Since the CURE program hasn't worked out that well, try something else?

CRC

Old Mossy Horns
Looks like the NCWRC is examining quail management again

SMALL GAME AND WILD TURKEY COMMITTEE MATTERS
Rulemaking – Receive update from staff regarding a proposed rule that was not recommended for advancement in the 2020-2021 Wildlife Management Division rules – Brad Howard, Wildlife Management Division Chief

Private Lands Wild Quail Management Areas – Review and discuss potential quail management program for private lands – Chris Kreh, Upland Game Bird Biologist

JOINT COMMITTEE MATTERS Game Land Quail Management Area – Initiate discussion about dedicated management of quail on a NCWRC owned property. – Chris Kreh and Chris Jordan, Game Lands and Forest Resources Manager


WRAP UP Other Business Tom Berry, LUAC Chair Garry Spence, Small Game/Turkey Chair Adjourn
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
All that damn cure did for me was ruined few spots I could hit and guarantee a bird would be there gobbling every spring they haven't been back since needless to say I'm no fan. Only speaking to where I hunt others may have seen benefit
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
All that damn cure did for me was ruined few spots I could hit and guarantee a bird would be there gobbling every spring they haven't been back since needless to say I'm no fan. Only speaking to where I hunt others may have seen benefit
Yeah, I can also point out many acres of great habitat it made pretty much barren.
 

NC Quailhunter

Six Pointer
I have only hunted one CURE area. That was the Murphy Brown farm in Bladen County. This is supposed to be the flagship property for this program. It was me and a buddy and two dogs. We hunted for five hours total and found only one covey. I was disappointed to say the least. I was hoping to find at least one covey every two hours but one in five is enough to tell me that the program needs to be reevaluated and a serious look into the decline of quail in this state needs to be had. There are states on all sides of us that are seeing there birds making a turn for the better and ours are not. Hopefully this leads to a real plan and not just more talk and lip service. JMHO.
 
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Hines

Button Buck
That has to be frustrating. I'm not a bird hunter (other than turkeys), but i would be a little ticked off if good ground was caused to go bad by a state-funded program.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
the CURE proved (to me) that it isn't just "habitat" as is claimed - if you don't control the predators you won't have a lot of quail

personally I think that the quail population that we have NOW is more representative of what the historical populations were - that the high times of the 30s through 70s were representative of the huge reduction of avian and ground predators. Once trapping dropped off (prices went in the pits) and DDT was banned, we have had a surge in predators. The experts have told me that I was wrong, that if the habitat was right, the quail would do OK - well CURE showed that didn't work

I know - the acreage on CURE wasn't enough
 

Loganwayne

Four Pointer
I think that the quail population that we have NOW is more representative of what the historical populations were - that the high times of the 30s through 70s.

I completely agree with you on this. i think its true for grouse and quail. everyone says our numbers are super low and they are but at the same time we dont have records of the number of birds before the 1900s and western nc was logged heavily. of course the whole northern part of the county has high numbers of grouse. the logging operations are creating perfect habit for them over and over again.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
the CURE proved (to me) that it isn't just "habitat" as is claimed - if you don't control the predators you won't have a lot of quail

personally I think that the quail population that we have NOW is more representative of what the historical populations were - that the high times of the 30s through 70s were representative of the huge reduction of avian and ground predators. Once trapping dropped off (prices went in the pits) and DDT was banned, we have had a surge in predators. The experts have told me that I was wrong, that if the habitat was right, the quail would do OK - well CURE showed that didn't work

I know - the acreage on CURE wasn't enough
I agree, but the frigging bird lovers will cringe because they are the ones they have really jumped back. Don't get me wrong, the furbearers play a part also, but you don't see as many of them especially when fur prices was up as there was yet quail numbers were still in the tank.
 

Loganwayne

Four Pointer
Hoping grouse numbers get better in the future or at least stabilize.

Now that I’m living in the hills, I’ll be after them with the pup.
There is a lot of land that the gov. And state own that are ready to harvest. But at least in the counties around Asheville they are having a hard time getting approval due to all the tree lovers. My buddies that work for the forest service have been doing a lot of logging plans since last fall but they don’t seem to encouraged that something will happen in the near future


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darkthirty

Old Mossy Horns
What a lot of people don’t realize is quail aren't like deer or turkeys.
You can do all the habitat and predator management available but you have got to have quail to get quail. They don’t move in. As their numbers increase, they spread out. You can’t take 10, 20 or 30 acres and make it a quail paradise like you can with deer. Yes, those small acreages may keep remnant populations around but they’ll never do shit for boosting numbers.
I’ve said it before on here and I’ll say it again. I’ve toured some of the finest wild bobwhite places you can imagine (averaging 8-10 covey finds per hour). There are 4 things they all had in common 1. Private ground 2. 1000+ acres 3. INTENSE habitat and predator management 4. BOTTOMLESS pockets.
And I’ll throw in a 5th, they were all hunted but in comparison to the amount of land and birds, they received very little hunting pressure.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
they had 1000s of acres (21k in all - but was spread around) in CURE,,,they had the intense habitat,,,but they didn't have the predator management (well and not bottomless pockets either)

