Where Quail Hunting Is Best
Bobwhite Quail hunting land for our non-resident hunters. Shown in these aerials are the basic types of terrain of what is prime quail hunting land.
Isolated scrub patches. From the road this farm does give the appearance of being worthless. Which is not true. For all the times this web site author has hunted this spot never have hunter or dog tracks been spotted and always a covey raised.
The covey on this farm ranges from 20 to 30 birds and found from the water's edge to the several small tree patches.
When flushed the covey has a tendency to remain intact and fly into the nearest cover. The worst case is the covey may fly across property lines. The best case is some quick action on a double flush from the same covey.
Compartmental fields are circular areas of edge habitat particularly productive for singles points as coveys flush to areas within the enclosed fields.
These are good to hunt. Dogs are contained well within observable range, walking distances are shorter. Fields are frequently un-hunted as hunters may miss a field through not taking the effort to walk through a wooded area or not having boot enough to cross streams.
Dogs have a good time of it as the coveys typically slowly disintegrate into singles. The worst result may be the entire covey flushes into the wooded area making shooting very difficulty. Keeping up with the dogs on running singles and small groups a bit of a chore. From covey point, through small groups to singles action some coveys on such land has lasted up to 40 minutes before they pull the mysterious disappearing act bobwhites are famous for.
Linear edge such as found along fence rows with small patches of brush or intersecting with streams or other fence lines hold coveys. Ideal for the long running stanch pointer.
While bobwhites will be found along all these types of cover having a grain field nearby completes the elements for better hunts.
The toughest cover for the lone hunter. The coveys and singles invariably will flush out the opposite side of the linear cover. At best allowing intermittent shooting through breaks. Even when dogs point on the far side the Bobwhite seem to know to avoid the hunter. They seem to always flush straight over the dog to the other side. The best case is when the covey and singles continue to flush down the cover allowing for many repeat opportunities.
While we show three quail hunting land examples on this page we do not presupposed these are the only areas to find coveys. They happen to be the "typical" cover and a sampling of the what can be found in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. For most hunters the central plains area is favorable compared to the northern grouse woods or southwest cactus range. In the central mid-west rarely if ever does a hunter carry a compass. Snakes while they do live in this part of the country are rarely seen and never a problem to man or dog. Without cactus a day's walk is with the enjoyment of looking over the scenery, not being always careful where to step. Add to this our mild, never as hot as the south and never as cold or snow covered as the north weather, both dog and hunter can enjoy the day without overheating or fearing a wet boot stream crossing. For those that hunt the central mid-west with its overlapping upland bird populations no where else in the United States compares as favorably or enjoyed as much.
Field Shots Of Such Cover
The focus of this series is not to focus on the dog on point. The dog serves as proof of covey or singles presence. The value of this picture series is to show as much as snapshots can the type of land that will yield the most enjoyable dog-on-bird action.
The dog seen down the edge is on a covey point. This picture is from late November, the temperature is in the 30's and the wind enough to make horizontal a standard 3x5 USA flag. Running the downwind edge makes for the hunter's comfort as well as good scent cone distribution. That dog is just over 100 yards from the hunter at time of this picture.
This is a wooded drainage cutting through a soybean field this side, corn on the other. the value is not the woody cover, although helpful. The nuance to pick up on is the low to ground bird high protective cover in this case weed and grass.
Getting points is great. But, it does not mean shot opportunity.
After the covey flush of the previous picture the covey took dog across the drainage into a small wood lot. Between the hunter taking this picture and the dog is a dry drainage easily 10+ feet deep that must be crossed.
Same field/farm as the earlier drainage pictures. The far side fence line. A singles point. It is typical for quail hunting to mean covering the entire farm corner post to corner post. The coveys will show all they will have only at best 50% predictability of where they will be found. Where they are found is as often not in the best looking protective cover as the lesser to the human eye cover. The better the dog works at casting, down wind edge and edge running the less walking required of the hunter.
In the most general of terms. If the choice on entering a field is to hunt the property line or an in-field drainage. The in-field drainage is the first priority. The in-field drainage's typically have more cover and surrounded on both sides with food. Additionally, one side is more likely to be downwind. The challenge for a property line point is to flush for shot. Walking the lease side will give the covey more motivation to flush to the neighbor's land.
The worst of the drainage to be encounters is pictured at right. Steep and deep. Always an interesting time when the dog seems to be on point more often on the far side of such a ditch.
This one is 12 feet deep. Crossable in many spots. It will appear that the crossing spots are rarely convenient to where the hunter is and the dog on pont on the far side.
Such a ditch is more of a Missouri or Iowa drainage than in Kansas.