Quail is ever-popular as a social hunting sport, and more folks are trying to get involved with getting quail on their property. This has led me to an article by Robert DeWitt, who’s spoken to Ted DeVos, co-owner of Bach and DeVos Forestry and Wildlife Services. The man knows his stuff, especially when it comes to getting land turned into a paradise for quail. I’ll throw down some basic notes from his article.
DeVos has done a lot of research and homework on the rehabilitation of property into something quail can live off of, and of course, getting your land quail ready can be no mean feat. He recommends starting with a pine plantation, and at least 250 acres of it. Anything over a 1,000 acres would have the best results. The reasons he likes pine are multifold. For starters, pine trees are upland trees, and quail are upland birds. Pines also let a lot more light reach the ground underneath them, and they are fairly resistant to burning. These two conditions are ideal for a suitable quail habitat, as proper quail habitat does need controlled burns.
DeVos figures the best density we’ve been able to achieve in Alabama is roughly one bird per acre, and that’s typically on plots where the ideal habitat is over 1,000 acres total. Some spots in South Georgia are encompassing over 300,000 contiguous acres of managed quail habitat, which we don’t have here in Alabama. If you can get your density to 100 pines per acre, that is pretty close to where you want to be. Along with regular controlled burns and removal of invasive plants, those pines will be a mainstay in quail habitat.
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