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Old July 18, 2007, 10:11 PM   #1
Hedley
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Found quail- Now what?

While mowing one of our pastures and my front yard for the first time this weekend, I flushed out a couple covies of some really plump looking quail. Two covies of about 5-7 to be exact. I'm not certain what type they were, but I'd like to know how to keep them around until quail season. I'd hate to loose my quail population on opening day. And most importantly, I'd like to boost their numbers. What can I do? Our 40 acres is flanked on all 4 sides by a combination of sorghum and corn fields. I plan to keep up with the pastures now that I have a tractor, but if I need to let one of the smaller ones grow out, I will. Will the noise of my Massey Ferguson scare them off? And for what it's worth, the pasture I found them in is coastal Bermuda grass with no brush or trees( there is some mesquite and weesatch growing in my yard though).

Front yard:


Hay pasture:
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Old July 19, 2007, 12:17 AM   #2
Fat White Boy
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Check with your County Ag Advisor, he/she will have plenty of info. Also, if there is a Quail Unlimited Chapter in your area, talk to them, they also will help you.

14 quail isn't a lot so you should protect them as best as you can. I hunt quail in California and most coveys I run across have 20 to 30 birds. I have run across a couple of 300 plus bird coveys in the past, but nothing like that lately...
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Old July 19, 2007, 08:30 AM   #3
Doyle
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In S. Texas, I'm guessing these are Bobwhite. The sorghum is good food for them, but they will need other seed types for times of the year when the sorghum isn't ripe. They will also need some cover. I'm originally from S. Georgia. The plantations there are groomed for bobwhite - including regular controlled burns of the pine forests. One thing they do is to make circle fire breaks of heavy brush areas (maybe 50 feet in diameter). These circles are allowed to grow as bushy as nature wants and they provide nesting areas for the quail. The surrounding areas are goomed to provide food. You could do something similar on the edges of your fields. Let them grow up bushy and that will provide cover while the field provides food.

The other thing that is important is predator control. Coons, foxes, and coyotes are huge predators of young quail.
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Old July 19, 2007, 08:40 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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Dunno how far south or west you are in "South Texas". Unless yoo're on out toward the western brush country part, odds are they're bob whites.

They'll spook from a tractor, but they're territorial little critters, and will return home.

The Parks & Wildlife people have all manner of literature about quail.

I have a solar-powered clock feeder near my house, feeding hen scratch once a day. Not a lot, but it keeps the quail and doves around.

The biggest enemy of quail is the feral housecat. I shoot any I see.

If you have the time, inclination and patience, you can train the little buggers to come when you call. Just do the "Chick, chick, chick..." thing at the same time every day, scattering out some grain. Start with just a handful, until they find it and start to associate your calling with the food. Takes maybe a month or so. If you work at it, you can sit in a chair and they'll keep coming closer. I've gotten blues to run around under my chair, happily pecking the goodies.

Welfare folks are everywhere...

, Art

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Old July 19, 2007, 08:41 AM   #5
Clayfish
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Quote:
The other thing that is important is predator control. Coons, foxes, and coyotes are huge predators of young quail.

Predator control is important but the only thing you need to be controling in this list is the coons. Rats are the biggest problem to quail. Like coons they eat the eggs from the nests. Foxes, Coyotes, and Hawks eat mostly rats.
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Old July 19, 2007, 08:57 AM   #6
Hedley
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I'll have to try that Art. I'm out near Arroyo City, just NW of Harlingen.
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