Too Much Missouri Quail Hunting Land
A rare picture of Pointing Lab results on quail.
Too Much Hunting Land It All
Many of the land pictures seem to show a lot of acreage in crop land. Then there are the harvest pictures that make it appear quail are aplenty. Both come from those with time on the ground of more than a couple of seasons. It is the rare hunter that just steps into good Missouri quail hunting. How to reduce the time lag from first hunt to routine successful hunts is the challenge for the Association partners. One they face each season with those hunters that expect immediate results with minimum effort. The system that works is:
Isolating the covey hunting to the edge habitat thereby reducing the amount of land that must be hunted. If a quail spot covers a half section, 320 acres, that would be too much to hunt on foot if trying t hunt it all. Limiting the hunting to just edge cover reduces walking and increases the frequency of covey finds
Yes, for many this will be old information of no value. For those on their first wild quail trip with prior experience on pheasant or grouse it is of value. We do have this class of hunter each season. These hunters gain more of our attention to insure as much as possible they have a good hunt. Their hunting gets better with each trip.
Quail Hunter Disappointment
There are limits to what is reasonable to expect of this private land self guided hunter organization. An organization that consists of two partners and one secretary.
Each Missouri Covey Location
One expectation some quail hunters believe to be reasonable that is beyond Association capability is identification of each land spot that has a covey. Meaning they want the Association staff to know exactly what spots on any given 1,000 acres has a covey that will be there when they want to hunt it.
If that expectation seems reasonable then no further research on part of the reader is required. If that expectation seems unbelievable we have had others of that seem to push the extreme of reason.
Crop Rotation Tracking
Another expectation some hunters have expressed that is beyond capability is to provide crop data per field for all Association acreage. That is another data collection desire beyond not only our capability but willingness to provide. The same hunters believe it should be a landowner requirement to report harvest status as part of the lease contract. Such hunters who believe this is reasonable have no understanding of farm culture.
An expectation often questioned is: "Does the Association develop upland bird habitat?" The answer is no.
This is an expectation beyond reasonable capability. The Albany/Tall Timbers Quail Research effort shows the cost of quail habitat development at $53/acre/3 quail average count. Association hunters will require 800 to 1,200 gross farm land acreage to have 400 to 600 acres of wildlife habitat. Of that acraege most walk far less than they estimate they do.
Take the low number of 400 acres multiplied against the $53 cost that equals $21,200. How does that cost stack up to the $1,200 annual Association fee. Now take that 400 acres multiplied against a one week trip of nine days with seven being hunting days. Seven days multiplied against the $21,200 cost equals $148,400. We believe this makes its own point.
For wild quail coveys to sustain themselves it requires feed and cover. Missouri's river bottom country with soybean and corn farming makes that quail habitat.