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The old 'yellow legged quail"
Posted by Pete Engelman on 11/18/2021, 1:28 pm
I sure like to hear from Paul Garrett about good quail numbers in NW Oklahoma. Our birds are in Missouri are numbered and our forecast was dismal. Fortunately, I don't really believe much in forecasts, we had a bad two weeks in late winter, worst time, when supplies of food are low, ice covered, we are now at least "conscious" of quail, rather than the "holy grail" deer, more deer, and turkeys everywhere. If you have habitat, we have quail, period. Which brings me to the subject. From my early years, hunting quail in SE Kansas and western Mo. early on a 8 year old trudging after a redbone coonhound who, forsake the night business for life, and was happy to wander round with a kid, with a new .22 single shot from Christmas, looking for rabbits, squirrels, quail, what ever on the family farm. We weren't successful often, leading to the lawn mowing enterprise for a 870 pump gun from Simmons the next summer. What we found then an for about 10 years after, were quail marked like birds we see now but heavier by at least half, some might have close to a pound, like a Wisconsin Jumbo, rather than a 6 -8 oz. birds we get now. Old quail hunters then called the old fashioned yellow legs. Their legs and feet were yellow, They also lived in woodlots, there would be savanna like pasture, open, hardwoods and cedar, lots of serious blackberries, lots of bluestem, every kind of weed and forb, imaginable. These birds got up 1 or 2-3 at a time, probably never more than 10 or so in a covey. Held solid, flushed close, bored out straight with an arc left or right and settle back down, and sit. Later I would harvest them with smaller birds, and while mostly similar there were differences. In those days they called small birds "Mexican" quail...rather than bobwhites, same bird we have now, and the same habits. In time the yellow legs disappeared. I saw these birds in what was then my total hunting world then, SW Mo. SE Ks. and NE Okla. Anybody remember these? My guess is not if your under 55! Somebody, in this new age, will tell me, that your old and confused, but they were there.