Quail Hunting Edge Cover
What we Are Showing
For those that have never been wild quail hunting on the linear edge cover they so desire.
This nothing like Georgia woods quail hunting or the Texas/Oklahoma scrub lands.
What To See
Quail hunting edge protective cover along a grain food source is the productive cover to be found. Other covey huntable terrain includes fallow pasture that had been summer grazed grown up in weeds by fall. In Kansas the brush filled draw. In all cases edge cover is never to be passed.
Filter Strip Program
Shown is what a filter strip looks like. It is the native, warm season grass grown between the drainage and the crop field.
Its purpose is soil and water conservation. The secondary effect is upland bird protective cover.
Amongst our three state area Missouri leads with the most acreage enrolled in the filter strip program. Kansas lags behind in this conservation effort. However Kansas leads the three states in large area or crop ground enrolled in the more common tall native grass CRP
The filter strip will serve as nesting and loafing protective cover for pheasants. However, it is quail hunting that benefits the most from the filter strips. Bobwhites will make greater use of small grass areas whereas pheasants prefer large contiguous tall grass acreage. These strips create the much desired multiple covers/food sources in a small area. The weeds of the drainage provides bugs. The grass cover and the crops during season food.
The More Common Grain Field Edge Quail Hunting
That good hunt will ensure that hunter renews his membership. This is the difference between a club which we are not and a business which we are. We have the attitude to insure all have the best hunt possible to insure their return business. For most this is an easy prospect due to the quail hunting we have.
Long linear crop edge common to parts of Kansas and north west Missouri. The benefit is this cover holds Bobwhites. The consequence is that once the end of it is reached there is nothing to do but walk back and hope for some bypassed singles. It is common for the covey to flush both directions along such cover and do so more frequently than out of it and out into the fields.
This picture looks a lot like the one above it. The difference is the wheat in the picture at right. The best linear edge may be rendered less productive when planted into winter wheat. No winter over food. The picture above in corn means there is waste grain for during the season quail food source. However, there is a “but”. This is still a huntable spot as the two pictures are of the same edge, a fence line. It only takes one side to have food to make this a good hunt. The fact the two sides are in different crop rotations means this covey is likely to remain anchored to this edge for years.
Mix of thin woody cover with close to the ground grass makes for a must hunt spot the experience dog will always run.
A tough farm to hunt as it all must be covered. The edge thickness is frequently to the point to prevent hunter crossing. The dogs always seem to go on point on the far side. Such a lease gives a lower ratio of singles to covey action due to the thick cover. That ratio of the number of covey to singles points is frequently what others cite as that which distinguishes our quail hunting from that of other well known regions. A different mind set entirely as we expect to have a lot of singles action from every covey. The habitat making most of the difference between a higher and lower number of each.
The savvy will soon detect which state these pictures are from based on crop type and contour alone. That savvy will take about three seasons to acquire. The first year Association hunter will be recommended to the better regions in each state. Each can cover as much as that as he want. Covering all regions will take typically three trips minimum. This may seem like tipping our hand to the best spots. That is true to an extent. It is from experience that this year’s better locations may not be so next year. Secondly, most new Association hunters are new to wild quail hunting. All that have successfully accomplished quail hunting to the point a limit for at least one day of any trip is almost a given know full well it takes much field time to get to that level.
What Edge cover looks like when the edge is not so clearly defined.
Sometimes quail hunting goes very well. When it does, take note of the land. Repeating that land’s composition usually works to find more coveys.
These pictures are a well interior to the farm, fairly open spot where the covey was found. This farm is within the 50% agriculture land use region. These pictures show well the ration of crop field to wildlife area.
It is a well known watershed that makes for flat valleys and brush covered creek bluffs. The ground cover habitat elements are of brush, small trees, weeds and grass located in patches throughout the grain field edges. This combination is repeated over each ridge, fence line, wood edge, erosion spots, grassed terraces (shown in the picture above).
There is more to this one farm and this entire upland bird unit that comprises 1,100 acres. Across the road was another portion of this lease with a second covey at its south end, another on the north. A three covey hunt from two spots of parking the truck.