Mississippi’s statewide bobwhite quail hunting season will open November 22, 2012 and continue through March 2, 2013. There is a daily bag limit of eight quail.

Several public lands around the state offer quail hunting opportunities, but hunters should be prepared to put in some time to find birds. “The 2012 quail hatch was good where habitat was suitable. Some of the best places to find quail during the hunting season are in or near thicker cover patches or edges associated with fields and upland forests with grassy ground cover,” said Dave Godwin, MDWFP Small Game Program Coordinator.

Many hunters and landowners have observed the decline in quail populations throughout much of their range. The primary cause of this decline has been the gradual loss of suitable habitat due to changes in land use and management. The declining use of prescribed fire as a land management tool and changes in agricultural practices are major factors that have affected quail habitat suitability. However, quail habitat quality on agricultural and upland forest lands can be improved with appropriate management practices.

MDWFP biologists are working to reverse the declining bobwhite population trend by improving habitat and providing technical guidance on public and private lands. “There have been a number of positive things happening for quail habitat in some localized areas, and we will continue to work to build on what has been started. We need suitable habitat at larger scales to achieve sustainable quality hunting opportunities,” said Rick Hamrick, MDWFP Small Game Biologist. “This often involves reaching out and providing guidance to multiple landowners within a local community to increase the scale of suitable habitat available to birds.”

Visit us online at www.mdwfp.com/quail or call 601-432-2199 to receive more information on quail hunting and habitat management.

Logo courtesy Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

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