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You would be better off asking if anyone has seen any spaceships lately. You would have gotten more of a response. Just kidding, but telling the truth. I really miss the days when we had plenty of quail. Guess they are happy they bought back the "HAWK" population.
Bubba[angel][angel][angel]
 

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Its not the hawks, its habitat loss. People like to point fingers at predators, but at one time, both lived successfully together, and it wasn't until people came along that their populations got screwed up.

Quail do not adapt very well to habitat loss. Instead of moving, they stay in the same areas, and when their habit goes, so do they. Unlike deer, and hawks for that matter, they just don't exist well in the burbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are still some out there, you just gotta find enough of the right habitat...

I grew up on the western shore and never saw a wild quail until last year when I started hunting the eastern shore. They're a blast to hunt!!
 

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[Q]TDLewis originally wrote:
Anyone seeing any quail out there?
[/Q]
Yep, saw a covey, now let me see, oh yeah, it was 1975. Just joking, but in reality they are quite hard to find anymore. I have read that some of the WMA's in VA support some decent covey's but then you have lots of other folks to contend with as well. Good luck in your search.
ONLY 11 more dys to VA bow opener! [excited]
Good Hunting to all,
HV aka rapprunner
 

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Paul,
I have to agree with you to an extent. Two years ago the VGIF biologist took 125 quail and installed tracking collars on each. Within 6 months all were gone. Mr. Fox got less than 5%. Mister hawk got the rest. Now they say we should have enough to supply all the predators + hunting and still have plenty left over. I'm sure that's where the habitat comes in.
Bubba
 

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LB,
There's the rub, I imagine if the habitat were better, they could have hidden better, etc. etc. Its just my opinion that predators are too easy a scapegoat, but the bottom line is I wish there were more for me to hunt.
 

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There are a few around but they are few and far between. The last covey I jumped on this side was a year ago in Southern AA Co. Suitable tracts of land are harder and harder to find. If you're interested in hunting them head to the ES and the further south the better IMO. Lots of public land, less hunters and more birds. You may have to work for them but at least you know they're there. I assume you have a dog?
I've seen dozens on the lower shore last year. One time I was deer hunting a slough crosing and I kept hearing noises like something walking, after paying close attention to the area I noticed about 8 birds crossing the slough. Rather than fly over the flooded timber and swamp they hopped around from fallen tree to fallen tree and little island to island. It was really neat to watch. Good Luck.
 

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LB,

it is definitley a habitat thing. hawks are some of the best "edge" predators out there. as we bisect and fragment habitat we are creating more edges, therefor better habitat for hawks to hunt and use to their advantage.

mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did most of my quail hunting last year on one piece of public land where I could find birds fairly reliably. It had great habitat, and I also saw more rabbits than I've seen anywhere else. Another thing I noticed is that the habitat attracted more song birds..and I think that these are easier for the hawks to catch than the quail are. I only saw evidence of 1 hawk quail kill, and that was right after it snowed. Every other kill site I saw was from tweaty birds..

I also noticed that the further south, the better off you are. It's also important to look at the land around where you are hunting. If that looks good, and the hunting area looks good - you will probably find birds! They say you need about 3000 acres of suitable habitat to support a long term population.

I have a yellow lab that I've trained as a flusher, and I will probably be picking up a GSP at some point in the near future. Can't wait till Nov 5!!!
 

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over the past four years i have hunted three properties that i would consider "overgrown" with vegitation. two farms and one 15 acre property. all had thick cover, and overgrown hedgerows and all had plenty of quail. i would think its a habitat thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What county was that in? Also, I bet there was good habitat all around where you were hunting as well...

That's awesome there are good numbers down there.
 
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