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Thread: Good news for Bobwhite fans

  1. #1
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    Default Good news for Bobwhite fans

    I follow SC Bobwhite Initiative on Instagram @scbobwhites . They had a post over the weekend with the following encouraging info:

    2018 SC Quail Brood Survey Results:

    *Number of juveniles observed is the highest since 2010
    *Age ratio of 3.1 juveniles per adult bird is above the 10 year average
    *Average brood size is 11.5 chicks (this is outstanding)
    *% of adults without chicks is the lowest since 2012

    SC DNR also said earlier this fall that their Male Cock Whistling counts returned a year-to-year increase for the third year in a row.


    As y'all are in the woods and fields this fall, what are you seeing? Any evidence in your neck of the woods for this increase?
    -Gareth

  2. #2
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    CUwader I have found three new coveys on our property this year. I suspect there are more on the third of the property I have not been to. We were down to one covey a few years ago. One covey about 8 birds and the other two are about 16-20 birds. Unfortunately the hawks have found two of the coveys also it seems. Couple hanging out around where the birds are traveling. Interesting note, the birds are hanging out near feeders and corn piles. Quail like corn too but I don't know if it is just coincidence or attracted to the feeders. I think the timber thinning operations on the property the last few years helped in our case. Anyway they are a welcome sight for sore eyes.
    Last edited by Iceman; 11-20-2018 at 09:24 AM.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    Henry Ford

  3. #3
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    That's awesome, Iceman. It's very encouraging for me. Also, I am convinced that avian predators are way harder on quail than ground dwellers like coyotes and coons/possums. However, they don't discourage me too much. If you have good habitat then the quail have good protection. Year-to-year you'll average about as many birds as your habitat can support ("carrying capacity" of the land). And you won't have more predators than the prey population can support (the excess predators will starve or leave) - again "carrying capacity" of the land. There will be fluctuations in population based on weather conditions and other variables, but the overall trend in a population is directly tied to the ongoing suitability of the habitat to support the species.

    So y'all all make plans to prescribe burn a few acres this winter/spring, alright?
    -Gareth

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CUwader View Post
    That's awesome, Iceman. It's very encouraging for me. Also, I am convinced that avian predators are way harder on quail than ground dwellers like coyotes and coons/possums. However, they don't discourage me too much. If you have good habitat then the quail have good protection. Year-to-year you'll average about as many birds as your habitat can support ("carrying capacity" of the land). And you won't have more predators than the prey population can support (the excess predators will starve or leave) - again "carrying capacity" of the land. There will be fluctuations in population based on weather conditions and other variables, but the overall trend in a population is directly tied to the ongoing suitability of the habitat to support the species.

    So y'all all make plans to prescribe burn a few acres this winter/spring, alright?
    I wish we could. Timber Co. frowns on that. What we used to do is plant pea patches in the spring for the birds. Give them bugging area, cover, and a little feed but with the deer and hogs we have day they would get mowed down. We used to empty the bean combine along side the woods too for the birds. E very little bit helps.

    Yes hawks like quail as much as I do. They hunt them specifically as they are easy for them to catch and quiet tasty. Years ago we would take notice of hawks perched around the areas we were hunting for a covey and discourage them from hanging out in those locations. Hawks are no longer endangered in my opinion.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    Henry Ford

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    I wish we could. Timber Co. frowns on that. What we used to do is plant pea patches in the spring for the birds. Give them bugging area, cover, and a little feed but with the deer and hogs we have day they would get mowed down. We used to empty the bean combine along side the woods too for the birds. E very little bit helps.

    Yes hawks like quail as much as I do. They hunt them specifically as they are easy for them to catch and quiet tasty. Years ago we would take notice of hawks perched around the areas we were hunting for a covey and discourage them from hanging out in those locations. Hawks are no longer endangered in my opinion.
    My Dad and friends were big bird hunters in 50's & 60's. They killed every quail predator that they saw. Also then there were no pine plantations. Just fields and hedge rows. Lots of birds. Sadly not that way here anymore.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Happy Kaboomer View Post
    My Dad and friends were big bird hunters in 50's & 60's. They killed every quail predator that they saw. Also then there were no pine plantations. Just fields and hedge rows. Lots of birds. Sadly not that way here anymore.
    Back in the day foxes, cats, and hawks never got a pass by any quail hunter.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    Henry Ford

  7. #7
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    I'm hearing and seeing nothing Quail on my property. Haven't in many years but back in the 80's we'd flush a couple of coveys just on our 70 acres. Nothing has changed except the number of (observed) predators being far higher now.
    Formerly Bill SC Hunter from the SCDNR Forums

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallax View Post
    I'm hearing and seeing nothing Quail on my property. Haven't in many years but back in the 80's we'd flush a couple of coveys just on our 70 acres. Nothing has changed except the number of (observed) predators being far higher now.
    That's interesting, parallax. How has the landscape around your 70 acres changed? Is there as much good, year-round quail food, brooding areas, and escape cover as there was in the 80s in your area?
    -Gareth

  9. #9
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    You also know fire ants also have an effect on ground nesting birds like Quail and turkey. It does happen that the decline in quail coincides with the explosion in fire ant infestation. We didn't have any around here till the mid to late 80's.
    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and Prosperous by letting the US Government Officials take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    Henry Ford

  10. #10

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    When I was a boy, 1960s and 1970s in Piedmont NC, we had quail every where. Fire ants never made it there, so far.
    The quail have completely disappeared. The only habitat difference I have seen is the mutiflora rose has been cleaned
    out of most fence rows. I was told the state gave farmers the roses for hedgerows. If you have never seen them they
    spread out and cover about 20' per mature plant and no large animal walks through them.

    I now live in Awendaw and I have been here three years. I have not heard a quail since I have lived here ether. Plenty
    of turkey, deer, and pigs.

  11. #11
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    Wednesday,I saw a big covey ( 20+ birds) at our place in Greenwood County for the first time in a few years -- had only been seeing 2/3 birds together for the past few years -- also saw a single "Woodcock" _ hadn't seen one of those since the 70's,when we bird hunted a lot -- dogs point em' just like a quail -- the woodcock seem to have some yellowish feathers around his neck ?? maybe a male ?? ____ fire ant poison,lack of farming,and maybe more predators has taken a toll around our neck of the woods ---we had many a good hunt around Barnwell & Allendale area in our prime__ just walking the hedge rows**

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