John's Journal... Entry 67, Day 1
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Bill Palmer, the Balfour Game Management Resource Fellow at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Florida, received his Phd in zoology from North Carolina State University. He has studied the bobwhite quail, its decline and the steps needed to bring quail back for much of his life. Tall Timbers Research Station, a non-profit research-education station established in 958 on part of a quail plantation once owned by and now endowed by the Henry Beadel family, studies the use of prescribed fires and other techniques to manage wildlife in the Southeast. Located right in the middle of a major quail plantation in the Thomasville, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida area, the station has a land mass of approximately 4,000 acres in Georgia for research purposes. Here Dr. Palmer answers many of the questions that quail hunters ask.
QUESTION: What has caused the bobwhite quail to
Why has there been a reduction of fire in the forest?
QUESTION: How does fire benefit quail?
What's the best way to bring back quail in the South?
Too, a landowner who manages his or her lands for agriculture as well as timber can make a significant positive change in the numbers of quail on that land by leaving the weed growth on the edges of the fields. If you don't plant agricultural crops but do plant greenfields in natural wildlife openings, you still can greatly improve the habitat for quail. Leave the edges of your greenfields and wildlife openings in weeds for 2 to 3 years before you plow those edges again.
One of the best things you can do for quail if you're planting small grain or clover for deer and turkey in greenfields is instead of plowing that greenfield in the spring and planting a summer crop for wildlife, let the ground go fallow and the weeds continue to grow throughout the spring and summer. Then come back in the fall and re-plant your greenfield. But don't plant the first three to five rows in your greenfield in anything, and instead let that area grow up in weeds. If you feel like you have to plant a crop in the spring, only plant half of your field, and allow the other half to go fallow until the fall. The weeds in your greenfield will provide food and cover for quail during the summer months. Remember that quail need a mixture of grasses, forbs and shrubs for their survival. By the time you're ready to plant your greenfield in the fall, the young quail will be big enough to survive on their own.
Tomorrow: Foshalee Plantation's Solution to Declining Quail Populations
Check back each day this week for more about Improving Your Quail Hunting ...
Day 1 -Where Have All the
Wild Quail Gone