Nature

Carryover Quail Might Make For a Good Hunting Season

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Hunters in Texas are excited at the prospect of a good season for quail hunting in Texas. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, last year’s weather and habitat aligned to create a “super boom” year for quail production that led to exceptional hunts the likes of which had not been seen in many years. Quail enthusiasts are hoping some of that magic will follow this fall with a good carryover quail population.

Quail Season Began October 28

Scaled quail

Photo: Flickr/Diana Robinson

Quail season began on October 28 and a sizable percentage of last year’s birds will have to carry over as well, according to wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Carryover” simply means that birds that survived last year’s hunt will be available for this year.

This year’s quail production, although not as robust as last year’s, is expected to be adequate to sustain populations in areas having suitable habitat. Heading into 2017, average amounts of late winter and spring rainfall set up sufficient nesting cover, winter forage, and enough insects to trigger nesting. A lack of timely rainfall during the summer, however, may have hurt chick survival, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Drought in the Rolling Plains Might Impact Quail

carryover quail

Photo: Flickr/Kentish Plumber

“Portions of South Texas and the Rolling Plains regions were in moderate drought during mid-summer, which may have negatively impacted brood survival,” said Robert Perez, quail program leader with TPWD. “Hunters will likely see more adult bobwhites in the bag compared to more productive years.”

Quail hunting season runs through February 25, 2018. The daily bag limit for quail is 15, with 45 in possession. Legal shooting hours for all non-migratory game birds are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The bag limit is the maximum number that may be killed during the legal shooting hours in one day. To learn more about quail hunting in Texas, visit the website for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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