How the Grinch stole Quail Season

By December 5, 2018 Articles
Spring Whistle Counts

You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch!”  Many quail hunters ask how we could go from “riches” (2016) to “rags” (this season) so quickly.  The 2016 season was a record-setter, and so is this season, but at opposite ends of the quail continuum.  Was anyone (in the Rolling Plains anyway) spared such an implosion?  What factor(s) was (were) responsible?  Should I be hunting my quail this season?  One doesn’t unravel such intricate questions with a short-term Master’s or Ph.D. study; it takes studies over the long haul.  That’s where our investment in RPQRR will continue to yield a good dividend.

Here’s the “tale of the tape” from RPQRR.

Bobwhite abundance at RPQRR is down roughly 95% since 2016.  All of our various metrics for counting quail heralded the bust.  Spring whistle counts were a bit lower but by themselves don’t result in the “check engine” light coming on.  These call counts indicate the availability of breeding males but are only about 50% accurate in estimating fall abundance at RPQRR.


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