Quail Info in GA and beyond

Thread starter #1
My research lab at UGA has started a Facebook Page. Go to @gamelabUGA to find it. Also, on twitter @gamelabUGA and instagram @martingamelab.

Thanks
 
My research lab at UGA has started a Facebook Page. Go to @gamelabUGA to find it. Also, on twitter @gamelabUGA and instagram @martingamelab.

Thanks

So Doc, what is you research, peers, gut feeling, whatever, telling you about quail in Georgia? I 've seen more quail this spring spread out over multiple areas than I have in may years, and quite a few in areas above the fall line that I haven't seen quail in for many years. Are numbers improving, or is it just coincidence, since I'm am typically only seeing one or two at a time. If numbers are improving, is it weather related(plenty of rain), related to more clearcuts and early growth after those, or some other factor. I was just curious if number really were up, or if I have just happen to run into one of the few that happen to live in the areas I have been in.
 
Thread starter #4
With the except of the late summer drought in parts of GA last year, weather conditions over the past few years has been good. It has contributed to small increases in quail in some areas. Sounds like, though, you are mostly coincidently spending your time in areas with resources for birds (e.g., clearcuts). Populations throughout the state still remain very low compared to 50 years ago with rare exception.
 
With the except of the late summer drought in parts of GA last year, weather conditions over the past few years has been good. It has contributed to small increases in quail in some areas. Sounds like, though, you are mostly coincidently spending your time in areas with resources for birds (e.g., clearcuts). Populations throughout the state still remain very low compared to 50 years ago with rare exception.
Thanks. I know that there are waaaaay less birds than even 30 years ago, but I just thought it was strange that I saw birds in areas that I hadn't seen birds in 20 plus years.
 

spring

Senior Member
Plenty of birds in places that sacrifice financial returns and manage for them. That's not easy for most places as the property is utilized for its highest economic opportunity, which may be apartments, row crop farmland, shopping centers, homes, timber, ect.
 
Thread starter #7
Plenty of birds in places that sacrifice financial returns and manage for them. That's not easy for most places as the property is utilized for its highest economic opportunity, which may be apartments, row crop farmland, shopping centers, homes, timber, ect.
Correct. If we want birds back in areas that can't sacrifice financial returns to a large degree, we are going to have to be creative. We can do it.
 
Whatever might be done to bring them back will cost mega bucks either in actual dollars or in opportunity costs.
 

spring

Senior Member
Whatever might be done to bring them back will cost mega bucks either in actual dollars or in opportunity costs.
Definitely the opportunity costs as every property around these days that has a good to very good quail population is investing in the property every year. Year-round feeding, burning, hardwood spraying, and discing are pretty basic management techniques, all while limiting timber production. Mixed into all of that is labor, fuel, equipment maintenance, ect. That's why most of the better quail hunting places go on the market by the 3rd generation of ownership. Mr Big buys the place, his kids later enjoy it, but after the ownership gets splintered among the grandkids around the country who soon then learn that have to feed their interest in some property, they say, "Sell!" :)
You can definitely combine financial interests in a property with a managed hunting interest; what that balance is comes down to the owner. But even that step would require marginalizing the quail habitat from what it's maximum could be.
 
Thread starter #10
Definitely the opportunity costs as every property around these days that has a good to very good quail population is investing in the property every year. Year-round feeding, burning, hardwood spraying, and discing are pretty basic management techniques, all while limiting timber production. Mixed into all of that is labor, fuel, equipment maintenance, ect. That's why most of the better quail hunting places go on the market by the 3rd generation of ownership. Mr Big buys the place, his kids later enjoy it, but after the ownership gets splintered among the grandkids around the country who soon then learn that have to feed their interest in some property, they say, "Sell!" :)
You can definitely combine financial interests in a property with a managed hunting interest; what that balance is comes down to the owner. But even that step would require marginalizing the quail habitat from what it's maximum could be.
A lot of truth to this. However, a person with a decent size tract of land (500 acres) can have huntable numbers of wild birds without breaking the bank. But, that 500 acres can't be just anywhere. It needs to be in a good landscape--not surrounded by 10,000 acres of closed canopy pine.
 
Land use and economic profit is what drives pays the bill for most on private land. Totally understandable. Like quail doc said you have the have a property that is also surrounded by like minded property owners that also promote bird habitat. This is why it is so hard for the state to sustain long term quail hunting on public land.
 
When the quail and grouse hunting were great, land use such as timber cutting and small farms created good habitat incidentally. Those things don't happen much anymore. The only places where there are birds is where it is intentionally managed for them, and that is always going to be limited.
 

oldguy

Senior Member
A lot of truth to this. However, a person with a decent size tract of land (500 acres) can have huntable numbers of wild birds without breaking the bank. But, that 500 acres can't be just anywhere. It needs to be in a good landscape--not surrounded by 10,000 acres of closed canopy pine.
Or 10K acres of ag fields that may be nothing but bare dirt come winter time.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
That’s great to hear. What are some of the things you’re doing to reach that point? Doesn’t just happen! 😉

Leaving natural areas for protection and bugging, burning when needed, and what I think is as important as anything, combating fire ants.
 

spring

Senior Member
Any of you had much experience discing and mowing before the season in order to reduce bird habitat in an effort to push birds into more desirable areas for hunters, which ultimately can make coveys easier to find? I know some of plantations reduce habitat by 20%-30% for this purpose, which can help also help get a jump start on winter discing for early successional nesting cover.
 
Top