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re-introducing quail #7763061 03/04/20 07:54 PM
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My family farm in central texas had quail until about the late 80s. I've been thinking about trying to re-introduce them and wondering if anyone has ever had success doing this. I suspect I would need a johnny house of some sort. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm not trying to get a huntable population but it would be nice to have a house covey or two to look at and listen to.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7763086 03/04/20 08:15 PM
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I introduced quail around my house--I released hundreds of birds before I got a covey. Survival rate for pen raised birds is very low. I think the covey I finally established were birds that I began working a puppy on when he was a couple of months old.
I would let him work on half grown birds while he was on a check cord and then put him up and recall the birds.
I think those birds learned something from the pup and survived in the wild when I released them.

There is an expensive box that people used, but it really isn't much more than a covey house with a heater. If it were easy to reestablish quail we would have a put take situation like pheasants .However, many a fish and game department has tried and failed. For a covey to thrive you probably need about 100 acres of good habitat. Even then, If there isn't a lot more quail habitat nearby the covey is likely to fail after several generations and without birds in nearby habitat to recolonize the area you will end up with no quail.

It is possible to repopulate using captured wild birds. If you can protect them for the first several days they will find secure roosting and loafing areas if you have any. This, however, is illegal. However, some fish and game departments have done it successfully with valley quail and (Hawaii for one) and some individuals have done it . It is illegal in Texas and in most states. Bobs have also been introduced in Oregon, Washington, Italy and New Zealand. Virginia is currently attempting to reestablish bobs.




Last edited by Mundo; 03/04/20 08:21 PM.
Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7763272 03/04/20 10:28 PM
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Pen raised will not work.
I think you would have to breed them, hatch them and allow them to populate from a johnny house or something similar.

And be vigilant against predators.
And hope and pray for the right rain at the right time.

Good luck and keep us posted!


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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7763696 03/05/20 01:16 PM
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The experiments that TAMU is doing with using Valley quail to reestablish wild populations is very interesting. They say they are more like pheasants in their ability to survive and establish populations. We will see but I hope and think we are getting closer to solving this problem, somehow.


We are all in this together.
Re: re-introducing quail [Re: mickeyhft] #7763774 03/05/20 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mickeyhft
The experiments that TAMU is doing with using Valley quail to reestablish wild populations is very interesting. They say they are more like pheasants in their ability to survive and establish populations. We will see but I hope and think we are getting closer to solving this problem, somehow.


I heard that they were going to start using Gambles to do that - it makes a lot of sense. Is there a place where you could read up on that experiment?? Rolling Plains deal?


#TightLines
Re: re-introducing quail [Re: Conner Allen] #7763796 03/05/20 02:31 PM
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I heard that they were going to start using Gambles to do that - it makes a lot of sense. Is there a place where you could read up on that experiment?? Rolling Plains deal?[/quote]

I think if you google California quail in Texas there are some articles on some newpaper websites. Rolling Plains research guys seem to be stuck on habitat, eye worms, etc.... which are certainly causes of decline, but it has to be something else, I believe anyway. We have TONS of great habitat in Shackelford County, used to be THE place for quail, now few to none. We lost them all when chemicals rather than kids with hoe's became the way to deal with cotton field weeds. They just don't want to seem to talk about the prevalence of chemicals in the environment.

Rowdy dog sorry if I hijacked your thread but I'm glad you are bringing up this conversation. To your question, the surrogators are being used to at least help the pen raised birds last longer and even maybe with tons of quail released get some back on the landscape. Rollins at rolling plains has some good videos on YouTube on the subject. Trap and transfer does work but they are not doing that yet. They are proving it can work and seem to be hopeful that can be part of the answer.


We are all in this together.
Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7763838 03/05/20 03:10 PM
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I had a Johnny house for years and leftover quail from NSTRA trials. The feral quail were fun to watch and for training, but I only saw two clutches in all those years.

Here's one.

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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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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7763967 03/05/20 05:20 PM
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Pen raised birds won’t work; that’s why God made wild birds and a 20 gauge.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: Huntmaster] #7764017 03/05/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Huntmaster
Pen raised birds won’t work; that’s why God made wild birds and a 20 gauge.


Ha, well then I reckon God is really failing at his job to make more wild birds. That or we are doing a pretty poor job of stewarding what He gave us and gave us responsibility for. And God must love the quail hunter because how could how those birds hold, how a dog works them, and how our hearts love them fit together so perfectly! I mean He did give the wanderers quail to eat in the desert. Gambel's you reckon? Or oh wait, I bet they were Valley/California quail, which gives us a model to follow. In any case, there's no doubt that wild birds and a 20 gauge are the preference!


