Land managers view the open ground at Whispering Pines
that is managed for quail using prescribed fire
|A classroom full of quail enthusiasts|
While the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is in charge of the game species in the Palmetto State, quail habitat recovery must take place on a landscape scale involving many thousands of acres of land. This is why Milliken Forestry Company helped to organize a meeting at the offices of C.F. Evans Construction for land managers to attend. Travis Sumner with Milliken works with wildlife solutions on the properties that they manage, and he started the meeting with introduction of the day’s speakers.
|Pointer flushing a few bobwhite quail|
Ten years of predator management is in the books at Mt. Pleasant and Nat Ruth relays that this job is never really done. “Land managers need to complete a predator index for their property to begin with, to document what animals are present,” said Ruth. “Most properties utilize the early release of pen-raised quail to supplement any wild birds present, and something like 40-percent of released birds are predated before hunting season begins.”
|I was glad to attend and learn more about quail management|
Wild hogs are a bigger problem for those managing land along river systems, and nest raiders like raccoons, opossums and armadillos are seemingly everywhere. Different traps are required for different predators, plus the knowledge of how to place them out and what type of bait to use. Serious land managers understand that they must get in the habit of trapping, and that being more sneaky than those critters is a tough assignment.
The landowner meeting concluded with a field trip to the Whispering Pines Plantation near Cameron where landowner Johnny Evans explained what works for him regarding quail management. Having served on the SCDNR Board, Evans is a wildlife enthusiast who shares that he thinned his timber some to provide more habitat for quail. His journey began with an article in Progressive Farmer magazine abut do it yourself quail habitat, and he relays that he has been very pleased with the overall experience of working to return bobwhite quail to the landscape.
To view this article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.