Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lucky streak continues with 2016 Texas quail populations


In competitive sports or anything else, it's difficult to sustain a string of wins, but that's exactly what has happened with the state's wildlife population for the past three years.

Three back-to-back wet years statewide has Texas looking at bumper crops of game and birds just before hunting and game regulations are established for the 2016-2017 seasons.

Texas Outdoors Annuals, which contain freshly established rules, will be at hunting and fishing depots in mid-August.

Dr. John Tomecek of the Texas A&M Rolling Plains quail management facility in San Angelo feels it's now save to say Texas has turned the corner on bad years of bird hunting, which includes turkey and quail. Dove are products of migratory patterns, depending on good hatches not only in Texas but some other states in the flyway.

Tomecek feels that quail in West Texas and the Rolling Plains have already experienced one hatch and predicts that another will occur before the season opener, probably in October.

However, Perez feels that the coastal plains of Texas may be the exception. The coastal bend had lots of rain for long periods of time this year and as a result quail have not been able to build nests and hatch young birds.

" I feel that another nesting opportunity will occur later this summer, but that means coastal hunters will be seeing some very young quail this fall," he added.

No-flooding rains happened in most regions of Texas in April and May, allowing for quail to hatch. He predicts that hatch No. 2 is now underway in the majority of the state.

"Quail carryover for 2015 was excellent, which will only enhance the 2016-2017 quail seasons. 

Read the full Gosangelo article

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2016 Pennsylvania Quail reintroduction plan runs into trouble


The Pennsylvania Game Commission's plan to reintroduce bobwhite quail into the state has hit a couple of bumps.

Earlier this year, in a hearing at the state Capitol, executive director Matt Hough said the project was on hold because of a lack of money.

This month, it was revealed military officials at Fort Indiantown Gap — a U.S. Army training facility in Lebanon County — no longer are interested in allowing their grounds to be used as the reintroduction site.

All that is prompting a change.

Commission officials are expected to visit some state game lands in the state's south central and southeast regions, perhaps as early as this week, to see if any might be suitable as potential reintroduction sites.

A neighboring state is farther ahead with its own quail work.

Phase two of New Jersey's “Northern Bobwhite Restoration Initiative” kicked off with the release of 81 birds this spring.

Read the complete TribLive article 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hiring Field technicians – Quail Research: Texas

Agency - Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch
Location - Roby, TX; near Abilene
Job Category - Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Website -
Salary - $1,100/mo plus lodging and food allowance
Start Date - 08/01/2016

Last Date to Apply - 07/10/2016

Got your BS degree but now you need some real world experience on your resume? The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch is looking for two motivated technicians for the fall and winter. Ending-date could extend until May 2018 given excellent job performance. Job duties include radiotelemetry, trapping/banding quail, various population indices (roadside counts, helicopter counts, covey call counts). Gain experience with quail habitat management, prescribed burning, data analysis, and outreach.

B.S. in wildlife management or related field, Proficiency using radiotelemetry preferred. Experience with galliformes desirable. Must have good work ethic and able to work long days when quail trapping is in progress. Experience with data entry (Excel), GPS and GIS required. Must be able to lift 50 pounds. Submit cover letter and resume (including 3 references).

Contact Person
Dr. Dale Rollins
Contact Phone
Contact eMail

Full JobBoard Posting

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Southern Kentucky Quail Hunt Video

Join the crew of Kentucky Afield TV as they visit a farm in southern Kentucky that is managed for wildlife.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Boom-and-Bust Quail: Finding the Best Hunting Grounds

Article by Ron Spomer

Last winter, quail populations were up across the South and West. What finally went right for Gentleman Bob? And can it be repeated?

In a pasture near Roy, Tex., last January, I flushed a plague of quail. According to biologist Dale Rollins, bobwhite numbers hadn’t just doubled over the previous year; they’d increased fivefold. Scaled quail numbers were up eight times.

It was a classic irruption year.

Mearns quail exploded like that in southern Arizona two years ago. After years of low numbers, they were suddenly everywhere. I’ve seen Gambel’s quail do that in the Sonoran desert. Absent one year; like locusts the next.

In the 1960s, Idaho was covered up with mountain quail. Today, a remnant population barely hangs on, but introduced valley quail are doing okay.

Down in Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, and surrounding states—once bobwhite strongholds—the quail seem almost to be missing in action.

What’s going on?

Habitat, and the way that habitat responds to weather conditions—both good and bad—is driving these trends.

Biologists have been harping on the fundamental importance of habitat for so long—while quail populations mainly move in one direction: down—that it’s getting hard to believe, especially with the huge uptick in hawks, raccoons, feral house cats, fire ants, and other predators. And what about diseases and parasites, like eye worms? These things all play a role, but, as the latest Texas irruption indicates, habitat (and habitat’s response to weather conditions) remains the crux of the situation.

Predators didn’t disappear from Texas last year. Neither did parasites or diseases. But, after years of drought, it rained. A lot. Ground that had been stripped to bare dirt sprouted vegetation in which quail could hide and thrive. Hens had plenty to eat, so they double clutched. A hen would lay 12 eggs, leave them for the male to incubate, then lay another 12 and hatch those herself. Bingo. A 12-fold increase.
Habitat, Times Three -- Read the rest of the Outdoor Life article

Monday, June 6, 2016

Kentucky Season Ending Quail Hunt Video

The Kentucky Afield crew heads to Boyle County on the last day of quail season.