Oklahoma – Mature Quail Enter Fall Hunting Season

Forecast: Sandwiched between Kansas and Texas, Oklahoma and the southern Great Plain remains the last vestige of what modern hunters would call exceptional quail hunting. Currently, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation employees run 83, 20-mile routes in all counties except Oklahoma and Tulsa to gather an index of quail abundance.

Weather has played a critical factor in determining the productivity of quail in 2011. The severe drought conditions over the past year have undoubtedly had a negative effect on quail production.

The results of the 2012 August roadside quail survey show that the statewide quail survey show the quail index is down 7% from the 2011 August survey; however, the number of quail observed in the northwest, northeast, south-central and southeast were all up from the 2011 survey and north central region remained the same. The southwest region was the only region to see a decline compared to 2011 numbers, going from 7.3 to 0.8. In addition, the number of broods observed during the August survey decreased from 14 in 2011 to 11 in 2012. Of the broods observed during the August survey, nearly 100% were either full or ¾ grown compared to 64% during last year’s survey.

For the most part, Oklahoma had favorable weather during the winter and early spring that provided improved nesting cover and better insect availability when compared to 2011. It appears there was enough habitat provided for a favorable first nesting attempt since all the quail observed were either ¾ or full grown. The increase in vegetation from early moisture also increases cover along the roads which can restrict the visibility of quail during the survey period.

Weather during later nesting attempts turned hot and dry similar to the 2011 nesting season which is known to negatively affect quail production by shortening the reproductive period, inhibiting nesting initiation and egg laying.

The above was provided via the 2012 August Roadside Quail Survey Summer, compiled by Doug Shoeling, Upland Game Biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Please check Oklahoma Department of Wildlife for the Quail Season Outlook, posted the later this season.

Season Dates: November 10, 2012 through February 15, 2013; statewide (second Sat in November thru Feb 15.)
Daily Bag Limit: 10
Possession Limit: 20

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