Good weather is leading to a more productive quail season.
Much needed rain at key points this year have led to an increase in bobwhite quail populations compared to last year, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists. Last year’s extended drought led many hunting operations to limit their hunting in order to aid in the recovery process for the bird.
In the Gulf Prairies region, the population has almost doubled, with surveys spotting, on average, nearly 20 birds per trail compared to 11 last year. Although this region is not as dependent on rainfall, other regions have seen similar growth. South Texas for example showed 11.6 birds per trail as opposed to last year’s six. This is still below the region’s long-term average of 17.4, according to surveys dating back to 1978. In the Rolling Plains, grazing has been reduced causing an increase of quails in some locations.
While most numbers are still below the long term average, some field staff and private land owners are reporting much larger numbers. TPWD wildlife biologist Robert Perez cautioned:
Although there are certainly areas within each region where some quail hunting opportunity remains, this survey is not designed to detect changes in localized populations, especially in fragmented landscapes.
Texas quail season opened statewide Oct. 25 and runs through Feb. 20, 2015 with a daily bag limit of 15, with 45 total in possession. Please, be responsible, be safe, and happy hunting.
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