You can forget natural spread of quail over any geological reach, at least not in our lifetimes. Locally, ok. Maybe 50-100 miles in a decade or two. Habitat is so fragmented that it is almost impossible for natural emigration to significantly increase the ecological range of a local quail population. So forget south Georgia as a source of a naturally expanding quail population within a normal human lifetime. Habitat loss and fragmentation in much of historical bobwhite range has drastically reduced quail populations and has limited their ability to repopulate areas of catatrosphic population decline. Throw in the normal fluctuation of quail metatpopulations in such strongholds as western Oklahoma and Texas, where numbers can fluctuate by 80-90 percent within one year, and it is easy to understand why quail are in decline. I doubt if quail were very numerous historically, going back 200-300 years. The halylcyon days of the late 1800s to mid-1900s are likely not to be repeated, as agriculatural practices have shifted and land use has become much less hospitable to quail needs. Us poor folks are just going to have to survive on table scraps for quail. God bless Oklahoma for trying to keep intact signicant blocks of public quail habitat that can withstand these huge fluctuations in numbers of wild quail and still have viable numbers to come back from bad years. Even they are succumbing to the siren call of deer and turkey hunters, who only need a small tract of land to support a huntable population, when the annual kill is one or two animals. Even two quail a day is not enough for most bird hunters, even two finds a day. It takes a lot of ground to support a quail hunter or field trialer. Planted birds are the only practical way. This has been true for almost a hundred years, except for the lucky few who have the resources and means to maintain a large tract of land and numbers of wild birds. |
: --Previous Message--
: How many horseback AA wild bird trials are
: there now? How many have enough birds to
: really run a fair test of a quality field
: trial performance? I'm asking this for a
: reason as I want to visit and/or compete in
: as many of these as possible over the next
: few years. I'd hate to leave any out in
: planning my journeys.
: I'm assuming the prairie trials are all on
: wild birds so the Dakotas, MT and Canadian
: prairie trials are all on wild game. Any
: What about the chicken events in Wisconsin?
: Are there enough birds to make it a true
: Trials in Kansas used to all be run on wild
: quail and chickens/pheasants and there are
: still wild birds to be pointd on most of the
: trial grounds. Many though are supplemented
: with throw down coveys or pre released birds
: in the early fall.
: Field Trial Clubs in KS running ONLY on wild
: birds are the Gyp Hills Club in Medicine
: Lodge, KS (quail, occasional pheasant) and
: the High Plains Club (pheasants, quail and
: chickens) in Hill City, KS.
: The South Georgia-North Florida plantations
: are all wild quail unless someone would care
: to correct my assumption.
: Please name others in the south for me and
: the grounds that you know about in terms of
: the quality of courses, etc. I have heard
: that some AA trials in the south are alot of
: riding for a couple bird contacts in a day.
: I used to think the out west Chukar trials
: were wild bird events but found out they are
: mostly throw down events. Is this true for
: all of them?
: Many Texas trials were on wild birds in the
: past but with the drought and unknown bird
: loss causes in West TX, quail numbers are
: really low. Access to the big ranches for
: trialing is limited these past 10 years or
: so also. Few or no major trials are held in
: TX right now.
: Are the Western Oklahoma trials still
: strictly wild birds and is there enough to
: not make it a "luck" trial where
: the dog that points the only birds wins?
: Let's hope these current wild bird trials
: can all continue and that the wild quail
: populations that have thrived in South
: Georgia can expand their range thru natural
: migration or help.
: Thanks for your help and comments!
: I can attest to Sask. (Mortlach,Ardath,
: Stoughton), Alberta(Gleichen,Youngs Town,
: Coranation) Manatoba (Broom Hill),
: Montana(Circle,Great Falls, with the welcome
: addition of Winifred and Scobey) all are
: American Field and AFTCA trials all Wild
: Birds mostly Chicken,Huns with trial ground
: specific Pheasants and Sage Hens.
: In addition Idaho has wild bird trials
: Region 9 runs at American Falls.... Chicken,
: Huns and a few pheasants. Also there is Mile
: Post 9, and Robersons both of which I have
: no first hand experiance with but understand
: there are wild birds with the addition of
: release birds.
: The local clubs have worked hard to try and
: design grounds coarses so they give every
: one a fair shot at showing their dogs off in
: there best light.
: However luck of the draw comes into play to
: a certain degree at wild Bird trials on the
: Great Plains but most Wild bird trials
: depend on Mother Natures kindness and good
: land Stewardship to keep the grounds
: populated with good numbers of wild birds so
: real bird dogs are given a chance to find
: real birds.......Dave