Heading For High Ground
Give me a break. It seems like the rain clouds have stalled out over Missouri... again. Last week we had two pounding storms that brought several inches of rain to central Missouri. Most lakes and rivers have been bank full or even worse... out of the banks. It's been the same story the past two years.
Below is a picture of Nate Mechlin, private land conservationist in northwest Missouri. Nate is probably talking about quail habitat at a landowner workshop in the 2Cs Quail Focus Area. The private land focus area is in Carroll and Caldwell counties. I always get nervous when I see upland biologists wearing rubber boots all the time.
Parts of Andrew County have received 8 inches since the first of June. Same story in Cass County. If you remember, Cass County is only the second county in the nation to achieve habitat goals identified in the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative.
Hopefully it will turn dry in July and August. Just in time for the second quail hatch. Many of the birds I shot last year were late August or September broods. Turkeys will attempt to renest in May and early June, but not August or September like quail will often do.
The peak of the turkey hatch is around June 7. The peak of the quail hatch usually occurs around June 15. On June 15 parts of Missouri received 2 to 4 inches of rain. That goes on top of the rain we received the week before and week before that. Not the best weather conditions for raising young quail or turkeys. The picture above is of a pen-raised quail in my hand. Pretty small. I don't know how a baby quail could survive in the wild with the weather we have experienced the past few weeks.
North Missouri has been hit hard the past two years and the turkey, quail and pheasant numbers reflect this in some places. I don't know what the weatherman has against north Missouri, but they really need a break from the rain and floods. West-central Missouri has been hit hard too. Just a couple years ago Cass County received 20 inches in a 24-hour period! Nick Prough with Quail Unlimited reported that most of Cass County got about 4 inches the other day. Elsa Gallagher with Quail Forever simply said it's wet and she's tired of it!
Below is a picture from an upland site on Whetstone