Quail Hunting Tips
Quail is a delightful meat that hunters across the country enjoy. And many people believe that quail and quail eggs offer health benefits. For these reasons and more, many of us have a virtual obsession when it comes to hunting quail. But as often happens as humans, animals, over time, quails have gotten wise to us and become much harder to kill. This means that for each generation quail hunting becomes more challenging.
I find it takes a lot of preparation to overcome these challenges, including having sufficient firepower. Without preparing before the hunt, you’re bound to fail. And of course, you also have the use your brain when hunting down quail in the woods. In this article, I’ll list a few tips that can help make a quail hunting outing a bit easier and much more successful.
Quails can be found in almost every place where humans live. While the environment and situation for quails and quail hunting may be a bit different from one location to the next, quails always seem to find a way to make a home for themselves. But for hunters, this variety of potential quail habitats means there is a necessarily a single, standard approach when hunting quail. Yes, I won’t deny that animals – and in this case quail – have specific behaviors, but the environment they live in can significantly impact precisely how they behave when you’re hunting them. For inexperienced hunters, enjoying success while well hunting means listing to the advice and tips they can get from experienced quail hunters. Hunting isn’t just about the guns; it’s about having information that you can use to make the best decisions while hunting. If you have other experienced quail hunters living in your area, you should try to find out if you can get one of them to mentor you and offer their experience and tips. While you don’t necessarily have to go with them on their hunting expeditions, getting the opportunity to do this would certainly be a plus. This is essentially hunting networking, which will help you better understand when you should go hunting, what weapons you should use and where you might have the best chance of finding quail in your location. When I first started hunting quail, I was happy to be a will to turn to a community of quail hunters who can help me make my hunting trips as successful as possible. But if you want specific quail hunting tips from me, below are the ones I considered the most important.
Actionable Quail Hunting Tips
1. Choosing the Right Weapon
There are plenty of weapons you can choose from when you go quail hunting, but one of the most popular ones is of course a shotgun. It is well known for being a precise and efficient way of bringing down quail. And this weapon can be used for other purposes, since it’s great for hunting other animals as well. Although there are lots of different types to choose from, the shotgun you’ll probably want for hunting quail is a 12-20 gauge. This is because the 26-inch barrel on the shotgun lets you shoot your prey from a longer distance and is particularly useful for quail. I say this because a smaller shotgun might allow you to shoot the quail, but not necessarily kill it. You don’t want the quail to fall to earth and then just escape by flying off. You want to actually get your bird. Having the right shotgun and making sure that it is well-maintained and fully functional can help you do this.
2. Locating Quails
The first thing I tell anyone before they set out on a hunting expedition is to consider a few fundamental points about where they can locate their quarry. In the case of quail – as with other prey – you’ll want to think about their general habits, including what they eat. It is true that over the years the population of quail has slowly reduced, but knowledge about their habits can help you locate them anyway. At the very least, it can increase the chances that you will be able to successfully hunt quails. Remaining alert to your environment in your surroundings is essential if you’re going to apply your knowledge and skills when hunting quail. You can’t just wander through the woods and hope for the best. Tracking quail can be a very challenging experience, especially for someone who is new to quail hunting. One second, they might seem to be in one location, and then the next they will disappear and be somewhere else. Quails have a remarkable ability to disappear into shrubs and bushes in an instant. For the first-time quail hunter, this can be extremely frustrating. I always advocate patience. You should remain as quiet as possible and allow the quail enough time to wander away from their hideouts before you take action with your gun. Otherwise, the odds are you won’t drop a single quail once you start shooting. The first thing to consider when looking for quail is that they feed on bugs and worms. When you think about this, it can give you clues about where and under what circumstances you can find quail. For instance, you need to keep in mind when worms are most likely to come to the surface of the ground. As we all know, bugs and worms love to make their appearance when it is rainy, wet and muddy. This alone provides you with important information to help you make your quail hunting decisions. Since they tend to inhabit semi-wooded areas, I like to clear way grass in the zones to make the quail more visible. And since quail are more likely to be out hunting their food when it’s damp, will hunting can be most effective during the rainy months. It’s also true that – even though quail can be found around the world – some states in the United States have more quail than others. Georgia, Texas and Illinois have particularly high populations of quail. But regardless of what state you happen to be in, I think if you’re determined you can probably find quail reasonably close by. The best time to hunt quail is early in the day especially if it’s going to be especially hot later in the day.
3. A Good Hunting Dog
When you’re hunting quail, a reliable hunting dog is almost essential. For thousands of years, dogs have served human beings as part of the hunt. While you can try to hunt quail out in the woods alone and without a dog, the process is made much harder – not to mention less enjoyable. Obviously, I don’t advise taking along a dog that’s never been trained in the process of hunting quail. But if you do have a well-trained dog, you can significantly enhance your chance of having a successful quail hunt. Now training your dog to hunt quail is a significant investment and one that takes time. You must be willing to be fully committed to quail hunting to make this investment. Otherwise, there is no point in wasting your money and time on the process. It would be like buying a sports car that you never take out for a drive. But if you are fully really interested in quail hunting, you’ll find that having a great dog will help increase the chance that your quail hunting expeditions in successfully.
4. Again, I Stress Patience
Yes, I said above, but it bears repeating. If you want to be an effective hunter of quail, you’re going to have to develop the patience of a saint. While certainly you should be ready to react quickly and make fast decisions, the most important virtue for any quail hunter is having patience while out in the field. This quality can make all the difference between failure and success. During those times when nothing seems to be working, the quail hunter should stay cool and collected, rather than just firing away in a fit of frustration. But as you gain experience in quail hunting, you’ll understand that keeping your composure is vital. Don’t waste your bullets in an unprofessional way. If you find your shots missing quail, you need to think about just white this is happening. And naturally, keep your eyes on your target and never waver. This kind of focus and persistence are vital for any hunter, and certainly can improve the chances that your shot bring down your quail.
