John's Journal...


You Can Have More Quail

Click here to enlargeEDITOR’S 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.

Click here to enlargeBecause 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 day."

Click here to enlargeTo 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.


Check back each day this week for more about HOW TO HAVE MORE QUAIL

Day 1 - You Can Have More Quail
Day 2 - What Quail Management Can Do for You
Day 3 - Why Did Quail Populations Decline?
Day 4 - What’s the Big Lie About Quail Management
Day 5 - How to Have No-Cost and Low-Cost Quail Management



Entry 288, Day 1