Thursday, December 13, 2018

Quail Hunting 101 - Walking Behind Bird Dogs

Ready To Go Quail Hunting in October 2018
Deer season is not over yet, but the hot topic around the proverbial water cooler is the start of quail season. The non-hunting public can appreciate hunting with bird dogs because of the heritage aspect, but hunters cherish the sporting challenge of wingshooting. This is the time of year when people are asking for the basic knowledge about where to hunt or how to hunt, so here’s some Quail Hunting 101 knowledge.

Hunting for quail in South Carolina begins October 1 for those with a commercial quail preserve operation, selling hunts daily for pen-raised quail. The quail season for private lands, hunting on the Back 40 acres so to speak, begins at Thanksgiving. A recent friendly email asked if I was able to provide a hunt for wild quail for two upland hunters. I explained that finding wild quail is no easy task, but to try the Webb Center WMA in Hampton County where the SCDNR has been working for years to cultivate and improve the habitat for bobwhite quail. Hunting on a public property like this requires an extra WMA permit along with a hunting license.

The chief concern for the novice quail hunter is safety, so wearing a blaze orange hat and vest for high visibility is imperative. Walking behind the dogs through the woods calls for comfortable footwear. Pants that offer a degree of toughness can shield your legs from any briars or vines that may grab your attention below the waist. A shirt that does not bind your range of motion will better aid your chances when turning to shoot a quail that is certain to fly an erratic path towards escape cover. Novice hunters need only be exposed to this suite of sensory experiences once, to know whether they want to pursue upland hunting in the future.

To read the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

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