So folks, it sounds like you are preparing for quail hunting season. These past few falls, wherever you are, the quail have been getting tougher and tougher to hunt. This calls for an extra push on our hunts. We need all the firepower and brainpower we can muster to get at the tough little birds burrowing themselves deep in the woods. So here are some quick tips on how you can best capitalize on your next quail hunt.
Since quail are found all around the world, who are we to tell you how to hunt your local quail habitat? Even though quail will be quail, all animals have a bit varied habits and routines from place to place. Ask around to see who can help you out. Information is king!
Experienced quail hunters can be your best friends out there on the hunt. No, they don’t necessarily have to be with you, but guess what, they probably have scouted the area better than you, right? This might as well go for anything in life. Network a whole bunch and you’ll have people telling you where to hunt, what weapons to buy, when to hunt, etc. The best way to prepare is for us to ask questions.
What type of shotgun to use for quail?
So what gun do we use here? Well again the shotgun takes the prize for another bird hunting tool. We should be working with a 12-20 gauge shotgun with a barrel length of 26 inches shooting nothing smaller than a 6 shot, any smaller ammo with these birds, they will fall from the sky… but get back on there feet and run off.
Places to look
So first we have to ask ourselves a couple questions, “ What do quail eat? What are their habits?” While the quail population has been steadily declining over the past few years, not all hope is lost for us. Let’s think outside the box a bit.
Quail mostly eat bugs and worms, and are notorious for being hard to find. You can see these sneaky birds one second, and the next they are burrowed into some little crevice under a bush. Sounds like an annoying thing to hunt, right? Really the only thing we can do is be quiet patient, and wait for these guys to come out of their hiding spots.
But what habitats do we look? Well think about it, since quail are found all around the world, we have to know one thing. They love bugs and worms. When do bugs and worms come to the surface? When it is rainy, wet and muggy. So you can already guess, since quail are found in semi wooded areas, that a grassy clearing in the woods the day after a good rain would be an ideal spot to find some quail.
In the USA, check out states like Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, and Illinois for some booming quail hunting spots. But needless to say, you know if you are determined enough you can find some good quail in your home state no problem.
Your gun dog
Whenever we are hunting bird we want a good dog with an awesome name (a must have). He or she could be your best companion, especially if you and your partner get a bit lonely out there and aren’t having much luck. Make sure you have a good pup out there that is trained to be a go getter when it comes to hunting ring necks. We all know raising a gun dog is a big investment, but let me ask you, are you a real hunter? If hunting is your passion then you’ll find the time to raise a great dog, and you’ll see your hunts become much more enjoyable with it.
Hunting is a thinking man’s game, and we all know it takes a lot of patience. So things to remember and keep in mind include not to go firing up a blaze out of frustration. Especially for you newbie’s out there, we need to keep our emotions intact. Fire smart.
Also, if we are missing our shots on these birds, keep your eye on them. They may not go too far and it could be injured. Don’t give up, because remember, it’s a hunt. The more focused and persistent you are, the more quail you’ll find yourself hitting.
Don’t be forceful but don’t stand down on those second and third shots.
What’s the weather?
The best quail hunts come after a muggy, wet string of days. Yes, we know it will be wet and very inconvenient, but that is what we have our top dollar waterproof boots for. In dryer areas of the world it might not be as fruitful of a hunting season, so if you are traveling, see if you can hit some rainier spots. Capitalize on those nice days after a long stretch of rain.
Communication is key
Always be communicating with your partner. Is he closer? Can he get a better shot? Remember folks, our goal here is to take down our target number of quail, not to rack up personal statistics like an NFL quarterback. We want to always be communicating.
Does that mean being loud and shouting out your thoughts at every interval though? No! We need to have a bit of quiet communication planned out for our hunts. Quail are quite sneaky and we don’t want to scare them away. So what do we do? Plan out some army hand signals for communication purposes with your partner. They can surely go a long way to establishing a great hunting partnership.
Always be prepared to encounter more quail
When hunting for quail, we are going to have to wait until they take off and fly, this is why driving your prey is so important. But even more important is being safe out there. Never, ever, shoot down at a bird, even if you think it’s a 100% kill. When we shoot down, even if your dog or partner aren’t in the vicinity, it’s not good. We want to establish good safety habits out there, and pointing your shotgun down is not one of them.
Check with your local game regulations
You need to be aware of state regulations. Quail hunting seasons vary from state to state, so don’t just call up your hunting buddy on short notice without regard to what month it is and what state you are in. We all want to be responsible hunters, right? Check with your local bureau and see when you can hunt.
Don’t be afraid to try new spots
If you’ve been hunting quail for a while, we all know these flying critters can show up almost anywhere it seems. So why not go on a little adventure? Discover new hunting spots, and lead your fellow local hunters to new ground. This will be fun and if you have a curious mindset, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it.
Wear protective clothing
As we all know, quail will show up in the most inconvenient spots. This means we will have to venture through some of the more thorny areas in our scouting of them. Even though we’ll be hunting in clearings by the woods, we’ll always be taking the hunt into more lush areas of the wild as well. Wear proper gear, and bring some wire cutters and pruners in case you run into some think brush that needs cutting away. We won’t stop for anything on our quail hunts!
Avoid the wind
The best way to stay accurate and stress free on your quail hunts is to get out of that wind. Say you have five days free and you want to quail hunt on one. Check your weather forecast for the least windy day, because you can bet it will be tougher to shoot down quail when those gusty winds are flying at you. It makes for a more accurate shot, and yes, it will be much more comfortable on those late fall days.
Alright folks, so now it’s time to get out there and hunt some quail. Persistence in anything in life is key, and the quail out there would agree with me if they could! They won’t let you get to them too easily. Quail hunting requires patience for many reasons, the main one being that these birds know how to hide out from us gun happy human beings. Above is good advice to take with you on your hunt, so read carefully. Stay focused out there and make sure you prepare well. So stay at it and follow some of these tips to make your hunt more successful.