Seven Autumn To-Dos for Better Bobwhite Quail Habitat

Spring isn’t the only time to focus on creating and improving upland habitat. Somewhere between quail hunting and harvesting, if you can find the time to do a few of these upland habitat projects, you’ll be setting your property up for even more bobwhite success.
All these activities can be performed in the fall, and remember, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever farm bill biologists can help you work out the details with any of them:
  • Mow and disk firebreaks in anticipation of spring prescribed burning.
  • Plant shrubs for covey headquarters. Fall can be a great time for establishing shrubs
  • Burn your native grasses, burn your ditches, and burn through timber. Work with a Quail Forever or Pheasants Forever farm bill biologist for a burn plan
  • Spray tall fescue and smooth brome in the next couple of weeks while native plants are dormant. Talk to a farm bill biologist for herbicide recommendations.
  • Disk rank stands of cool-season grasses after the first hard freeze to expose roots to killing cold temperatures. Look for at least 50 percent dirt exposed (this may require multiple passes).
  • Startup that chainsaw! Now is an excellent time to begin edge-feathering projects to create shrub cover. Don’t forget to spray the grass and treat your stumps.
  • Many invasive plants, like honeysuckle, still have leaves on their branches. Go out now with a chainsaw or weed whip to mow down and stump treat these woody invasive plants when identification is a breeze.
These are all great personal property management tips, but one final consideration is to also peek over the fence and look at the connecting upland habitat. Consider working with your neighbors, thus broadening the impact of each individual project. Creating habitat that spans as many consecutive acres as possible is a primary goal of upland game management, and once created, these large areas hold a wider-ranging bobwhite population that will ultimately be less susceptible to individual weather patterns.