Bob Riley and Don Simpson aren’t exactly neighbors—their Monroe County properties lie several miles apart. But both are sold on taking a “neighborhood approach” to managing quail habitat. The 12,000-acre Paris Quail Focus Area, which includes their farms, helps them do this. Don is proud that his 1,150-acre property serves as a demonstration site. “It’s a good way to share ideas and show how to bring back quail,” he said.
Several miles to the northeast, Bob manages his 140-acres almost exclusively for wildlife. “We’ve gotten a lot of help from the Department,” he said.
Both Bob and Don hope more neighbors get involved in their Paris Quail Focus Area. “It would sure be nice to get participation that would actually connect our places with good quality habitat,” Bob said. To see if your land sits on one of Missouri’s 34 private land quail focus areas, contact your Regional office.
If you enjoy quail and other grassland birds, leave an unharvested strip of grass along your hay fields throughout the summer. Although grassland birds nest several times during the breeding season, they’re not always successful with their first attempt. Leaving a little nesting cover gives later broods a chance to fledge. In return, they’ll give you better hunting in the fall. For more tips on managing your property’s wildlife habitat, visit the links listed below.
Learn how to use Missouri’s native plants to improve farm productivity, beautify your landscape and restore quail habitat on June 18. The University of Missouri Bradford Research and Extension Center’s annual Bobwhite Quail/Native Plant Field Day will be from 4 to 8 p.m. See how native grasses can benefit your farm’s livestock forage and wildlife habitat. Visit a rain garden, where beautiful native grasses and wildflowers turn runoff into a haven for birds and butterflies. Wagon tours will take you by demonstrations that integrate quail habitat management with successful farming practices. Several University of Missouri and Lincoln University experts will be on-hand to answer questions, and native plants will be for sale. Bradford Farm is just southeast of Columbia. For directions and more information, call (573) 884-7945.
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