Were quail ever abundant - Page 2 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 07:09 AM
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Growing up around Dover, York Co., I remember seeing and hearing quail when I was young (late '60s-'70s). By the time I started hunting in '78, I don't think I saw any except on one farm we hunted. Last time I hunted that farm was '86 or '87 and we put up a covey that day.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 09:35 AM
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Quail disappeared, just as pheasants did when raptors were given total protection. In areas of all types of habitat. Our state is going to be doing a quail reintroduction effort in the near future. As with the pheasant reintroduction efforts, first the building of habitat required, that quail can survive in. After this the quail will be released. I am predicting that their outcome will be the same as the pheasants, the raptors will wipe them out despite the proper habitat. However there should be less predation from the owls, but cooper and sharpshinned hawks will probably be what causes the effort to fail. If you want to bring back the species that were wiped out by the increased raptor numbers, that occurred after the raptors were protected, the raptors would need to be controlled number wise. I believe we have reached the point almost, where prey numbers control predator numbers, but only for certain times of the year. With raptors they can just fly a thousand miles or more if needed, to find more prey, after they wipe out an area.
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 11:21 AM
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Quail disappeared, just as pheasants did when raptors were given total protection. In areas of all types of habitat. Our state is going to be doing a quail reintroduction effort in the near future. As with the pheasant reintroduction efforts, first the building of habitat required, that quail can survive in. After this the quail will be released. I am predicting that their outcome will be the same as the pheasants, the raptors will wipe them out despite the proper habitat. However there should be less predation from the owls, but cooper and sharpshinned hawks will probably be what causes the effort to fail. If you want to bring back the species that were wiped out by the increased raptor numbers, that occurred after the raptors were protected, the raptors would need to be controlled number wise. I believe we have reached the point almost, where prey numbers control predator numbers, but only for certain times of the year. With raptors they can just fly a thousand miles or more if needed, to find more prey, after they wipe out an area.
If raptors are the sole reason why wild pheasant and quail no longer exsist in PA, then why do numerous other states have wild populations? Do they have less raptors in these states.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 11:34 AM
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We used to see a few in western Pa. I could hear them in the fence row behind the house growing up. Raptors do their part as do fox and coons. I do think no till farming is a big part of the decline in game birds. All the sprays that get used can not be good for the birds or us.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 02:30 PM
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I left PA in 1960 but I can remember hunting them in western PA in the late 40's as a ten year old and also in the 50's. I consider myself luck to live in a state where we have three different species, Mearns, Gambels and Scaled and a very liberal bag limit. I no longer have a bird dog and my feet and legs are not what they use to be but I still give it a go whenever I can get out.

Gambels cock bird out with his brood.

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post #16 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 02:45 PM
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If raptors are the sole reason why wild pheasant and quail no longer exsist in PA, then why do numerous other states have wild populations? Do they have less raptors in these states.
States or other areas with less trees for raptors to roost, seem to fair much better than wooded areas. As habitat decreases you will have less game. As predator numbers rise they will kill more game. If you notice most habitat work, for game birds, is done for cover for flying predators. Wolves out west are a great example of what predators can do to game numbers, when totally protected. No great habitat change just uncontrolled packs of wolves killing game. Luckily some regulations have been eased on their protection in some areas Our pheasants and quail did not die out from lack of feed , or disease, it was predation, when raptors were protected. It does not take great habitat for prey to survive when predator numbers are kept low. The same exact thing happens to domestic fowl when free ranged, eventually they are taken by predators in many areas. I have sold a lot of guinea keets in my life, and all the people that lose them lose them to predators, not starvation or disease. Our wild fowl suffers the same fate.
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post #17 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 04:23 PM
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Growing up around Dover, York Co., I remember seeing and hearing quail when I was young (late '60s-'70s). By the time I started hunting in '78, I don't think I saw any except on one farm we hunted. Last time I hunted that farm was '86 or '87 and we put up a covey that day.
I grew up just a few miles north of you. We always had a small covey that I would regularly find along a particular wood/field edge a few hundred yards from our home. Over the years it dwindled to the point that I saw the last one when I was 13, that was 1986. Still saddens me to know they're gone.
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post #18 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 04:59 PM
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States or other areas with less trees for raptors to roost, seem to fair much better than wooded areas. As habitat decreases you will have less game. As predator numbers rise they will kill more game. If you notice most habitat work, for game birds, is done for cover for flying predators. Wolves out west are a great example of what predators can do to game numbers, when totally protected. No great habitat change just uncontrolled packs of wolves killing game. Luckily some regulations have been eased on their protection in some areas Our pheasants and quail did not die out from lack of feed , or disease, it was predation, when raptors were protected. It does not take great habitat for prey to survive when predator numbers are kept low. The same exact thing happens to domestic fowl when free ranged, eventually they are taken by predators in many areas. I have sold a lot of guinea keets in my life, and all the people that lose them lose them to predators, not starvation or disease. Our wild fowl suffers the same fate.
Bologna!

Georgia has long been considered one of the best quail hunting states in the nation. Have you ever been to Georgia? They have lots of trees and also lot of raptors.

Even those plains states, with fewer trees, have plenty of predators and that includes raptors. They just have more raptor that hunt by hovering instead of perching.

Dick Bodenhorn
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post #19 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bpottorff View Post
States or other areas with less trees for raptors to roost, seem to fair much better than wooded areas. As habitat decreases you will have less game. As predator numbers rise they will kill more game. If you notice most habitat work, for game birds, is done for cover for flying predators. Wolves out west are a great example of what predators can do to game numbers, when totally protected. No great habitat change just uncontrolled packs of wolves killing game. Luckily some regulations have been eased on their protection in some areas Our pheasants and quail did not die out from lack of feed , or disease, it was predation, when raptors were protected. It does not take great habitat for prey to survive when predator numbers are kept low. The same exact thing happens to domestic fowl when free ranged, eventually they are taken by predators in many areas. I have sold a lot of guinea keets in my life, and all the people that lose them lose them to predators, not starvation or disease. Our wild fowl suffers the same fate.
Bologna!

Georgia has long been considered one of the best quail hunting states in the nation. Have you ever been to Georgia? They have lots of trees and also lot of raptors.

Even those plains states, with fewer trees, have plenty of predators and that includes raptors. They just have more raptor that hunt by hovering instead of perching.

Dick Bodenhorn
Exactly, no predators have every wiped out a prey species that I know of, unless you count humans as a predator.

Habitat loss and changes in habitat are the main reasons there are no longer sustainable wild populations of quail and pheasants in Pa.
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post #20 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 05:52 PM
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Sounds good except for the fact that the quail and pheasant, were also gone from the areas that have good habitat. Back in the seventies when all the small game started to disappear, PA did not have some kind of a event where all habitat suddenly became unsuitable. Habitat has been changing over a long period of time. Look at the facts from our attempt at the pheasant recovery herein PA. Ten years from now read about the failed quail attempt, it will be the same problem. If some people had to survive off their free range poultry and wild small game, they would learn quick where their meal went. Better yet talk to the pheasant biologist, the one that also handled the CWD testing down at lake meade road, ask him what actually killed the recovery pheasants. Some guys seem to want to praise the biologists, but yet want to contradict their findings. Habitat seems to always get the blame , but usually its the raptors , that do the actual killing.
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