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View Full Version : OK, need help with quail . . .


tcrpe
01-25-2009, 9:34 PM
I have a little private hunting club outside Lake Isabella, at about 4500', year round running water. Usually we have a pretty good population of quail, valley and mtn. There is no traffic through the area, vehicle, motorcycle, or foot, for that matter. We've only had one trespasser in the past five years, so it;s pretty isolated. The quail population has been declining over the past three years due to drought, fire, and even flood. This year is looking to be better that the past three rain-wise, and I'd like to jump start the quail population by planting some birds. I don't see a lot via internet searching, and would like to buy some quail to put out for planting. May some of you fellows have some inside dope on where to get quail for planting. Otherwise, I'll just be buying them blind from where ever I can find them.

I'm thinking that maybe a couple hundred couldn't hurt, planted in the spring and helped along through the summer and fall.

Is this reasonable? Is it practical? Anyone with any experience in this?

Gunaria
01-25-2009, 9:45 PM
You better contact DFG first about what you want to do. There's a whole mess of laws on this. Also it may help to keep the coyote & bobcat population in check too.

Thefeeder
01-25-2009, 10:15 PM
One of the best ways to attract and hold birds is habitat. Most pen raised birds will not survive to breed. A farmer I know in the delta plants peasants for a family shoot....most fall victim to preators or hunter...first come first served.

popndrop
01-25-2009, 10:16 PM
I hunt in Texas, where population augmentation is a pretty standard practice - I don't believe that same sentiment rings true in the PRK.
As Gunaria Mentioned, you'd better check with the DFG - they are very particular about this sort of thing.
I believe that you can do things like augment water supplies, food sources and predator control. Food plots are good to go - I'm not sure about feeders, but I've seen ranches in Texas that use quail feeders with very good results. Protected guzzlers will help all of your wildlife - you can either sink wells or just build water collection tanks and cover them to provide insure the birds can get water without getting eaten.
I do believe that you can plant bobwhite quail in Cali, but they don't have very good survival rates per conversations I've had with other ranch operators. Even in places where they grow native, the planted birds don't usually survive for long. I have read about birds being grown from the egg up in the wild, and that they have better survival rates. I've seen outdoor incubation systems that look interesting, and companies that provide assistance with these types of programs - but I've never heard about anybody doing in in Cali.
I'd be very interested to hear how this turns out, I have a few friends with ranches in NorCal that have had their quail populations beaten to near nothing, and would love to be able to give them good news about your success - so please update us with your activities.

tcrpe
01-26-2009, 7:50 AM
Thanks for the info, gents. I'm trying to find someone who produces quail, I know that Chuckar (Quailzilla) are available, and have found two leads that I'll follow today.

MtBulllion gamebirds in mariposa shows mtn quail available for 2009. They sell mtn and valley quail.

I was up there recently, and this year is, so far, looking up and thought I'd get a head start.

If they all run off, so be it.

pieeater
01-26-2009, 3:13 PM
Dont do it they wont live.I know a couple of ranchers that tried it with pheasants. One guy planted 1,000 pheasants. 2 weeks later you couldnt find one anywhere. Pen raised birds will not survive in the wild. You would be better off planting blackberry bushes and improving habitat.

tcrpe
01-26-2009, 5:15 PM
Dont do it they wont live.I know a couple of ranchers that tried it with pheasants. One guy planted 1,000 pheasants. 2 weeks later you couldnt find one anywhere. Pen raised birds will not survive in the wild. You would be better off planting blackberry bushes and improving habitat.

Good point, except, I'd eat all the blackberries!:drool5:

pieeater
01-26-2009, 7:10 PM
Good point, except, I'd eat all the blackberries!:drool5:

Blackberry cobbler!:D

The birds sure do like using those bushes for cover though.

Gunaria
01-26-2009, 7:27 PM
Watch out buzz worms like them too.

