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Quail land management #8541635 02/26/22 02:21 AM
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huntinraider Offline OP
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Curious if any of you old farts out there have ever built a wild quail feeding area similar to below?
If so, how did it work?

We’re in Fisher county and only have a couple tanks on 4k acres so looking for watering alternatives (rain collection). Obviously the point is to help boost numbers. Don’t know if a few of these with feeders would make a material impact to our numbers but figure it can’t hurt.
Any of you guys place any quail feeders in general? Notice any impact?

Before I get a lecture on habitat and natural food sources, we have what we can in dry west Texas. Mostly CRP. There isn’t much you can do if you don’t have rain.

We haven't had good numbers since 2016 which I see as primarily rain driven - less water, less food, etc. we currently see a couple of coveys here and there but would love to do some management to get it back to half the 2016 numbers.

Love to hear from the experts…



https://plateauwildlife.com/quail-wildlife-station/

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Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8541699 02/26/22 03:18 AM
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Water is a big issue. I don't have a solution for you there. I've never been a big fan of stationary feeders. I've witnessed too many birds get ambushed by varmints and hawks/owls at feeders. If you're going to feed, do it with a road feeder and put milo or millet out. This at least spreads the feed out and doesn't allow predators to predict their location as easy.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8541792 02/26/22 04:54 AM
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Probably won't have much impact on your populations and may actually hurt them.

Quail don't necessarily need free standing water because they can get moisture from dew and the tanks can increase quail predators. It's a delicate balance to benefit your birds without benefitting their predators.

Are you doing any prescribed burning? Quail need a patchwork of habitat(nesting, brooding, feeding, and escape) in fairly close proximity.

There's some good books on quail management and Fred Guthery is definitely one to read.
https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781585445387/on-bobwhites/

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8542143 02/26/22 05:54 PM
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I can understand you wanting more quail -------- but -------- as long as you understand that your efforts fall under the category of a hobby and it it gives you a reason to be on your land and 'doing something' and enjoying yourself -- THAT should be your goal. It is likely you will have minimal to zero effect on the quail population.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8542179 02/26/22 06:46 PM
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Wise words on here.

That's a nice set up, but $1,800.00? eek2

Plateau is certainly a growing company, but I've always had the sneaking hunch they take advantage of folks that don't know any better.


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8542851 02/27/22 03:14 PM
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Trapping raccoons, skunks, and hogs will directly help your quail populations more than putting up a feeder.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8544146 02/28/22 10:14 PM
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better off broadcast feeding with a road feeder. That is an expensive setup --- one problem with all quail o feeders using milo is the slightest amount of moisture cause the feeder to clog===the larger the feeder the more likely you are to have a big mess with a cake of milo at the bottom of the feedr clogging the feeder.

You are better off discing wavy strips to crt is eat more forbs and bugs and half-cutting brush to add to loafing areas. It is also generally cheaper .

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8544172 02/28/22 10:39 PM
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Great advice!!

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8544198 02/28/22 11:20 PM
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it does work

and your set up is good,

if you can make it bigger where they're protected while drinking and feeding
would be best

feed and water alone won't help ... you need cover, lots of cover :

tall grass, quail buffer zones, brush piles and lots of them

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8544625 03/01/22 01:27 PM
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Yes I’ve made a couple dozen quail feeders. The key is you have to have thick cover or grass as your aerial predators caught in quick.

Easy to make

8” of 4x4 tubbing, barrel/lid and funnel.


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Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8545496 03/02/22 12:54 PM
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I have seen hawks picking them off at field trials.


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


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Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8545533 03/02/22 01:32 PM
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I hunted S TX a few weeks ago and the ranch had been stripped with the pasture grass called Buffa is what the cowboy called it and then the S TX brush. Each strip was 200-400 yrds wide and long as half mile. That grass was knee high to belly button high and thick in most places. The cowboy said that A&M developed this grass for S TX. It is not cheap and takes some spraying maintenance because the brush starts intruding back into the grass. I would look at that buffa grass, but there were 10-14covies a day in that grass and brush. Good luck. I live in TN where I used to have several covies a day, and now it is almost a thing on the past and I have to travel to places like TX,NM and KS to find birds. We killed 9 in TN this year.

Re: Quail land management [Re: tnduxcaller1] #8545597 03/02/22 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tnduxcaller1
I hunted S TX a few weeks ago and the ranch had been stripped with the pasture grass called Buffa is what the cowboy called it and then the S TX brush. Each strip was 200-400 yrds wide and long as half mile. That grass was knee high to belly button high and thick in most places. The cowboy said that A&M developed this grass for S TX. It is not cheap and takes some spraying maintenance because the brush starts intruding back into the grass. I would look at that buffa grass, but there were 10-14covies a day in that grass and brush. Good luck. I live in TN where I used to have several covies a day, and now it is almost a thing on the past and I have to travel to places like TX,NM and KS to find birds. We killed 9 in TN this year.


