It’s disheartening when you got somebody doing it the “right way” or at least best they can, and they still struggle to keep good numbers.Although quail are pretty much "home bodies" most of the time, I believe they may travel considerable distances during their spring mating process, and can take advantage of some better quail habitat.
Unfortunately they apparently need a much larger amount of contiguous good quail habitat in order to thrive, than they might need just to exist for a single generation. While a single covey might do well on only 40 acres of good habitat, it may take over 4,000 acres of good contiguous quail habitat surrounding that 40 acres for quail to thrive in the area. Even where such unusual conditions might exist (in TN), still doesn't seem to be happening.
When I was young, one of my childhood friend's family had a 180-acre mostly row-crop farm we regularly hunted after school. This farm most years had 5 to 7 coveys of quail thriving on it.
As the quail populations seemed to be steadily decreasing over time (1980 - 2010), my childhood friend steadily improved his farm for quail. Unlike the many thousands of acres of surrounding mostly row-crop farms, my friend actually "improved" his fence-row cover, moved to "less clean" farming practices, and even planted plots of lespedeza and several native grasses.
His farm today has much more abundant and better quail habitat than it had back in the 1960's & 70's, when there were a lot of quail in that TN county. But for over a recent decade, he had zero quail on his farm. In 2019, a pair appeared and produced a covey. In 2020, there was again none. This spring, he says he's heard some distant birds whistling on the adjoining property, but has yet to see one this year on his property.
I hope our native TN bobwhites don't go extinct, but they've sure been trending that direction in most our counties.
For those highly interested . . . . . .
27th Annual National Bobwhite Technical Committee Meeting August 2nd-5th, 2021 Hosted by : Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Due to popular demand: Early deadline extended to July 12, 2021. We will be offering a hybrid meeting, but virtual participation will be limited to the plenary, awards...bringbackbobwhites.org
Tell me about it.It’s disheartening when you got somebody doing it the “right way” or at least best they can, and they still struggle to keep good numbers.
I think the aesthetics and peer pressure are harder for many to overcome than the economics areAgree with those sentiments wholeheartedly @TheLBLman
I guess to add a positive outlook on it, because I’m feeling optimistic this fine Sunday, my hope is our biologists and more so the decades of experience will win out. If nothing else learning from how fragile the quail were will help (and already is I believe) insulate and maybe reverse the turkey trends. We recognize there’s a problem before it’s too late I guess.
I would love to see the day where quail are more abundant and that’ll be a much tougher hill to climb but we’re better at this now than we’ve ever been, so, just maybe we can make some inroads for them too. I know there’s a lot of stuff being done in Texas looking at disease/pest infestation & several southern focused initiatives trying to help put them back on the landscape. The economics are a tough part to overcome but who knows what we may be able to do that we couldn’t 10 years ago. I think awareness and interest in trapping and prescribed fires are two great, economical and fairly feasible ways we may get back in the game.
That's no surprise. Pen raised birds don't know how to be wild birds. They will have 99% mortality in the wild.Back in the 90's there was a guy named Bob White that raised quail, funny I know but true, and he would turn his birds loose on our land and train his dogs. I guess that's why we had so many there for a while. But they seem to be all gone now
I've always considered the habitat around here to be very good and after reading the comments, I don't think we can point to loss of habitat as the main cause.