5. Dealing with the Weather
As noted in the previous tip, the weather can play a significant role in deciding whether you should even go out hunting or quail on a particular day. If you have severe wind and rain, you’re risking spending a lot of time out in the woods and coming home empty-handed. At the same time, if you had out when it’s especially hunt and dry, the fact that the quail will have no bugs and worms to feed on means you will likely find very few of them in the fields. Because of this, I advise hunting for quail when it is wet and muddy, but not when it’s absolutely pouring outside. But after it’s good and damp outside, the worms will be easy for the quail defined and the quail will be – relatively – easy for you to find. At the same time, it’s true that tramping around in the fields and the woods when it’s wet and muddy makes navigating much more difficult for a hunter. Therefore I always wear good quality boots when I’m hunting. And you will want boots with enough support so that if you slip on wet leaves and fall you won’t bust up your ankle. As a quail hunter, you should be prepared to quickly take advantage of the rainy season, since only a few days of rain may be enough to make it the perfect time to go hunting.
6. Communicating with a Partner
Many times, you’ll decide you want to go quail hunting with a partner. When you do this, you’ll want to know that you can effectively communicate with each other to make sure that your hunting as a team, instead of each of you just doing his or her own thing. You’ll want to know whether your partner is close by or far away from you – for safety reasons if nothing else. Also, your partner can let you know if his location is better for taking a shot. Communication with your hunting partner can increase the chance of you both taking down the highest possible number of quails. Clearly, when you have one or more hunting partners you don’t want to go around shouting back and forth to each other. You should have a method for communicating with each other that will not alarm the quails. Once the quails know you’re there, you’re sunk. To avoid this problem, you need to plan out your communication so the chance of a disruption is minimized. You and your partner – or partners – should agree on a series of signals and what they mean. These signals can make the hunting process quieter and less disruptive. They can also make it much more productive.
7. Be Prepared for Large Numbers of Quails
While it’s true that quails can be tough to find sometimes, it’s also true that sometimes you’ll run into far more than you expect. Just on the chance this happens, I always try to be prepared in case I encounter a lot of quail. Certainly, when you’re shooting at one quail, the rest of them are probably going to scatter as quickly as they can. Therefore – once you see one quail – you have to be prepared for the chance that a lot more quails are nearby. You and your partner – or partners – should work together strategically to guarantee you get as many quail as possible. You demonstrate your increased skills at hunting quail by the number of quails you take down in a single hunt. Wood navigation skills play a big part in this, as well as your skill with your gun and your ability to spot and target quails.
8. Shooting at Quail
Once you spot a quail, you shouldn’t just start firing away. Carefully move closer to the quail and only take your shot once the birds are starting to fly away. The closer you can get to your quarry before shooting at it, the better chance you have of taking down a number of quail. Again, note that the most important consideration while hunting is safety. Everything you do while hunting quail should guarantee your safety and that of your hunting partner. You want to come back home with as many quail as possible, but not at the expense of serious injuries to anyone involved in the hunting expedition. Prior to taking your shot, make sure you are aware of just where your partner and your hunting dog are located. Never shoot at a quail when there is any chance at all that you will miss and shoot your partner or bird dog. I always have a chat with my hunting partner on this subject before we go out hunting. It’s always better to be safe than sorry – or dead. Hopefully these shooting tips will you with quail shooting during your next hunting activity.
9. Be Aware of Hunting Regulations
All states have their own laws regarding hunting activities within their state. Four you and your pals head off hunting in a state – at least one where you have never hunted before – it’s a good idea to check with local authorities regarding just what rules there are in their state when it comes to quail hunting. I’ve made this mistake myself and regretted it. The laws and controls regarding quail hunting can vary significantly, both by state and from one season to the next. You don’t want to do something that violates state rules and regulations while you’re enjoying yourself in the field, so get the information you need to stay on the right side of the law. That way, you can hunt without worrying about any legal challenges to what you’re doing.
10. Try Out New Areas
When you’re hunting for quail, there is no need to restrict yourself or your hunting party to a location. Hunters who have experience with quails know that they can move around a lot. In fact, if the quails in your area become aware that hunters come to a particular spot, they will relocate themselves to an area where hunters are less likely to show up. After all, they don’t want to get shot. So, it can be useful to try and locations that are less frequently used by hunters. This increases the chance that you will come across large numbers of quail. Even beyond improving your chances of finding quail, trying out new hunting rounds just makes things more interesting for you and your hunting partners.
11. Use Quality Protective Clothing and Gear
When you prepare to go hunting quail, you need to be prepared. In addition to having a well-maintained gun and high-quality boots, there are several other things I always find it’s a good idea to take with me. When choosing your clothing and gear, you should to keep in mind that you may have to work your way through the thick undergrowth and thorny patches when hunting quail. Therefore you’ll want to wear clothing made of a ripstop material. This will keep tiny punctures in your clothing caused by thorns or brambles from turning into long tears or rips. This might be slightly more expensive than the standard camo you wear while hunting, but in the long run it’s worth the investment.
Using the tips I’ve laid out above, you can significantly increase the chances of a successful quail hunt. While no advice or hunting tips can guarantee you 100% success, these techniques and ideas will greatly enhance your chances. Remember, persistence and patience are vital on a quail hunt as with many other game. Good luck on getting your next covey of quail.