We are all in this together.
Re: re-introducing quail [Re: mickeyhft] #7764050 03/05/20 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mickeyhft
[quote=Huntmaster]He did give the wanderers quail to eat in the desert. Gambel's you reckon? Or oh wait, I bet they were Valley/California quail.


Those were coturnix (old world quail). Attempts have been made to release them by fish and game departments--problem is they migrate and go where the food is---so they all leave when the food is gone. BTW it is illegal to release game birds without a permit. Game wardens don't worry a whole lot about training birds and the occasional "accidental" release from covey houses but they will write you up for trying to introduce a non-native species. If you get a covey house keep receipts so you can show provenance for your birds. Some irrigation district employees turned me in to the game warden for having a covey house but once I provided paperwork to show I wasn't trapping birds he left me alone. You can get a private bird hunting area license that allows you to release bobs, chukar, pheasants and mallards, but all birds need to be tagged.

Last edited by Mundo; 03/05/20 06:59 PM.
Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7764059 03/05/20 07:00 PM
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Years ago they had what were called Tennessee Reds. Was that just a hoax?


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


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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: bill oxner] #7764073 03/05/20 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
Years ago they had what were called Tennessee Reds. Was that just a hoax?


We had some at the last trial in Floresville. They were pretty wild, they would pop if a dog ran by them.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: 68rustbucket] #7764080 03/05/20 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 68rustbucket
Originally Posted by bill oxner
Years ago they had what were called Tennessee Reds. Was that just a hoax?


We had some at the last trial in Floresville. They were pretty wild, they would pop if a dog ran by them.



I've been to that trial. There is a quail farm just up the road.


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


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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: bill oxner] #7764199 03/05/20 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
Years ago they had what were called Tennessee Reds. Was that just a hoax?


There is a strand of quail called Tennesssee Red. In Missouri you do not need a permit to have them in your possesion or use them for dog training.
They are great flyers and for the most part are more hardy than regular bobs
https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/tennessee_red_quail.html

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rioman42] #7764211 03/05/20 10:24 PM
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Tennessee Reds are a mutation of bobs. They are thinner than most pen-raised birds, tend to be more active.
Lots of trainers and put and shoot places like them because they are easy to identify and are thought to fly better and less likely to turn tame than other strains of pen raised bobs. They are a little harder to raise because they attack each other more and a more likely to bang themselves against walls and sides of cages. (Blues are the same way.)

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7764314 03/06/20 12:04 AM
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rioman42 and Mundo are spot on.


Bobby Barnett

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: bill oxner] #7764445 03/06/20 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
Originally Posted by 68rustbucket
Originally Posted by bill oxner
Years ago they had what were called Tennessee Reds. Was that just a hoax?


We had some at the last trial in Floresville. They were pretty wild, they would pop if a dog ran by them.



I've been to that trial. There is a quail farm just up the road.


The Tennessee Reds came from Roadside Quail.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7764662 03/06/20 02:44 PM
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Roadside is where I always got my quail. They had two sizes. The larger ones couldn't get through my recall funnel.


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


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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7764852 03/06/20 06:26 PM
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The Pitchfork said they were considering bringing in California Quail.........


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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7764911 03/06/20 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
The Pitchfork said they were considering bringing in California Quail.........


Interesting! The harvest rates on the ranch this year were pretty bad (they keep great data), so I'm not surprised. Gotta do something. I hope if they try it they have success!


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Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7772543 03/15/20 02:11 AM
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Thanks for the info on Roadside.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7773241 03/15/20 10:42 PM
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I always heard Hobart Ames and some plantation in GA or FL had a lot to do with TN Reds. I know I bought them around here when I was a kid. Here is what I found.

There is every reason to believe that this strikingly beautiful color phase will remain a rarity in the wild in the future, as it has been in the past. – Herbert Stoddard

I was recently visiting a friend of mine named Harold Ray. He is known through out the field trial world as one of the best ever shooting dog trainers. He has won eighty championships and was elected to the Field Trial Hall Of Fame in 2007. Early in his career Harold was hired by Elvin and Inez Smith to be the trainer for Smiths English Setters. Last year Mrs. Smith passed away, and Harold was asked to go through some of the records and materials she had accumulated. During this process he came across a binder of very old issues of American Field magazine. Harold told me that one of them contained an article that discussed the red quail of the Ames plantation. At this point my ears perked up.

