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Pen raised quail experiment #4110382 03/09/13 12:22 PM
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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1129083/index.htm

Pretty interesting read. Notice the date of article.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Rockhunter] #4110464 03/09/13 02:07 PM
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Great old article. Really enjoyed it at several levels.

One thing that should be reminded is that in 1954 there were still quail around. All over. Pen raising was unsuccessful compare to "improving the land". Their facts I am sure are correct. Improving your quail flock from 172 to 640 is great - provided you have 172 to start with. And you have no hogs or fire ants - which were not a wide spread in 1954.

However, nowadays we have large areas where there are ZERO quail. Improving the land may attract and hold from neighboring land, but it isn't going to magically create quail. If the nearest quail to your land is 25 miles away or more, you have no choice but to try to re-establish with pen birds and eggs.

I also heard an interesting viewpoint about pen-raised birds. One land owner I talked with some time ago believed this: He felt pen raised birds were useful tool to protect his native coveys. He released pen raised birds, knowing that he would lose all of them. But, as he explained, the predators will target the stupid birds first, taking some of the pressure off the wily wild birds.

I need to call him and check in with him and ask him how that worked out.....

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: John Humbert] #4110970 03/09/13 07:12 PM
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Even if you loose pen raised birds you will not continue to see quail years after. They will die or be killed. Even if you did have a few survive and nest, in the long term they would do nothing to bring back a sustainable quail population. Quail populations are based on a regional habitat and population, and not a local one. And habitat loss is a primary reason the populations have fallen over the years. yes some hogs predate nests. Yes some hatchling fall prey to fire ants. However, think of how many more natural predators were around in the fifties vs today. the hogs and ants are merely picking up where other predators fell off. Habitat loss is the problem.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: AGaddy] #4111045 03/09/13 08:10 PM
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Excellant points about habitat, but it would seem that in some places such as West Texas, the habitat has not changed much at all over the past 50 years; however, quail numbers have still declined. I wonder if hunting pressure also plays a role in areas such as this since the birds are getting more concentrated and the hunters follow.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: AGaddy] #4111072 03/09/13 08:27 PM
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While I believe land fragmentation/habitat is a major
Factor---I don't think by a long shot it is the only one.
What happened to toads, bullfrogs, rabbits, lizards,
Etc. something is flat killing them. Some say nitrates
Or run off into the creeks. One theory says there has
Been a 2 to 3 degree in the temperature, upward, and
That has caused the kill off. Remember this is Texas,
And there are many ranches that are 20,000+ acres
And they don't have any quail either! On the other hand,
I know deep in Mexico there are still lots of quail-but
There is no fertilizer.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Huntmaster] #4111420 03/10/13 12:59 AM
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I have heard about fire ants for more than 30 years and it just not true that they are part of the Quail decline. All that fire ant crap started in the coffee shops of east texas many moons ago
The chicken industry caused all the quail decline in E. T. when they dumped all the chicken waste over any area they could find.
This caused desease to explode on our quail birds. This all started in the late sixties when Bo Pilgrim contraced with the farmers to build huge houses to produce his birds. Then Tyson moves in and does the same.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Double 6] #4113725 03/11/13 05:14 AM
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Despite the extended drought and dismal prospects expressed in this and other threads, I am seeing quail coveys where we hunted released birds this past season. They seem to be thriving where none were apparent before.
Hogs run rampant on this high fenced property, so I really can't believe they are a major culprit in the disappearance of wild quail...I mean, if they haven't wiped out our released survivors, it doesn't make sense that they would wipe out the wild quail.
Now, invariably where I see these coveys are in heavy brush. Maybe it offers enough protection from raptors, and low branches to escape into when ground type predators approach that our seedings can take hold...I am not holding my breath, cause I haven't seen any little ones yet this year, but the coveys are good sized. Maybe, just maybe....

Last edited by Pointer; 03/11/13 05:16 AM.
Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Pointer] #4113870 03/11/13 12:11 PM
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Pointer please keep us posted. Sound like you may be on to something.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Rockhunter] #4114873 03/11/13 09:17 PM
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The only way a hog can hurt quail is when they are nesting. They can smell a grub worm deep in the ground what keeps them from smelling a nest of birds. Not saying they could find every nest on 2000 acres but can find some. I have sent them go through a blackberry patch and make it look like a bombs gone off.

Last edited by Whoa; 03/11/13 09:19 PM.
Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Whoa] #4116440 03/12/13 02:19 PM
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Here is a more recent study by Auburn Univ. regarding restocking in Southeastern USA, Alabama.

http://www.aces.edu/forestry/wildlife/quail.php

Due to the drought in SW Kansas two seasons ago we shifted our pheasant hunting to SW Nebraska. I had hunted Neb. for years when it was a pheasant hunting destination. The farmers in the area we use to hunt have taken out the draws (cover) and the pheasant population has almost flatlined. However, the Bobwhite quail population had skyrocketed. The Neb. wildlife dept said they had a 150% increase in quail, reason unknown. We saw quail almost everywhere we went. The smallest covey was about ten birds.
My relatives in Western Arizona tell me they had more quail last year then they have seen in a good while. California also had a good crop last year. However probably not Bobs in the case of Ariz. and Calif.
I don't have any answers to the quail decline in the southern states, but Neb. has me scratching my head. It is heavily farmed with lots of fertilizers, plenty of preditors, etc. and yet they had quail like I had never seen there before.

