Quail are smaller birds, part of the pheasant family. They’re a traditional hunting pastime and one of America’s favorites, next to big game hunting. Quail as a species are diverse throughout the country and require a keen eye and attention to detail when hunted. They’re smart, but a good hunter knows what they’re after ahead of time. These tips and tricks will help you prepare for your next quail hunting Florida experience.
QUAIL: WHERE TO FIND THEM AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR
When you’re looking to hunt quail, it’s generally best to know the species and their particular living places. There are six species of quail in North America. The size may be similar to one another, but the species differ greatly as per their habitat.
Quail are found in small packs known as coveys. They like to forage twice a day from mid to late afternoon and early in the morning. Their diet is pretty diverse, as they will eat berries, seeds, leaves and insects. If you spot a young quail, it is very likely they will feed on insects most of the time. You’ll typically find them in these groups until the early summer and late spring as they get ready to pair prior to breeding season. You can expect to see them in groups of 25 at the most and their flight speed can go up to 40 miles an hour!
Because quail are a prey species, their lifespan is less than a year, from nesting as an egg to being hunted by predators.
Your quail hunting Florida experience can improve quickly once you learn the different species and their habits.
Species to look for include:
- Mearns (Montezuma) Quail: these species are the smallest in the United States and they’re found in New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Texas and Mexico. They populate the mountain areas that are ridden with a plethora of juniper and oak trees as well as grasslands.
- Bobwhite Quail: this bird species gathers in the Southern and Eastern United states. The bobwhite got its name from its whistling call. You will notice that the males have a white throat and brow strip compared to the females remaining all brown in color.
- Gamble’s Quail: these are found in dry regions of the southwestern United States and are easily recognized by their scaly plumage and top knots. While both male and females have gray bodies, males are distinctly recognizable by the copper feathers on their heads and black faces with white stripes above their eyes.
- California Quail: this is a popular species of Western quail. The California quail has 6 types of feathers with a curving crust or plume. The females are brown with white streaks and the males are black.
- Mountain Quail: this unique quail is easily spotted and is the largest variety found in the United states. Both sexes feature top knots, with the female’s knot slightly shorter than the males. Each of them has a white-barred underside and a brown face.
- Scaled Quail: these quails appear to have feathers like scales that are blue in appearance. With its white crest, this bird is easily identified.
FOR A BETTER HUNT
You can find quail at any time of the year, but it is best to go where they’re visible. They love exposed, damp areas where they can forage quickly and efficiently for bugs and worms. This is their favorite food and they are easily foraged for after it rains. Therefore, you will find it easier to hunt quail after a rainfall or during calm weather conditions.
Are you ready to take your quail hunting Florida experience to the next level? Quail Creek Sporting Ranch provides exotic game hunting in Florida, from quail hunting to pheasant. Stop by our ranch and test your shooting skills or contact us today for more information!