fully realize quail (and other small game) aren't deer or turkeys - those two critters disperse as well, you sure aren't gonna "manage them" on 10, 20 or 30 acres either

bottom line - and maybe I am dead wrong, but when I see hawks and owls everywhere the game will get ate

and like I said,,,likely what we are seeing is the old (and now new) normal - that period of the "quail hayday" was the abnormality - and only those places that truly manage the area (as darkthirty discussed) to include predators, have a change to get it back to where it was for quail

the wrench in what I put forward is that in the plains states they seem to be doing fine(ish) - so maybe it's something else here in the south?
 

darkthirty

Old Mossy Horns
they had 1000s of acres (21k in all - but was spread around) in CURE,,,they had the intense habitat,,,but they didn't have the predator management (well and not bottomless pockets either)

fully realize quail (and other small game) aren't deer or turkeys - those two critters disperse as well, you sure aren't gonna "manage them" on 10, 20 or 30 acres either

bottom line - and maybe I am dead wrong, but when I see hawks and owls everywhere the game will get ate

and like I said,,,likely what we are seeing is the old (and now new) normal - that period of the "quail hayday" was the abnormality - and only those places that truly manage the area (as darkthirty discussed) to include predators, have a change to get it back to where it was for quail

the wrench in what I put forward is that in the plains states they seem to be doing fine(ish) - so maybe it's something else here in the south?
We rode on one place for 4-5 hours. It was 25k+ acres. They had a road system throughout the entire property and there was live traps every 1/4 mile on the roads that stayed set 365 days a year. One man who’s sole job was to check, dispatch, remove and rebait traps every day. They didn’t play with predators and I remember the guy giving the tour also said the aerial predators were “managed” intensively as well. They also had their own skidders and logging crew that kept the basal area of pine plantations in check and last but not least, they burned and burned a lot.
I’ve got a buddy who started quail hunting about 20 years ago. He’s got some good bird dogs. He will find quail to some degree every trip he goes and he’ll hunt 3-4 times a week. He swears there are still quail to be had but if you try to hunt’em like your granddaddy did, you’ll never see a bird. He don’t hunt edges. He dives off in the thickest cutovers he can find. His pointers and setters are more like good jump dogs than bird dogs because they know the birds are where it’s thick. Last time I went with him, we found 3 coveys and I fired my gun one time because it was so thick I either couldn’t see the birds or couldn’t get my gun up. He don’t shoot’em up but he’ll kill a couple to get his dogs feathers but when he’ll go to the military bases or refuges, he and his dad will kill their limits every trip.
 

timber

Eight Pointer
I think was a combination of things here. I think farming practices played a part along with predators. Every ditch bank and hedgerow were cut down to the ground every year. Plus this area went a while with almost zero grain in the fields. Everybody went to planting cotton. We kept having to drive farther to find a county that had grain and farms that were left to grow ip some. Use to bird hunt alot down towards comans. First few years hunted found plenty of birds then after one of the hurricanes it seem they disappeared. Last time we went carried 5 dogs found 2 coveys and one of them had so few of birds didnt try kill any. Biggest challenge there was trying kill them with steel shot
 

NC Quailhunter

Six Pointer
I agree with the statement that habitat is not the only problem. There is plenty of habitat that has been improved and continually getting improved. We can always do more.
Predation control is another big issue. Mammalian and Avian predation take a toll and if they are not kept in check as we all know they can decimate a small game population in a specific area.
Farming practices have hurt the population but that is private property and if the farmer is worried about clean ditches and appearance over leaving stuff for the wildlife than that is his prerogative. We can only attempt to change the mind of the land owner to leave the weeds on the edges and create a habitat for wildlife. They can be reimbursed for the acreage through the CP-33 program and other programs under the CRP umbrella.
I think the most accurate statement, in my opinion was made by Dark Thirty saying,." You have to have Quail to make Quail". I have been talking to the NCWRC in this area about a program that has been successful in other states and with Tall Timbers Research Station. That is trans-location. It involves moving wild coveys from areas where they are doing well to areas where the habitat has been improved to put the bird back in that area. This is exactly what they have done with the Turkey, recently by sending the birds to Texas. Also how they brought the Elk back to its native ranges in multiple states.
I am not talking about pen raised birds because that is another discussion. Wild birds moved and left to breed and inhabit their traditional areas. I think that we all need to continue to talk about habitat but we need t get the ear of the commission and have them start talking about trans-location.
The combination of all of these in my opinion should help increase the numbers of Bobwhite quail in N.C.
Sorry for the length of this post.
 

Loganwayne

Four Pointer
I think Nc needs to have WIHA on private property and give land owners incentives to leave fringe habitats and part of crops standing/or planting native grasses/grains for food and cover. I know that’s a long shot with most farms smaller in size than in mid west and most are already leased for hunting.



