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Quail Quest - Northwest Missouri

Published on: Dec. 2, 2013

Some of my best quail hunts in Missouri have occurred in the last two years as quail populations have responded to habitat management and drier summers. On November 1, we chose to hunt one of the Department’s Quail Emphasis Areas (QEA) in Northwest Missouri where area managers have been rockin the habitat management and the quail have responded. I hunted with my son Andrew and a few of his coworkers. I like to hunt with bigger groups of dogs and people when hunting the vast amount of cover available on this particular QEA to more thoroughly cover the ground and keep the birds from running around us so easily.

I always like to get to my quail hunting spot in time to hear the coveys calling before shooting time if the weather works out. It always sends a chill down my spine when I hear the birds calling back and forth and it brings the dogs to attention! This season opener was no different, the weather worked out and we could hear at least 5 coveys calling with one covey just yards from us. A few pheasants added to the cacophony.

For Andrew’s coworker, John, this was his first hunt for wild quail and we gave him the proper taste of what a great quail hunt could be like. He bagged 4 birds and got hooked on wild quail hunting and pointing dogs! We hunted just after a few days of rain and so scenting conditions for the dogs was near perfect.

With the dogs pointing about a covey an hour Andrew thought it was the best quail hunt on public land he has ever had and his coworker John agreed. Lots of singles in between made for some great dog work and proud moments for some dog owners. It may be best to tell you how many birds we missed, instead of the number bagged, but I think I’d be made fun of either way!

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

Comments

On December 7th, 2013 at 8:35am whitew said:

Hi Quail Man, that is good news. The birds will use that call to find the rest of the covey early in the morning and occassionally throughout the day. I have also heard single females use it in the spring, possibly to let the males know they are present! I refer to it as the 'come hither' call.  If you go outside on a calm clear morning from October through November you can hear the newly formed coveys calling about 45 minutes before sunrise up to just before sunrise. The calling only lasts a few minutes though. We use this call to census covey numbers on our quail focus areas in the fall. What you heard was the covey going to roost and trying to get everyone together. Great news that your habitat work is paying off! Keep up the good work.

On December 6th, 2013 at 12:15am Quail Man said:

It was actually in the 29 minute mark!

On December 6th, 2013 at 12:04am Quail Man said:

Dear Sir, I was out on my farm on Tuesday right when the sun was going down when I heard 3 different 1 whistle calls that sounded like quail. It was in a patch where I had edge feathered a year ago. It was not the famous 2 bobwhite whistle, but just 1 whistle apiece. Was that bobwhite or another bird calling? It was with very little wind but just beautiful weather in the upper 50's or so. The next night was pretty windy and I did not hear the calls. The calls sounded like the sound on the Bobwhite thru the Year 1953 below at around the 24 minute mark???
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