Mike A
01-26-2009, 7:55 PM
Often access to water is a key to quail populations. You know about "guzzlers"? Don't know about CA but some of the southwestern DFGs have plans for them and more info on how/where to place.

Chukars won't survive long in quail habitat; they need cheat grass and lots of rocks--steep rocky slopes, like half of Afghanistan and all of the Snake River Breaks.

rg_1111@yahoo.com
01-26-2009, 9:33 PM
Blackberries are quail magnets. The only problem with blackberries is that once they take off there's no stooping them from growing.

Toolfreak66
01-26-2009, 9:51 PM
How do I get a membership to your club? Quail hunting has gotten so hard in So cal.

devildog999
01-27-2009, 12:52 AM
Also it may help to keep the coyote & bobcat population in check too.

I'll do this free of charge, just give me beer at the end of the day and a hundred rounds .223 ;)

popndrop
01-27-2009, 2:12 PM
chukars won't make it over night- we've released them several times on a buddies place up north, and 75% are dead before you get to hunt them the next day. Anything raised in a Pen is not going to know how to survive out in the wild - I think you're better off releasing them the day you hunt if thats what you want - Pheasants do stick a little better - but even they're pretty hard to keep around. Depending on the size of your place, try a couple dozen in specific areas then check back the next day, week, so on - and see what's left before you go out and buy 100's or 1000's of them.

dean-o
01-27-2009, 2:13 PM
Howdy
I've got a place in Rivernook Campground in Kernville. Your right about a lack of birds lately .Last week I had 30 to 40 Quail in my yard. The wife has lots of feeders out and they seem to have discovered a good meal in the gavel.
Any way it's a good sign, they were all mature adults and hopefully they will all have many offspring. Headed back up for Whiskey Flats week end. If you haven't been to our gun range you should check it out. Only $23 bucks a year to join. Its appox 2 miles from the airport.

Dean-o

randy
01-28-2009, 2:10 AM
I'm pretty sure Chukkars came from Assghanistan, or Pakistan. They aren't native to the US. They were brought over here by a rancher from Fallon, NV. He has passed away now if I'm not mistaken. His name was Hammi Kent.

tcrpe
01-28-2009, 8:53 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys, I appreciate it. I was thinking of spending $1000 or so, maybe I'll re-think it. WRT the bobcats and coyotes, we shoot coyotes on sight. Bobcats are part of nature and we give them a pass. Yea, I know, coyotes are part of nature, too, but too bad for them :33:. The quail population has just been hammered over that past couple years, we used to have quail like gnats, everywhere. Maybe I should just let nature take it's course, there a still a couple coveys up there, perhaps a feeder would help things. We do have creek water year round.

Oh,, for the old days!

tcrpe
01-28-2009, 11:30 AM
How do I get a membership to your club? Quail hunting has gotten so hard in So cal.

Sorry, it's a private club. We try to use it to entertain clients. The quail has sucked for too long now . . . hasn't been too entertaining.

Sig226
01-28-2009, 11:54 AM
I'll do this free of charge, just give me beer at the end of the day and a hundred rounds .223 ;)

LOL, not to be out done, Ill do it for free. :-)

Pronghorn
01-28-2009, 6:04 PM
Lots of water is key.

pieeater
01-28-2009, 7:58 PM
Thanks for the comments, guys, I appreciate it. I was thinking of spending $1000 or so, maybe I'll re-think it. WRT the bobcats and coyotes, we shoot coyotes on sight. Bobcats are part of nature and we give them a pass. Yea, I know, coyotes are part of nature, too, but too bad for them :33:. The quail population has just been hammered over that past couple years, we used to have quail like gnats, everywhere. Maybe I should just let nature take it's course, there a still a couple coveys up there, perhaps a feeder would help things. We do have creek water year round.

Oh,, for the old days!

I've never seen a coyote kill a quail, but have seen quite a few bobcats with them.Probably not a huge factor though. Food ,water and cover are the main things.