Hard to find on their new website format. Link is belowhttp://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/planning/quail_forecast/forecast/
Early and midsummer rains fell over much of the Rolling Plains, triggering calling activity and “green up”. The amount of spring and summer rainfall totals was highly variable but an overall improvement from last year. Many reports of a hearty reproductive response received from areas with significant, timely rains. Differing age classes of young have also been reported. Rangelands are in recovery and where grazing has been reduced, prime nesting habitat is definitely more available than last year. Field reports suggest that many areas have improved enough to support limited hunting. Last year’s hot spots will likely improve this season.
The average number of bobwhites observed per route was 7.5 compared to 2.9 last year. This is well below the LTM of 19.7. Despite below average counts, pockets of quail remain in areas with residual cover that received timely rainfall. Public hunting opportunities can be found at the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and to a limited degree at the Matador WMA.
South Texas Plains
The combination of early summer rain, lower than average temperatures, and decent carryover from last season has resulted in a marked improvement in bobwhite numbers over much of south Texas. Similar to the Rolling Plains, many field reports indicate multiple age classes in broods, suggesting a wider window of nesting opportunity. Reports also suggest that our survey may be an underestimate in several areas where ranch level surveys confirm average to slightly above average numbers. The best opportunities will be on well managed sites with good nesting cover.
The average number of bobwhites observed per route was 11.6 compared to 6.0 last year. This is below the LTM of 17.4 and is predictive of a below average hunting season for the region as a whole. The Chaparral and the Daughtrey Wildlife Management Areas provide public quail hunting opportunities.
Scaled quail numbers remain below average with continued drought over most of the Trans-Pecos ecological region. There were enough mid-summer rains to trigger breeding and nesting activity. Overall, field reports indicate fair scaled quail production with reproductive efforts occurring mid to late in the summer after scattered rainfall events.
The average number of scaled quail observed per route was 6.0 compared to 8.4 last year. This is below the LTM of 15.6. Public hunter opportunities can be found at Elephant Mountain and Black Gap Wildlife Management Areas.
Our surveys indicate that bobwhite numbers are well above average in the Gulf Prairies where 19.9 bobwhites were observed per route compared to 11.3 last year. Bobwhite are less dependent on rainfall in this region, where there is usually enough moisture available for nesting. Habitat conditions in areas of native rangeland are in good condition. Hunters should focus on the central and lower coast in native prairie habitats.
The High Plains Timbers and Edwards Plateau report improvement in quail numbers compared to last year. Although there are certainly areas within each region where some quail hunting opportunity remains, this survey is not designed to detect changes in localized populations, especially in fragmented landscapes.