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I really wish someone/group/organization would petition the state to stock quail in a couple SGLs across the state. This would not be for the purpose of reproducing...just put and take like pheasants. They do it in Nj and it is a lot of fun for bird dog owners.
 

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I remember this being talked about before but I can't remember why it is not done. I do enjoy hunting quail when I get the chance to at a preserve.
 

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For dog owners, quail are great because you can get roughly three times the points or plushes for the dollar.

Non bird dog owners (the majority) would be unhappy hunting a bird not much larger than a dove. IMHO.

It would make stocked upland hunting more interesting, while maybe not feasible for one reason or another, if stockings would be about 75% pheasant and 25% mixed quail, chukkars or other game birds that would do well for put and take.

One thing I noticed about shooting chukar as opposed to pheasants in a preserve setting: Chukars flushed and stayed closer to the ground, while the pheasants gained altitude much quicker. I understand quail are the same way. In my mind, that makes a pheasant a safer bird to stock in a public hunting area.
 

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Lick Islander said:
In my mind, that makes a pheasant a safer bird to stock in a public hunting area.
I would agree as well. I would greatly enjoy seeing quail hunting in Pa but pen raised birds and lots of people is very dangerous. I can't even begin to imagine how many PR quail I see flush during the year (I train and trial on them year round) and it is the exception to see a Pen raised Quail fly high and away.

Too many hunters on public land for it to be safe in my opinion.
 

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I have ran across quail on a couple game lamds the last coule years. Only a few but I did fine a few. I'm sure it was from someone training their dog not the PGC. It was a nice suprise to walk in on a point and have quail bust out.
 

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GKMAC,
I had the exact same thing happen to me a while back and I actually passed on the shot because it was so unexpected that I didn't process what I was seeing. I probably looked like a cartoon character doing a double-take - everything except the eyes popping out of my head.

In answer to the comment that kicked off the thread, I suspect the reason quail aren't stocked in PA is simply tradition. Well, tradition and $$$. With apologies to a handful of hunters in SE PA, the pheasant hunting tradition in PA is, and always has been, stronger than that of quail hunting. So when the PGC looks to budget its money on what is a 100% customer gratification program (i.e., they're not stocking to try to reestablish bird populations, but rather to give us chances to run our dogs and shoot our guns), they go with the greater number of participants. More pheasants stocked means more satisfied hunters.

Keep in mind that even the pheasant stocking program was teetering on the brink for lack of cash until a big infusion of Marcellus money came this year. So adding another species to the list would definitely be cost-prohibitive.

Would switching from pheasants to quail be more cost-effective? Possibly, although it would likely require some capital investments at the game farms that would take a while to recoup.

A better question might be, Is stocking either bird the best way to spend PGC money? Although I have my own opinions on the matter, I'll leave that to smarter people than me to figure out. I will say that there seemed to be an awful lot of satisfied pheasant hunters on this board and in the field this fall when 200,000 ringnecks were turned loose.

The math is quite simple: Birds = Smiles
 
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