) one Phase 3 project was funded for an additional $725,000 with the primary objective to devise and test control alternatives (e.g., a medicated feed) as a means of controlling eyeworms and cecal worms, then determine if such treatments could increase survival and/or reproduction when applied to quail in the field. The lab and field portion of these studies is scheduled to begin this summer.

Three years and $3.3 million and counting. Where will this research take us? Will it prove to be a good investment of such a large amount of our funds? Can we develop a medicated feed, administer it, and see tangible results as they did with red grouse in the United Kingdom? Only time will tell — stay tuned.

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#7101530 - 03/05/18 09:55 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
NorthTXbirdhunter Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 1029
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
Guys,
First, let me say that the eyeworm can’t be helping the quail. But, this is not a new phenomena just discovered. Quail have had to deal with eye worms forever. I have read studies of the quail and eye worms dating back to circa 1958 by a scientist by the name of Dr. A.S. Jones. Exponentially, it is not any worse today than 60 years ago. $3.3M to conduct a study? You saw what happened in West Texas the prior 2 seasons when there were ample and timely rains out there. Both banner years. It is all about moisture and cover and bugs and range control. My lease in Kent County had less than 10” of rain for the entire year of 2017 and ytd this year is 2/10s of an inch. This is the problem. Quail are starving to death with no cover. Hawks and vermin are wearing the weaker birds out. Now, send me $1M dollars for my opinion because that is all you are getting elsewhere.

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#7101550 - 03/05/18 10:16 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: NorthTXbirdhunter]
NorthTXbirdhunter Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 1029
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
Let me put it another way. I have a close friend that owns a ranch in Dickens County that has invested in a quail feeding program and I did not on my lease. Typically, they flushed 3-4 times the number of coveys as we did on comparable weekends. His birds were healthy and fewer than 10 birds were found to have eye worms. I consistently checked birds I harvested for eye worms and found 1 all year. But the birds were not hearty at all. I will be feeding birds through nesting season and then again once the season starts and hedging on the bet that food sources are the key to successful quail populations.


Edited by NorthTXbirdhunter (03/05/18 10:17 AM)

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#7101574 - 03/05/18 10:33 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
JTS Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 473
Loc: Wichita Co.
North TX, could you describe your friends feeding program.

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#7101584 - 03/05/18 10:36 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
68rustbucket Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 2659
Loc: San Marcos, TX
Are y’all using feeder stations or broadcasting feed on roads and trails thru the brush?

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#7101717 - 03/05/18 12:12 PM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: JTS]
NorthTXbirdhunter Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 1029
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
He bought one of the Outback Feed Trailers that blows the feed out of the hopper into the brush in a more uniform linear fashion. He has some algorithm he uses with the supply times the speed to get X amount of pounds per acre. Typically, seeding from a road, two track, or edges. Concentrating on brushy areas. Never in the middle of road. In the 2016 season, he put out nearly 40 tons of Milo on his Ranch and adjoining leases.

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#7101723 - 03/05/18 12:14 PM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: 68rustbucket]
NorthTXbirdhunter Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 1029
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
Feeder stations are nothing but a potential death trap for quail. Hawks have them timed down to the minute.

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#7103634 - 03/07/18 06:38 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
danceswithquail Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 662
Loc: DFW Area
This season was a lot like 2010. Saw a bunch a birds out in sunflowers during dove season, big coveys. Good reports from ranchers in Oct/Nov. Get excited, and by January the birds just about disappeared eventhough there was great cover. There were four or five pockets of really good birds when I called around in November, then by the Xmas time I am working on lining up some day hunts, the ranchers are seeing coveys of six to eight birds, population seems to have crashed even though they had not been hunted, and are not taking hunts. Quail populations decline a good bit every winter, but '10 and this season seem to have had much larger declines than normal. Had a pretty good mice/rat crop to keep the avian predators busy (from casual observation). I don't quail hunt on the property I own, but I had at least two coveys of about 10 birds in September and they are nowhere to be found and I know where those coveys hang late season every year. It wasn't all over as some places held up good, but in those two counties, I never found a single eyeworm-infested bird. Obviously, the 2016 season I doubt the eyeworms disappeared so I don't know if there is some connection to lack of rain at certain times that cranks up or even diminishes the intermediate host population (which I think in the rolling plains they have found is largely grasshoppers), and end up in quail as the final host at a higher rate. When you go out and hunt and half the birds have one eye gone, you know there are at least 3X that are a pile of feathers that lost both eyes the proceeding month or two. Don't have any kind of answer, just some observations and concern.

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#7103753 - 03/07/18 08:59 AM Re: Eye worms at work [Re: danceswithquail]
Chet Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 2506
Loc: Benbrook
Originally Posted By: danceswithquail
This season was a lot like 2010. Saw a bunch a birds out in sunflowers during dove season, big coveys. Good reports from ranchers in Oct/Nov. Get excited, and by January the birds just about disappeared eventhough there was great cover. There were four or five pockets of really good birds when I called around in November, then by the Xmas time I am working on lining up some day hunts, the ranchers are seeing coveys of six to eight birds, population seems to have crashed even though they had not been hunted, and are not taking hunts. Quail populations decline a good bit every winter, but '10 and this season seem to have had much larger declines than normal. Had a pretty good mice/rat crop to keep the avian predators busy (from casual observation). I don't quail hunt on the property I own, but I had at least two coveys of about 10 birds in September and they are nowhere to be found and I know where those coveys hang late season every year. It wasn't all over as some places held up good, but in those two counties, I never found a single eyeworm-infested bird. Obviously, the 2016 season I doubt the eyeworms disappeared so I don't know if there is some connection to lack of rain at certain times that cranks up or even diminishes the intermediate host population (which I think in the rolling plains they have found is largely grasshoppers), and end up in quail as the final host at a higher rate. When you go out and hunt and half the birds have one eye gone, you know there are at least 3X that are a pile of feathers that lost both eyes the proceeding month or two. Don't have any kind of answer, just some observations and concern.


I'm a rain makes quail guy and the eye worms have been around for a long time so I have to think that intense draught years tend to increase their effect on bird populations. Whether it lessens the quail's ability to fight off the worm or it increases the problem in the hopper population I don't know but there is certainly some correlation. The two previous seasons with good rains produced bumper crops of birds, but the eye worms were still there. We need a feed like the brits have used on game birds to lessen their effect on quail during the dry years or great rains every year. Since we not going to see the latter I hope the research being done will find the medication that will lessen their effect.

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