What’s Happening Now – January 2014
It’s an old cliche, but true – time flies – most of Arizona’s 2013-2014 quail season is already behind us!
Mearns’ Quail: all of the many reports do indicate a much improved hatch from the previous two years, though very spotty. It’s about 50/50 when it comes to reports of seeing 8 – 12 coveys in a day to reports of just 1 to 2 coveys daily. It just depends so much on what mountain range a person is hunting, and also depending on the experience and capabilities of one’s bird dog, covey finds can go way up. An interesting possibility is that only about 25% of Mearns’ country is actually hunted. They are a bird of the mountains and due to difficult access, steep terrain, hidden canyons, nooks, and crannies, much of their habitat, I believe, is never hunted. It does insure the survival capabilities of Mearns’ quail, however.
Gambel’s and Scaled Quail: Things remain about the same with the desert birds. If one could draw a line from Bagdad to Safford to Casa Grand to Gila Bend and back to Bagdad, you would see the area where the better hatches of Gambel’s quail seem to have occurred. Have been hearing some fair reports from the Sulfur Springs Valley on Scaled quail as well as areas around Sasabe. One of the tips/tactics about Gambel’s quail is they are very vocal making it possible to locate coveys or individual birds with a call. Once a covey has scattered and if they cannot be located, wait 10 or 15 minutes and then use a call. A quail call is an important part of your equipment when hunting Gambel’s quail. For more Tips/Tactics, go to https://azquailtoday.com/category/quail-hunting-tactics/from-dan/ and https://azquailtoday.com/category/quail-hunting-tactics/from-others/.
A note about San Carlos and Fort Apache Reservations – in general, the hatch was pretty good on both reservations, but again, also very spotty. Some areas that held birds last year are poor this year. It is puzzling as to why that would happen, but according to the reports gathered, that is accurate. The Mearns’ hatch on San Carlos is decent in the pockets where Mearns’ are present.