Saving the quail.... is it possible?

Fatkid

Four Pointer
NCWRC is getting a lot better with management on the game lands. It is very interesting to read their 10 year management plans. They are long reads but all the information is broken up to make it easy to find specific information.


I wish federal lands in the state would do better with active management.
 

para4514

Eight Pointer
Contributor
The gov has had programs to try to enhance quail populations. Don’t remember if it was in the WHIP or EQIP to gram that would pay landowners to plant borders for quail habitat. I checked into it some years back but ones I have talked to about it said it never really worked. The ones I saw that tried it have put the land back in cultivation.
There are still programs that will fund this type of management. EQIP and CRP are the two that provide the best opportunities. Managing early succession is a priority with the EQIP program in NC, but when no one signs up for this funding it is put towards other management practices.

There are many things that impact the success of these programs. Two of the most impactful are scale and intensity of management. Small isolated patches of "quail habitat" can benefit a lot of animals, including the predators mentioned earlier, but quail, not so much. The level of management plays a big role in success as well. It takes a lot of effort, money and dedication, to keep trees from taking over field borders or to maintain an open canopy pine plantation. Many well intentioned landowners get frustrated and give up when their money, or federal funding, dries up. Unfortunately, quail habitat doesn't "just happen" with todays typical land use.
 

BigBow

Eight Pointer
Not to sound like the eternal pessimist, but I think the Bob White Quail hunting that I experienced in Eastern NC in the 60-70's will never be experienced again. IMO, farming practices, pesticides & habitat are the #1 reason for population decline. We used to have coveys w/ 10+ birds pointed by pointers & setters in the middle of harvested corn, soybean & even old broomsedge fields. Once pointed & flushed you could the hunt singles as they all tried to get back together. Nowadays if I flush a bird, it is on the edge of a field in the most godawful bramble of swampy cat briar you can possibly find.
 

hawglips

Old Mossy Horns
Not to sound like the eternal pessimist, but I think the Bob White Quail hunting that I experienced in Eastern NC in the 60-70's will never be experienced again. IMO, farming practices, pesticides & habitat are the #1 reason for population decline. We used to have coveys w/ 10+ birds pointed by pointers & setters in the middle of harvested corn, soybean & even old broomsedge fields. Once pointed & flushed you could the hunt singles as they all tried to get back together. Nowadays if I flush a bird, it is on the edge of a field in the most godawful bramble of swampy cat briar you can possibly find.
I share your pessimism. Until farming practices in the east return to the days when grown up ditches, hedgerows, etc were the norm, it doesn't seem likely to me that the good ole days can ever return there.
 
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