That would be Buffelgrass. it's a native grass of Africa/Asia and is considered an invasive species here in Texas. It is a drought resistant grass and cattle do well on it and prefer it over some of the other summer grasses. It is a bunch grass and can provide decent nesting cover for quail. Buffel is probably the lesser of all the evils as far as invasive drought grasses because it can be controlled with grazing where some of the other grasses like Tanglehead become unpalatable once they mature and will quickly become a monoculture if not aggressively controlled.


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Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8545807 03/02/22 06:02 PM
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To the OP... i know you said you don't want a lecture on habitat, but that really is the number one thing (and timely rainfall) that it takes year-in/year-out to have a good quail population. You manage the things you can, and with good timely rain, they'll survive. We use all the tools in the bag when it comes to habitat. We put wildlife water overflows on the ground not necessarily for quail to drink out of, but more importantly to create "micro environments" that contain weeds/forbs/insects, etc. Young quail chicks don't eat seeds, they need insects for survival. We do feed milo but only during hunting season and we broadcast it along "quail roads" more to keep the birds active in areas during feeding times. We use chemicals, mechanical, fire, water and cattle to manage our habitat and we do it year-round in order to always have some areas in various stages of pasture recovery with various native grasses, croton, etc.


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Re: Quail land management [Re: First_Chance] #8545829 03/02/22 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by First_Chance
Originally Posted by tnduxcaller1
I hunted S TX a few weeks ago and the ranch had been stripped with the pasture grass called Buffa is what the cowboy called it and then the S TX brush. Each strip was 200-400 yrds wide and long as half mile. That grass was knee high to belly button high and thick in most places. The cowboy said that A&M developed this grass for S TX. It is not cheap and takes some spraying maintenance because the brush starts intruding back into the grass. I would look at that buffa grass, but there were 10-14covies a day in that grass and brush. Good luck. I live in TN where I used to have several covies a day, and now it is almost a thing on the past and I have to travel to places like TX,NM and KS to find birds. We killed 9 in TN this year.


That would be Buffelgrass. it's a native grass of Africa/Asia and is considered an invasive species here in Texas. It is a drought resistant grass and cattle do well on it and prefer it over some of the other summer grasses. It is a bunch grass and can provide decent nesting cover for quail. Buffel is probably the lesser of all the evils as far as invasive drought grasses because it can be controlled with grazing where some of the other grasses like Tanglehead become unpalatable once they mature and will quickly become a monoculture if not aggressively controlled.


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


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Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8546599 03/03/22 02:05 PM
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When I was in college at TAMUK I did quail research on a ranch in the valley, and rarely found our radio collared quail in Bufflegrass stands. Sometimes they would roost in patchy BG cover, but that was about it. Monoculture is not your friend with quail habitat.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8546608 03/03/22 02:11 PM
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We have monoculture issues in the SE too. I lived in E NC out of college. Pure stands of white pine. Not too much lives in them. Here in TN we have lots of green pastures and very large crop fields with narrow fence rows. I prob. can hunt several thousand acres but there are no quail on about 95% of it or more.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8547132 03/04/22 01:07 AM
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Look up the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. They’re between Snyder and Roby on 180. They’ve probably forgot more about quail than I’ll ever know. I was out there a good bit when I worked in Snyder for NRCS.

IMO, the best thing for quail is what you really don’t want to hear: good rainfall at the right time of year. Habitat is definitely a factor, but great habitat without food for chicks (ie grasshoppers and other insects) doesn’t go far in growing the population.


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Re: Quail land management [Re: goosebuster] #8551124 03/08/22 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by goosebuster
When I was in college at TAMUK I did quail research on a ranch in the valley, and rarely found our radio collared quail in Bufflegrass stands. Sometimes they would roost in patchy BG cover, but that was about it. Monoculture is not your friend with quail habitat.

They will sometimes roost iner buffle and bail out into it. However with good rain and light grazing it smothers all the other forbs and isn't
much of a food source. When it is real thick birds can't run fast through. In a nutshell -- not good quail habitat.

Re: Quail land management [Re: First_Chance] #8557427 03/16/22 02:31 AM
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Wise words

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8559326 03/18/22 05:01 PM
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"old farts"?


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Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8560030 03/19/22 03:22 PM
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Very informative thread.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8560149 03/19/22 06:52 PM
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The only thing that is going to drastically change anything, and you be able to create what you want is it to burn and plant heavy for what you want in return! Also lots of cutting/spraying undesirable sprouts!



Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8563364 03/24/22 01:27 AM
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You might consider half-cutting (cutting brush limbs half-way through, then bending it down to form an umbrella.). Quail need loafing cover and parts of thge hill country and west Texas don't have much. fI would definitly do it around feeders if you have put any up. A feeder without nearby loafing cover is an invitation to quail predators.

Re: Quail land management [Re: huntinraider] #8563734 03/24/22 03:41 PM
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All good advice. You can also lightly disc portions of the soil in late winter, feed year round(or at least during stress periods).

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