Colorado – Poor to Very Good on the Range
Forecast: Colorado is a state of ups and downs, and Colorado quail hunters’ seasons may reflect the terrain with the 2012-2013 season most likely going from “poor to very good hunting success for bobwhite and scaled quail in 2012 with significant local variation,” says Ed Gorman of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Those able to identify habitats in which quail are insulated from the effects of severe drought may find very good numbers of quail within these habitats; however, on average, populations will be significantly lower than in the most recent boom year of 2006.
The bobwhite whistle counts, conducted in northeast Colorado along the lower South Platte River, were very good in 2012, averaging just over 25 whistles per station across 7 routes.
Hunters should note that bobwhites occur in northeastern Colorado along the South Platte and Arickaree river drainages, and in isolated parts of Phillips and Yuma counties within Sandsage ecosystems. In southeastern Colorado, bobs can be found in the Republican and Arkansas River corridors, and in the Sandsage areas within Baca and Prowers Counties. Scaled quail occur across southeastern Colorado, primarily within sandsage rangeland communities and cholla cactus grasslands. Gambel’s quail occur on the western slope of Colorado, primarily within the Grand and Uncompaghre Valleys. Populations of Gambel’s quail are closely tied to urban areas.Season Dates: All seasons start on November 10, 2012. Western Colorado and northeast Colorado seasons close on January 6, 2013. Season closes in southeast Colorado on January 31, 2013.
Daily Bag Limit: 8 of each species
Possession Limit: 24 of each species
Field Notes: The Small Game Walk-In access program will offer over 250,000 acres of private land for public access during the 2012/2013 season. The Colorado Division of Wildlife and local Pheasants Forever chapters have been working since 1992 on the cooperative Pheasant Habitat Improvement Program. The program assists landowners in developing and enhancing habitat for ring-necked pheasants, and has also helped increase opportunities for enrollment in the Walk-In-Access Program. Quail habitat is developed in conjunction with the Pheasant Habitat Improvement Program. Colorado also received a new 600 acre allocation of CP33 Bobwhite Buffer acres.
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