Best Quail-Hunting Strategy
Quail-Hunting is one of the top sports for those on the upper crust of society. It is considered the top game or hunt of the aristocracy and is practiced by vice presidents and world leaders to this day.
Quail hunting is typically considered this way because it demands a lot less of the hunter in comparison to other hunts. It does not take place in the morning, for example, or in the shivering cold.
Instead, quail hunting can be done in relative comfort and can actually be quite stylish. For this reason, many people in the upper class of society try quail hunting.
Hunting seasons last up to 125 days with individual hunter limits from 10 birds per day.
Quail-Hunting typically involves two hunters and a pair of dogs, typically called bird dogs. These dogs chase down the quail and retrieve the bird after the kill has been made.
The birds are found in groups called coveys of 12-15 birds. Often times, quail hunts are attended by spectators and watchers. There can be large crowds at quail hunts, gathering to watch the majesty of the sport unfold before their very eyes.
There is something surreal and beautiful about quail-hunting and watching the bird dogs do their work, making it one of the most interesting human experiences to be had.
The Gambel's quail is also the only species of quail that is intensely bred in captivity, primarily for release for hunting. These quail prefer to remain motionless and rely on camouflage to avoid predators, especially if hidden by vegetation.
Quails feed in groups while slowly traveling along the ground. Typically a covey feeds twice a day, morning and afternoon. Quail’s delicate flavor comes from the nuts and seeds that wild birds eat. Communication between group members is kept with calls. The birds typically rest in a shady area during the hottest parts of the day.
Proper gear is recommended when quail-hunting. This includes having the proper boots for the fields and the marshlands. The right pants are also required, preferably pants that are called “brush pants” because they are of a color that matches the color of the brush.
These pants also work to prevent thorns and briars from penetrating the pants, which is a common downfall to hunting quail in the brushes of North America. It is also recommended that the hunter wears a proper vest or a coat so that ammunition and other immediate supplies can be stored in it.
The best option is something of a bright color so that the hunters will be obvious in the field and not confused with the quail.
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There is a certain formation and strategy to quail-hunting that is very important. First, the dogs are sent to flush out the birds. As this is happening, the hunters are preparing their guns to be mounted on their shoulders.
The safety of the gun should be kept on at all times until the gun is ready to be fired and mounted on the shoulder of the hunter. The gun barrels should be pointed to the sky, towards the prey, and away from any other hunter or from the ground.
Quail-hunting is best enjoyed with a lightweight 20-gauge shotgun and a good pointing or retrieving dog.
The two hunters should then follow the line of the dogs and maintain a straight line themselves, one hunter after the other. This formation is very important because of safety issues. The reasoning behind the straight line formation is to keep the hunters away from firing unpredictably upon one another's personal space.
Each hunter should have a mental note of where the other hunter is. The dogs should also be noted. This is to identify locations as to where the hunter should not point or swing his or her firearm. This should be also a way to divide the field up into sides. One side belongs to one hunter and so on.
Once the sides are determined, the dogs will flush the quail into the air and the shooting begins. Hunters should stick to firing on their side of the range, so as to avoid danger and poor form.
Quail numbers have had a direct impact on quail harvest and hunter numbers and will impact the future use of this species, as well as numbers of hunters recruited and licenses sold.
Quail are fast runners and only fly to escape danger, cross obstacles like roads, or fly to a roost at night. It should also be noted that low flying quail should be avoided at all costs.
This is not only dangerous, but it has led to the unfortunate demise of many bird dogs because of the low shots. Keeping the guns high during a quail hunt is of vital importance so as to protect all of those involved in the hunt.
With these safety precautions and gun etiquette tips in mind, quail-hunting should be a remarkable and fun sporting event to take in.
Bring some friends and get set for a lovely day in a field with the dogs. Quail-hunting can be a peaceful time as well, leading to plenty of reflection and quiet in the middle of America's most beautiful marshlands.
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