Today’s Tip: Hunting Bobwhite Quail
Like most game birds, the bobwhite quail is shy and elusive. When threatened, it will crouch and freeze, relying on camouflage to stay undetected, but will flush into low flight if closely disturbed. These birds are generally solitary or found in pairs early in the year, but family groups are common in the late summer and winter roosts may have two dozen or more birds in a single covey. For this reason, you should only take one or two birds from a covey; otherwise you jeopardize their ability to reproduce in the spring time.
Bobwhites tend to stay near a favorable habitat all year, so you will likely find them in the same places year after year. But when the cold winter comes in, they will move into tangled woodlots and brushy thickets, or hole up in the thickest grass they can find.
A good bird dog is crucial for hunting quail, but it can be done without a dog, even alone if you are patient enough to wait out a bird. As with pheasants, you can corner a quail into an area where it has no choice but to fly if it feels it has been detected. The key is to walk slowly, stop often, and wait, especially when you are coming to the end of a draw or an area where you may have funneled birds out of a hiding area.