The old saying that “success breeds success” has something to it. It's that feeling of confidence that can banish negativity and procrastination and get you going the right way. (Quote by Donald Trump)
I don't know if Donald Trump ever went quail hunting. If he hasn't, he's missing out. I just like the quote. I think the quote is perfect for private landowners interested in managing their property for bobwhite quail and other wildlife. Success breeds more success.
The BWQ Farm Project is a great example of how one Missouri landowner has methodically worked to restore quail habitat on his farm. The story of "Mr. Fix It" starts out like many other Missouri landowners. Quail were once here and now they are gone. What can I do? With help from the Department of Conservation and conservation partners, "Mr. Fix It" did his homework and put a little "sweat equity" into improving his farm for bobwhites.
I'm not a betting man, but something tells me that "Mr. Fix It" was inspired by other landowner success stories. Maybe one of the many that have appeared in the Missouri Conservationist, Covey Headquarter Newsletter, Quail Unlimited or Quail Forever media outlets the past five years.
The blog mentions Jack Stanford, the Department's quail biologist from the late 1950s until 1980. I had the fortune of working for Jack while in high school. He helped train our first bird dog. I also received many of Jack's old slide presentations and writings on quail and quail habitat. If Jack was alive today, I don't think he'd be surprised by the bobwhite decline we have seen the past 30 years. He saw it coming in the '60s and '70s. He also preached the need for nesting, brooding and shrubby cover in many of his writings. It took 30 years to get where we are; it will probably take just as long to get them back. Success will come one story at a time.
I think the BWQ blog is a great example of how things take time. Time to figure out what to do, time to figure out how to do it, time to figure out what went wrong, time to figure out how to do it better, and time for the birds to respond. It's all part of the process. Keep the success stories coming. Feel free to send me your success story at Aaron.Jeffries@mdc.mo.gov.
Habitat is the Key!