Kingston, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Quail Forever will offer a free workshop about managing fields and cover for healthy bobwhite quail numbers on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Randy Farmer farm southeast of Kingston in Caldwell County. This workshop will cover how to monitor quail numbers and keep them thriving.
The workshop has three components. MDC staff will take participants afield and demonstrate how to do a fall covey count to determine quail numbers. Participants who wish to do the covey count need to be at the farm by 6:30 a.m. to learn protocols. A free sausage, biscuits and gravy breakfast will follow the covey count. The workshop habitat and ecology presentations will be from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participants do not have to attend the covey count to attend the workshop.
MDC and Quail Forever biologists will discuss good timing for prescribed burns, promoting native wildflowers, food plots, and ways to control or keep invasive sericea lespedeza in check. Experts will demonstrate in the field techniques for edge feathering, downed-tree structure, and edge spraying. Those are all relatively simple methods that boost quail nesting sites and escape routes from predators along field edges or in meadows.
Bobwhite quail need a variety of cover. They need secure nesting sites in late spring and early summer. In summer, they need fields with grasses and forbs that have enough openings at ground level for chicks to move easily and feed. It helps if native grasses and wildflowers are present that can host insects that young quail feed upon. Heavier cover provides shelter from predators and winter weather.
MDC and Quail Forever biologists can offer expertise on management options that benefit quail alongside normal farming operations. In some cases, financial assistance may be available for habitat improvements.
Participants are asked to register for the workshop by Oct. 22. To register, call 660-663-3703, Ext. 3.
The workshop farm site is reached via Missouri 13, go east on Missouri 116 for 3.5 miles, then turn north on Rock Island Road. Signs will mark the site.
For more information about how MDC assists private landowners with fish, wildlife, and forestry issues, visit https://mdc.mo.gov/property.