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Over the years I have had many people ask me about the red quail.
Questions like, Where did they come from?,Why is it called the Tennessee Red?, Is it a separate species?, Are their calls different from the Northern Bobwhite?Will red quail and northern bobwhite form mixed coveys?
Maybe this was an opportunity to get some answers.
Harold went on to say that according to the article some of the first reports of Red Quail came from sightings on the Ames Plantation around 1925.
I had heard of the Ames Plantation since that is where the National Field Trial Championship is held every year. I knew it was a large place (over 18,000 acres), and was located in west Tennessee.
Unfortunately, Harold had loaned out the magazine article, so I could not read the entire thing myself to learn more about the sighting. But I left his place with enough of a lead to begin digging for more information about red quail on my own. Heres what I found out.
According to ornithologists, if a quail shows a lack of pigmentation in its feathers, this condition is called albinism. If it shows an abnormal red coloration, it is referred to as having an erythrism. In Herbert Stoddards classic book, The Bobwhite Quail, he addresses the subject of erythrism. He says that a female quail of the red color phase was sent to the U.S. Biological Survey after being shot in 1921. The bird was collected ten miles south of Potomac, Virginia in King George County.
Not much more was said about this curious red quail until the manager of the Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee wrote Mr. Stoddard a letter in February of 1927. The manager, Mr. C.E. Buckle, wrote:
There is a mixed covey of quail here of which seven are distinct auburn red, and when flying they look a richer red than they are in your hand. We killed one a day or two ago and it is the most beautiful quail I have ever seen.
Soon after he penned this letter, Mr. Buckle wrote an article for American Field in which he describes the unusual coloring of the birds this way:
The auburn red is much like that of the red Scotch grouse.
A year later he shot a red quail there at the Plantation, and sent it to Stoddard for his collection.
If I had been Herbert Stoddard, I would have seen this as an opportunity to go quail hunting at the Ames Plantation. That is exactly what he did a few weeks later. While there he saw five of the red phase quail in four different coveys.
The red quail seemed to spread out and increase on the Ames Plantation. About 1930 Stoddard noted, no less than one to five red quail have been noted in seven different coveys over several square miles…
In the years following many red quail were captured on the Ames Plantation and propagated for release in an attempt to increase their numbers. Some were also trapped and sent to Sherwood Plantation in Thomasville, Georgia, for genetic experiments.
From these early studies it was determined that the red quail condition was a natural trait that can crop out from time to time in the northern part of the bobwhite range. However, it seemed that Grand Junction, Tennessee was the only location where it actually had a tendency to persist.
However, efforts to increase the number of red quail were very discouraging. In a summary of this work, published in 1949, researchers made the following comments, Both at Grand Junction and in Georgia, the red quail that had been released as adults appeared in a few instances from five to 35 miles away —— . They also noted, the reds lacked the vigor of the normal birds, their egg fertility was much lower, and their mortality rate both before and after hatching was higher .
Since some quail growers are currently propagating this muted strain commercially, it is obvious that much knowledge has been gained about rearing the red quail since the 1930’s. So what might one expect to see in the red quail obtained from breeders in this day and time? Once again I turned to Harold Ray for his insight. I figured anyone who trained four Hall of Fame dogs and has been working with all kinds of released quail since the
1960’s, had to be very discriminating when it came to bird performance.
Harold told me he had used Tennessee Reds for a couple of years on his place. He used some in Johnny Houses(recall pens) and others to establish free ranging, pre-season release coveys. From his experience, Harold said the red quail seemed to hold to a smaller home range, be very strong fliers, and demonstrate a stronger covey instinct than some of the normal bobwhites he has used.
This experience has led me down a scent trail to some great historical documents on red quail and the answers I had been seeking. I had learned that these quail were not a separate species, but rather a naturally occurring muted strain of the Northern Bobwhite. Also, I found out that since this color seems to persist in Tennessee, it is sometimes called a Tennessee Red.
As for their behavior, I surmised that since they had first been found in mixed coveys with Northern Bobwhite, they must get along pretty well with their relatives. In addition, they have the same spring mating call and fall covey up call as the brown phase .

Out of a casual conversation with a friend I was able to learn something new about quail. In turn I am able to share this information with you. You never know what can come out of something like a simple visit with your neighbor, especially when that neighbor has seen as many covey rises as Harold Ray.
References:
Buckle, C.E.:American Field, vol. CVII, no. 17,p.444, April 23,1927.
Cole, et.al., Auk66:28-35,1949.
Stoddard, H.L., The Bobwhite Quail, 1931: 86-87.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7773456 03/16/20 01:52 AM
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Thanks for posting.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7773639 03/16/20 08:17 AM
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Thanks for sharing the info, very interesting read.

Re: re-introducing quail [Re: rowdydog1] #7780800 03/22/20 01:33 AM
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Thank you for sharing. Forrest

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