Quail Hunting Fixes

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2000

Last revision: Nov. 5, 2010

like to join me on a hunt, and I offer them the quail I kill - dressed and ready to eat. I help put up hay, dig potatoes and cut wood. I drop off a pie now and again. I don’t overdo the thanks, but I want a landowner to know I appreciate the privilege of hunting his or her land. In this way I have become good friends with many landowners.

With places to hunt, a quail hunter needs to know how best to look for birds. Persistence is important. On many occasions I have found coveys early in the season but had difficulty finding them on subsequent hunts. The birds were in different places. Last season at one of our hunting spots, my dogs found a covey of 15 birds along the edge of a cut bean field surrounded by timber. We failed to kill a bird on the covey rise and had no luck working singles in the woods.

I worked through that spot four other times during the season and never again found the covey. I thought maybe the birds had moved on. The last hunt of the season, we looked for the covey one more time. On the north edge of the bean field, one of my dogs pointed. We walked in, and 15 quail took flight. This spot is hunted hard by other hunters, which shows that quail can do a good job evading detection.

Another key to finding quail is knowing where to look for the birds in relation to their daily routines. Some bird hunters spend most of their time walking brushy draws in their quest for quail. In doing so they often overlook many coveys.

Quail tend to relate to specific places during different times of day. At first light they are often found in open fields of knee-high grass where they roost. Shortly after first light, quail typically feed. To find them at this time, it’s good strategy to hunt 20 to 30 yards out along the edge of cut grain fields or other feeding areas.

Once quail have filled their crops, they move to brushy areas. Here you can find them loafing until about mid or late afternoon. Later, they move to the fields again to feed before going to roost. With persistence and a hunting approach that matches the habits of quail, hunters in Missouri should find birds.


Quail hunting is not a sport

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