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G&F Quail Management Survey

In all seriousness, I'm actually going on a couple-year dry spell now without a sighting or having heard any quail in Arkansas. Are they going to restock?

Is this one??? I need to know what to look out for...

Bird Beak



ETA: Thoughts & Prayers to the quail. They're gonna need it cause that's all they're going to get. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out even though I know it means nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In all seriousness, I'm actually going on a couple-year dry spell now without a sighting or having heard any quail in Arkansas. Are they going to restock?

Is this one??? I need to know what to look out for...

View attachment 80598


ETA: Thoughts & Prayers to the quail. They're gonna need it cause that's all they're going to get. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out even though I know it means nothing.
Unfortunately, you are correct. I actually saw one a few months ago - they must be mounting a comeback.:up:
 

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What's interesting is that up in until about ten or twelve years ago I still had a few coveys most years. I now may have had one covey last year, but someone else reportedly saw it.

During that period, I have planted food plots, created a lot more edge, feathered edges along tree lines, and built a pond with brushy edges. I've also created grown-up brush with blackberry bushes lining lots of fence lines as well as having restored the native River Cane breaks along the river and we still lost our birds.

If they'll pay for it I might convert to native prairie grasses that could be rotationally burned, but I'm not sure that without any checks on predation I would get anywhere. I guess I need to go to a thinned pine stand to create a savannah that can be repeatedly burned, but I'm not clear cutting and I'm not going to cut out a lot of hardwoods either in order to possibly regain a few coveys. Quail hunting is basically dead in Arkansas. No one quail hunts anymore, they need to jump on the predator issue to recover dwindling turkey populations, and maybe quail will also benefit as well as other ground-nesting birds, amphibians, and small mammal. The only thing that has changed locally habitat-wise is the historic numbers of predators are out of control, which even overcame my habitat "enhancements.
 

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What are the states that do have quail doing about predators? Do they have a bounty or some program that encourages trapping/hunting?
not sure but I will tell you this... the northern states that have grouse and native woodcock.. have a lot of folks traping. In fact you need to know how to get your dog out of a trap.... luckly I have not had a dog "traped"

I figure grouse and woodcock eggs would get eaten by most ground predators
 

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Tons of quail in south Texas. A lot of the land that I'm around is farm fields. The people around there tell me they do a lot of quail shoots and the birds that get away help the population. Of course they have a lot of places you can buy quail at too.
 

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We always have a lot of blue quail on our place in south Texas. Due to drought and overgrazing, bobwhites had gotten scarce.
Last fall the cattle rancher rollerchopped about 700-800 acres and planted buffalo grass. We had a wet spring, and now I'm seeing tons of bobwhites as well as blue quail.
We have as many predators as any place I've ever been. There are no row crops and there's no pesticide use for at least 100 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The mid western states have lost a LOT of their quail also. I know texas has rebounded this year because of all their wet weather. I don't think you can compare tx and OK to Arkansas and Mississippi. There is no southeastern state with any decent quail populations outside of highly managed private lands - and all those lands have intensive predator management programs - to the extent someone working there is often fined $10,000 for putting out poisoned baits. We don't have enough quail left to get by the predators to mount any kind of comeback. G&F themselves proved habitat without predator control cant do it. Hope Quail Area had every kind of quail management prescription applied to it you could think of - except predator management. When the quail disappeared in spite of G&F's best management efforts, they changed the name from Hope Quail Area to Hope Upland Demonstration Area.
 

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We have as many predators as any place I've ever been.
I will argue you on that... in the fall in the Arkansas delta you can't count the hawlks their are so many.

I have hunted South texas I did not see neer as many hawlks and I am not sure where the coons would hide.
 

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We have lots of coons- we kill them in camp all the time. I don't know where they stay either, but they are there. I rarely have a hunt where a don't see coyotes. We have lots of bobcats, Hawks, snakes, pigs, and I see a few badgers every year.

I still think chemicals and habitat loss are bigger issues than predators in Arkansas.
 

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I will argue you on that... in the fall in the Arkansas delta you can't count the hawlks their are so many.

I have hunted South texas I did not see neer as many hawlks and I am not sure where the coons would hide.
I've seen the same thing in other states with healthy upland game-bird populations. I heard a ton of quail in central to north-central Kansas this spring. They probably had a good hatch as well. I also saw a fair number of pheasant in areas. I even saw prairie chickens. I don't think people realize what ground-nesting prey species such as quail, turkey, grouse, and pheasant face in the way of modern day predators in most areas of Arkansas today.

