“I am 69 years (old) and have been hunting quail in Oklahoma since I was big enough to ride with my Dad and his buddies starting back in the late 1940s,” Hart wrote in an email. “I still farm part time in western Oklahoma around Hydro where I was born and raised.
I would add the following to what was said in the article in the paper on Sunday.
1. The Packsaddle quail study done several years ago showed that putting out feeders would hurt the quail numbers due to more attacks by airborne predators. Many hunters put out these feeders for turkey and deer and hogs. Most are filled with corn but some mix in milo also. This just makes a buffet for the hawks, etc.
“We have more hawks now in my opinion and I have personally witnessed a hawk attack, kill and fly off with a healthy quail.
2. The Packsaddle study also made mention that the greatest predator on quail eggs are snakes.
3. County commissioners are erasing habitat along country roads by removing brush where we used to find many birds.
4. Farmers are also cleaning up old house places where we used to find many coveys.
5. Possible bad health effects on quail by farmers use of herbicides (no till farming), pesticides, and fertilizers. I know quail eat wheat both grain and green leaves.
6. Many shelterbelts have been cleared by farmers in an effort to clean up their fields for more crop land.
7. Feral hog numbers are very high also but I have no idea if feral hogs could or would destroy nests.
8. Hunting every day cannot be good as I believe quail need some days off to regroup for safety against predators and weather.
“I would like to go back to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and holiday hunting myself.
I know it would not be politically correct to blame the farmers but I think some of the more modern farm practices might be hurting our birds.
Well, these are some of the things which were not covered in your article which those in authority might consider.”