Last edited by tick-magnet; 03/12/13 02:34 PM.
Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: tick-magnet] #4116471 03/12/13 02:38 PM
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we have seen a few covey at our place this past year the first in a long time.


Good is the enemy of Great
Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: phantom] #4116525 03/12/13 03:04 PM
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BrianL what area are you in?

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: tick-magnet] #4116611 03/12/13 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted By: tick-magnet
Here is a more recent study by Auburn Univ. regarding restocking in Southeastern USA, Alabama.

http://www.aces.edu/forestry/wildlife/quail.php

Due to the drought in SW Kansas two seasons ago we shifted our pheasant hunting to SW Nebraska. I had hunted Neb. for years when it was a pheasant hunting destination. The farmers in the area we use to hunt have taken out the draws (cover) and the pheasant population has almost flatlined. However, the Bobwhite quail population had skyrocketed. The Neb. wildlife dept said they had a 150% increase in quail, reason unknown. We saw quail almost everywhere we went. The smallest covey was about ten birds.
My relatives in Western Arizona tell me they had more quail last year then they have seen in a good while. California also had a good crop last year. However probably not Bobs in the case of Ariz. and Calif.
I don't have any answers to the quail decline in the southern states, but Neb. has me scratching my head. It is heavily farmed with lots of fertilizers, plenty of preditors, etc. and yet they had quail like I had never seen there before.


I have a theory ( a guess ), a friend of mine have for years have noticed the same thing, quail and pheasants in healthy numbers in Neb. But we believe that the quail and pheasants actually help each other out . They quickly learn each others alarm calls when predators approach. The more eyes, ears and noses you have looking out for predators the better.

You will noticed the same thing along the middle Rio Grande river in New Mexico near Bosque Del Apache N.W. R. , both Gambel's quail and Scale quail are doing well, as well as wild pheasants ( white winged and ringneck cross).

Last edited by Coldwind; 03/12/13 03:50 PM.
Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: Coldwind] #4119549 03/13/13 08:54 PM
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Studies out now are showing that heavy use of pesticides are causing declines in upland birds. Not just in game birds but all species.

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: AGaddy] #4132267 03/20/13 01:09 AM
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interesting discussion...I was always told about fireant populations hurting quail. Perhaps the ant migration north during the 90's just coincided with other factors...?

Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: topwater13] #4134401 03/21/13 12:25 AM
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I've had a Johnny house on the ranch across the road from me for 15 years. I hosted field trials over there several years. I generally had feral quail there for several months each year.

One time in all those years we saw two clutches of half grown chicks come into our subdivision. Both clutches were led by full grown roosters.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: bill oxner] #4134462 03/21/13 12:54 AM
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There are no hogs or fire ants in north west Missouri and there are very few quail any more either.


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Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: passthru] #4134489 03/21/13 01:11 AM
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Fire ant mounds high center my Gator in this pasture. Last year was a record drought in this area. We found a record 17 coveys in less than 3 hours last year.

Look at the fire ant mound in the lower right corner of this picture;



There's another just to the right of Chris in the orange outfit.

Last edited by bill oxner; 03/21/13 01:14 AM.

Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: bill oxner] #4134521 03/21/13 01:25 AM
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And I'm sure they do their fair share of damage to the chicks and nesting hens. I just know that can't explain the decline all across the nation.


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Re: Pen raised quail experiment [Re: passthru] #4135315 03/21/13 01:38 PM
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I first started to hear of the quail decline back in the 70's from folks on the southeastern coast, N, Carolina, Georgia, etc. From there it seemed to slowly move west. At first I didn't pay much attention because we still had plenty of quail, (I live in Okla).

In the early 90's I had a new pup and was using wild quail on a WMA about 25 miles from the house to train him and freshen up an older dog. Had no problem locating those birds in Oct. I had done this for years with no problem, come opening day I would be back with a gun. In those days opening day was Nov 20. In early Nov. we would be hunting Pheasants out of state. Nov. 20th came around and I went to the WMA. Found no birds. Hunted quite a lot of the WMA and found nothing anywhere, I also did not hear any gun shots from other hunters. Something killed them between late Oct. and Nov. 20th. All of them and I found several coveys in different locations on the WMA in Oct. According to the Okla Wildlife dept. it was a state wide die off with the central corridor being the worse, almost 100%.

That seems to be the pattern I hear from a lot of folks. Birds in the early fall and none come hunting day. On that particular WMA there haven't been quail in at least a decade.

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