I guarantee you it's not as it was back when the Bobwhite was "king". Now it's truly hard to believe that quail hunting was even a real "thing" in Arkansas. I'm not even sure if people in Arkansas today even know that we once supported lots of quail, roughed grouse populations to an extent, prairie chickens were even native to the prairie (delta today), and people were even optimistic enough to attempt pheasant and grouse stockings. Things are not the same today. It wasn't pesticides in my area...

When I go out on our place (or many places in Arkansas) I commonly encounter these predators either in person or on game cams: (I'm not even sure how many different raptors/birds of prey species...but a lot - and in abundant numbers), other predatory birds (shrikes/blue jays/roadrunners, etc.), many types of snakes, opossums, absurd numbers of raccoons, more raccoons, grey foxes (rarely red fox), bobcats, coyotes everywhere, skunks, hordes of crows, tons of armadillos that seem to reproduce like mad, feral dogs, sometimes feral cats, bears, rarely mink, occasionally hogs, and that's just off the top of my head...

Many of these species weren't even "native" back in the 50's-70's, and I beg of you to tell me which ones were MORE numerous than today???

I don't see this this in the parts of Kansas I've hunted with healthy turkey and upland game bird populations. It's not comparable based simply on the types of habitat composition. I certainly don't think you can compare Arkansas as it was when we had thriving ground-nesting bird populations to what is commonly encountered in Arkansas today.

Good luck AGFC, just keep trying the same things over and over again. Maybe it'll work this time... Too bad no quail hunters are left hunting Arkansas to speak of, so good luck getting support...that's what inaction gets you...(hint, hint).
 

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What can the AGFC do if predators are the problem?
Raptors have federal protection. Very few people trap due to low fur prices. They can't make people hunt predators.
Restocking only works if the birds survive.
Other than trying to improve the habitat, what factors are controllable?
 

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I have had a bad attitude about the game and fish bragging about "bringing back deer and turkey" ... what really did they do .. restock.

that is hardly management. they have faled at quail, grouse, and even pheasant. I bet they take credit for coon, hawlks, armadillos, and the ivery billed pecker woood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
G&F could sponsor an anti predator media campaign - just like their very successful media anti doe campaign. They could legalize the killing of coons and coyotes during the spring when they need to be killed. They could maintain lists of trappers who would be willing to come to your land to trap, they could sponsor trapping demonstrations - in other words, they could publicize what a toll predators are taking instead of sweeping it under the rug. In their push for improving the habitat, they could talk about improving the habitat for rabbits, cotton rats, and other primary prey species to take some of the burden off of the quail nests. Texas does have a lot of predators - but I believe the coons, especially are concentrated around the food sources and water. Every acre of my ground is coon habitat. The areas I have bird and turkey hunted in Texas have a lot of ground that did not seem to be frequented by coons. I never hunted private farms or the like in AR - I only hunted commercial pine timberland - clearcuts and pine plantations. The only thing that has changed in that habitat from 1980 when I started bird hunting in AR is the number of predators. Persoanally, I don't believe quail will ever make a comeback in AR. Prime habitat will still not be productive habitat unless the predator numbers are reduced. Mediocre habitat - timber company land - can produce a lot of quail if predator numbers are reduced. I fear the quail population in most places in AR has declined to the point they are in a "predator pit" as Alabama calls areas where their deer populations have declined past the point of recovering on their own. There are not enough quail to overcome predation - even in pristine habitat - as G&F has proven on a few intensively managed "quail areas" in this state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was in a lease in ouachita reserve last year.....it was covered up with quail nothing but pines in different stages
I have talked to G&F about that very thing - that in a few commercial timber areas - quail seem to be doing ok and turkeys are doing great - in areas that would be considered mediocre habitat. I think G&F should do studies in areas where a species is exceeding normal production to determine why - as opposed to in the past where they do studies in declining areas that always show decimation by predators. Why did turkeys increase so much in the late 1990's - G&F doesn't give that thought the time of day. There was a time when quail did great in commercial forests but G&F seems to forget that - always blaming failing habitat when commercial forest habitat has changed very little.
 

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Every road thru the place was lined with lespedeza..... One of the guys said they were trapping hard as well. Im sure the quail were hanging close to the roads (one reason for so many sightings)
 
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