When most think of Mearns Quail, they think of the southeastern portion of Arizona. Actually, Mearns Quail are scattered around the state in some very unexpected habitats. Some of that habitat includes the pine forest country of the Mogollon rim and the White Mountains. It also includes the country between Roosevelt Lake and Young and even the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservation. There is a study proposed right now by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to find out a little more about some of these high elevation quail. What is the population density? What do those birds do in times of heavy snow? Let’s all get behind the Game and Fish Department in support of this study. Could it be that there are more Mearns Quail scattered around these various areas of the state then we realize?
A few weeks ago a 50,000 acre wildfire took place called the Saw Mill Fire. The fire burned through some prime Mearns Quail habitat. In the big picture, the fire will most likely be beneficial. It may take two or three years for that area too come back but then it may be even better than before. A lot of that will depend on what happens with summer rains. The summer rains generally start in July and run through September. Mearns Quail do not begin their nesting until the summer rains develop. This fire took place at a time when there was no nesting taking place so many of the quail within the burn area probably survived.
Remember When you purchase Q5 and Quilomene upland hunting vests, you are helping a Child experience camping and the great outdoors. A percentage of the proceeds go to Arizona Outdoor Adventures, a non-profit501(c)(3 organization dedicated to providing healthy outdoor activities for underprivileged children. Wont You Help Out A Kid Today Go to www.azoutdooradventures.org for further information.
TIP: BIRD DOGS FOR QUAIL HUNTING
When it comes to bird dogs, a great asset in a dog is trustworthiness. This is a dog that does not need continual commands and when is out of sight, can be trusted to point and hold the bird. So the tip here is: Look for a dog that can be trusted.
Many people believe that a good bird dog – even an excellent bird dog – is going to find all tight-holding quail. That is simply not the case. The best of bird dogs will miss a good percentage of the tight-holding quail and that is why it is so important to go slow, be patient, and give the dog extra time. If need be, move where the wind direction is an advantage to the dog. All the dog has to go on is the quail’s scent trail and at times that can be very small or it can be diluted somewhat by certain plant smells or structures that interfere with the scent. So remember, just because you have a dog in the area, doesn’t guarantee it will find the majority of the tight-holding birds. To give a dog the best advantage, it’s sometimes necessary to go through an area two and three times.
For some great information on dog food, visit Dog Food Advisor (http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/).
Becoming a better bird hunter. Awareness is key.
Scouting – Think Like a quail: Where do I find good cover? Where do I find good food? How do I stay away from predators?
The location of other people
Where the birds fly
The location of your dog(s)
Your current physical condition (Stay in shape)!!
Where the birds may flush
Different sounds around you – stop occasionally, look and listen
More Bird Hunting Tips! Take a look at the Q5 Outdoor Products website!
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