Thursday, October 11, 2018

S.C. Quail Restoration and Bird Dogs at Moree's

Jeff Dennis and guide Billy Benson in the field
A return trip to hunt quail at Moree’s Sportsman Preserve in Chesterfield County on October 2 was nearly canceled due to storm damage from Hurricane Florence. Just two weeks earlier this area known as Society Hill received 24-inches of flooding rain, washing out some access roads. The longtime manager at Moree’s is Mike Johnson, and he worked overtime to prep their property and facilities for our hunt. Guide Billy Benson and I discussed bird dog lineage during the entire morning hunt, since I own one of the English Setters he raised eleven years ago at Moree’s.

S.C. Bobwhite Initiative
“I have been guiding here for 30 years now,” said Billy Benson of Florence. “Your dog’s mother was named Roxy, and this 9-year old male named Hoss is from a separate litter of puppies from Roxy. I watch the dogs each year to measure their ability to hunt and Hoss seems primed and ready for another hunting season. Aging is different for all dogs, but around age 11 is when I see it really slow down my working dogs. Another guide here named Leroy Jordan uses English Setters from the same lineage as your dog Chester.”

English Setter retrieves a bobwhite quail
while Mike Giles watches
The SEOPA conference in Florence featured bobwhite quail as a discussion topic with SCDNR’s small game biologist Michael Hook and Don McKenzie of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI). Quail population numbers have been in decline in every state of its range for decades, but out of the failure to fully grasp this landscape scale problem, a new resolve is forming to save our bird hunting culture. Songbirds have also been identified in decline, and it turns out that they require the same early successional habitat as bobwhite quail. A new management strategy that regards both the gamebirds and the songbirds as a treasured resource is uniting partners in conservation like never before.

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

To view past blog entries about bobwhite quail management click 2014 S.C. Quail Initiative - National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative - 2009 SE Quail Study Group - 2009 Quail Unlimited / Indian Creek Award

To view past blog entries for my S.C. Quail Season Finale click on 2015 - 20142013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 

To view past blog entries from the Tall Timbers Field Day click 2017 -  2013 2011 - 2010

To view past blog entries from SEOPA click 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2009

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