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Desert quail food plots

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by mpol777, May 5, 2006.

  1. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    I've got 3 species of quail (valley, gambel's and scaled) on my place and in the surrounding area. I've seen several coveys and there appears to be a good amount. Enough to put some work in to keep them happy. I've already done my part of the predator population ;), but I'd like to put in a small food plot as well.

    Thing is this country I'm in now is quite a bit different than what I was in up around Phoenix and I haven't hunted any of the southern AZ quail thus far, so I'm not sure what they're after. I know they're taking off the mesquite, which I already have acres of. I'm wondering if a supplemental forage like corn or sunflowers would also be beneficial?

    I've got 2 small water holes I put in that see constant action from dang near everything, but I'd like to set a special place for the birds. Both quail and doves.
     
  2. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    The only one's i can 'kinda comment' on, are the Scaled, and the Bobwhite. Scaled are Pretty common still, in Okla. Panhandle, and out here in far West Tex. I'm no food plot expert for quail, but do know that they, (scaled esp), love seeds from Mesquite, sunflowers, and other little native seed producing brush. If this is not real thick on the menu where you are, they will eat crop producing seeds from say, Milo, sunflowers. etc.

    To me, they are not unlike Bobwhite, in that they want Lots of cover, and this seem to be high priority for them. We have (on Purpose), in the past, dozed up 'brush piles' here and there for cover spots, to go along with the 'already exsisting' native sagebrush, "and" because getting 'some' of the saplings/cactus, etc, out of the way, it made room for 'more grass' to grow, 'which they really like to hold in' as well.. The more the place looks like 'Ma & Pa Kettle's place,' the better they like it. :)

    Seriously, Old homesteads, around barns, and just plain 'thick grassy cover,' sagebrush, this is (at least in these two parts of the country), where they 'hold up.' Again, the sunflowers, and milo, should work well for you, "IF," there is not an abundance of native seeds to their liking, which there probably is, or they would not be there in the first place. We have noticed they are in good condition, and population, 'even in' places on the ranch where there were 'no' seed bearing crops 'planted,' but the 'extra suppliment' as in the Sunflower/milo, 'sure will help.'

    Don't know that i've done ya any good here, or told ya what you don't already know, but maybe something will click. ;)


    Happy quailing!


    CanyonMan
     

  3. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    If nothing else the reassurance is good. I'm going to put in some sunfowers about 40 yards into the pasture from the mesquite downhill from the northern waterhole. This should give them everything they need come fall. The water especially. The only other liquid around is 2 cattle tanks and they don't have much cover with all the traffic.

    I don't think I'll hunt them this season. I'd rather get the habitat set right to grow the coveys right now. I'll put a little pressure on them around the area and the bowl where I live be. Low predator population, cover, food and water should bring them in.
     
  4. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Sound Wisdom ! ;)

    Sounds like a very good plan to me, and i believe you will see a good crop of birds there in time. Plus 'not hunting' them for a while is also good wisdom. But sometimes hard to do !

    Good luck with it.


    CanyonMan
     
  5. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    CanyonMan,

    You asked about this project in the HP club. Here's the update. My plan went over like a lead balloon. I hogged out a lane about 200 yards into the mesquite then tossed out my sunflower seeds. Well, I picked the exact wrong time, because shortly after they went in we had a monsoon storm that washed pretty much everything away. So someplace in Old Mexico, there's a nice patch of sunflowers. :)

    The good thing is that there has been a mess of rain here. Mother Nature picked up where I failed. The grass is high and the birds are happy. That lane I cut should be perfect come shooting time. It doesn't look like I'll need to wait on the habitat. It's everywhere.

    I figure I'll just take a walk a couple times a week, make one loop around the place and see what flushes. A lazy morning stroll... with a shotgun. ;)

    I'll be putting in sunflowers again next year, earlier though. Just 'cause the wife thinks they're pretty. :)
     
  6. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    The difference rain makes.

    From this...

    [​IMG]

    ... to this.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Compy

    Compy CompensateWhat?

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    I'll be down with my Benelli! :supergrin:
     
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Nothing like early morning excercise, to get that trigger finger.....I mean those legs and heart in shape. ;)

    Good greif man, that first pic looks like behind the house on the our ranch...Dead! In fact, it looks like most of W. TX. Yes, what a difference the rain made, please send it this way, (with the sunflowers).

    Sorry to hear about the mexicans getting your sunflowers. Well, look at it as good will on your part, and what you and your country can do for your neighbor. Now they will have a better dove season wherever those seeds landed! :supergrin:

    All kidding aside, i am sorry to hear of the foiled plan. But. it sounds like things aren't over yet, with all the sweet grass coming up, and perhaps some berries here and there, it may turn out better than ya think. ;)

    Thanks for the update, i really have thought about ya from time to time, and wondered how things were goin there.

    Maybe let your wife do the planting next year, they always seem to get stuff to grow! :supergrin:

    Give another report, when you spot birds!



    CanyonMan