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turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
WIHA will never fly in state as populated as NC with high land leases and even higher demand. NC does have some private land in game land system but not to extent of west states and not the private farms it would take. it works in Midwest due to low population and quite honestly a different mindset of the overall people.
 

Loganwayne

Four Pointer
WIHA will never fly in state as populated as NC with high land leases and even higher demand. NC does have some private land in game land system but not to extent of west states and not the private farms it would take. it works in Midwest due to low population and quite honestly a different mindset of the overall people.
I completely agree but I also think that is part of why the quail, pheasants, prairie chickens, and all the other upland birds are doing better than here in the south east


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Downeast

Ten Pointer
I was watching a farmer's helper mowing yesterday. Ditch banks, around old home sites, anywhere there were any "weeds". Right smack in the middle of breeding/brooding season. Multiply this activity on hundreds of other farms and you get the picture. Oh, before I forget, yesterday evening I watched them shoot some does with a fawn or two in the bean fields. Good method to keep those pesky deer at bay. Kill the mamma's and the fawns will perish too. I think farmers are doing an excellent job keeping "Wildlife Off The Farm". :ROFLMAO:
 

MtnGrouseHtr

Four Pointer
they had 1000s of acres (21k in all - but was spread around) in CURE,,,they had the intense habitat,,,but they didn't have the predator management (well and not bottomless pockets either)

fully realize quail (and other small game) aren't deer or turkeys - those two critters disperse as well, you sure aren't gonna "manage them" on 10, 20 or 30 acres either

bottom line - and maybe I am dead wrong, but when I see hawks and owls everywhere the game will get ate

and like I said,,,likely what we are seeing is the old (and now new) normal - that period of the "quail hayday" was the abnormality - and only those places that truly manage the area (as darkthirty discussed) to include predators, have a change to get it back to where it was for quail

the wrench in what I put forward is that in the plains states they seem to be doing fine(ish) - so maybe it's something else here in the south?
This is exactly right. NCWRC always spouted habitat, habitat, habitat. We'll with the Cure program that had complete control over the habitat. They could burn, plant, and cut as much as they wanted for large tracts of land and limit hunting pressure. It was a spectacular failure. In the 30's - 70's, everyone in the rural areas had a few chickens, and they shot every bird of prey they laid eyes on for fear they would harm their poultry. Last time I hunted the Sandhills Cure area, I saw more hawks than crows. They were everywhere. We have to control avian predators if game birds are going to make a comeback.
 

Loganwayne

Four Pointer
This is exactly right. NCWRC always spouted habitat, habitat, habitat. We'll with the Cure program that had complete control over the habitat. They could burn, plant, and cut as much as they wanted for large tracts of land and limit hunting pressure. It was a spectacular failure. In the 30's - 70's, everyone in the rural areas had a few chickens, and they shot every bird of prey they laid eyes on for fear they would harm their poultry. Last time I hunted the Sandhills Cure area, I saw more hawks than crows. They were everywhere. We have to control avian predators if game birds are going to make a comeback.
Pesticides probably killed more avian predators than any farmer. That said I think hawks have made an amazing come back but I think there population in most areas have put grown their food supply and there numbers will drop some again naturally in the next few years


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Downeast

Ten Pointer
Predation as a "significant" factor in my opinion is a sign of poor habitat. Marginal habitat can become a buffet for predators.. And when I say predators, I'm talking insects, reptiles, mammals, as well as birds. Field borders do work, but they have to be wide, at least 30' with 50' preferred. A 12' border may make you feel good, but it is a buffet table for predators. The room I'm sitting in right now is 12' wide and it is not very big.
 

Jett

Eight Pointer
In my neck of the woods (Tyrrell Co.) fire ants, hawks, hardee ditchbank mowers, Roundup et al, USFWS flooding the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, no new farmland being pushed up with windrows, limited fires and very little transitional cover, coyotes, fake woofs, and maybe turkeys have all caused quail populations to plummet to an extremely critical low point.

On land that used to hold 2 or more coveys per windrow, if we are lucky to find 2 coveys in a day, we just fire blanks over the dogs and move on.
 

Mack in N.C.

Old Mossy Horns
This is exactly right. NCWRC always spouted habitat, habitat, habitat. We'll with the Cure program that had complete control over the habitat. They could burn, plant, and cut as much as they wanted for large tracts of land and limit hunting pressure. It was a spectacular failure. In the 30's - 70's, everyone in the rural areas had a few chickens, and they shot every bird of prey they laid eyes on for fear they would harm their poultry. Last time I hunted the Sandhills Cure area, I saw more hawks than crows. They were everywhere. We have to control avian predators if game birds are going to make a comeback.
This^^^, i had chickens growing up in the 70's and you shot every predator you saw. and the neighbors did as well.

and when I would go Bird or Rabbit hunting with the old timers they got mad at you if a hawk flew over and you did not shoot it. it is clean farming and the explosion of predators. it is not that hard to figure out.
 
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