HOW TO HAVE MORE QUAIL
You Can Have More Quail
NOTE: You can hunt quail as well as deer and turkey
on your hunting lease or at your hunting club with very
little investment and not much work. According to Dr.
Bill Palmer, game bird specialist at Tall Timbers Research
Station in Tallahassee, Florida, "Most outdoorsmen
will be satisfied to go out with their buddies and a
bird dog and find two to three coveys of quail in a
half-day's hunt. Hunters can create this type of hunting
ground on all kinds of forest land with minimal effort."
This week, we’ll learn how to have more quail
on the property where you hunt and the history behind
why the quail populations across the U.S. have declined.
of the differences in forest lands, you can't predict
accurately how management practices will affect a specific
parcel of land. However, you can expect some general
results from managing forest lands for quail. "On
many forest lands, simply using fire as a regular management
tool will raise quail populations from a bird per 10
acres to a bird per 5 acres," Dr. Palmer explains.
"You can expect to find one quail per 10 to 20
acres on typical woodlots in most of the Southeast and
in many other sections of the country where the land
hasn't been managed for quail. At that density, you
can hunt all day and only hope to locate one covey.
However, by properly using herbicides and fire on that
same land, you can easily and consistently bring your
quail population up to about a bird per acre or a bird
per two acres and find six to 12 coveys of quail per
increase quail production, you don't have to burn your
entire woods or spray large sections with herbicides.
“Using fire and patch-spraying herbicides to control
ground litter and hardwood brush is much more effective
than broad-area spraying and large-area burning,"
Palmer emphasizes. You can set aside 2 to 5 acres as
a good patch size for quail. If you plan to burn for
quail, here's Palmer's recommendations:
* burn only 2 to 15 acres at a time,
* leave 2 to 10 acres of unburned forest land adjacent
to the burn region and
* spray only 2- to 10-acre patches at a time with herbicides
to remove non-productive brush like sweetgum, leaving
the adjacent 2 to 10 acres unsprayed.
Remember that these patches you've created have multi-purpose
uses. Besides providing ideal habitat for quail, these
patches make productive green field sites and/or places
where native plants can regenerate and produce quality
forage for both deer and turkey.
TOMORROW: WHAT QUAIL MANAGEMENT CAN DO FOR YOU