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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Just glanced back at this site as I noticed a private message notification. Seems to have gotten pretty far afield from Mr. H's original salute to my favorite upland quarry.
In reading the thread in its entirety, I notice several mentions of fire as a tool in land management.
I am one of the strongest proponents of burning in my area. I began a controlled burn program on this ranch in the late 80's, and it continues to the present . Burn plans are already fully formulated for a Feb-Mar 2022 series of burns here.
Under my normal rotation each of multiple segments of the property is burned once every 6 years
Our prescriptions are somewhat different than those applied to Longleaf Pine stands in the Southeast. Our goals are similar though.

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I wouldn't claim to know what has caused the quail decline in the southeast, but my opinion is that it's habitat related. And habitat includes all the factors like invasive species such as coyotes and fire ants, and the switch to herbicides by the forestry industry.

We had quail in central AL when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, but not in great numbers. I can remember finding maybe 2 coveys on a typical half day hunt. Our population was at it's highest in the late 70s when much of the forest land was clearcut and then site prepped with dozers. There were days back then when killing a limit of 10 birds in a day was a reasonable goal. When the pine trees got to about their 3rd year, that was the end of that tract being good quail habitat and for the most part it never was again. The next forest was site prepped with herbicides, and it wasn't as good for the quail.

Some things were the same as they are now, and we still had quail. We had fire ants for as long as I can remember, and the quail lived with them. There was very little agriculture in the area, but the quail still thrived. We hunted them, but that didn't affect the population.

But some things were different than today. Nobody site preps with dozers now. I'm looking to get 40 acres site prepped for planting longleaf this winter and I can't find anyone who still has a root rake. It's all done with herbicides, and I don't think that helps the quail.

I caught a coyote in a trap in 1980 and that was the first one I'd ever seen. Now they are everywhere and that's a change in the habitat. We definitely have more hawks these days, though there were some around in the 70s and the quail survived anyway.

I think all of these things work together to reduce the quail population. We still have some, and I hear them whistling in the summer, but I don't have enough to hunt them. I wouldn't have thought this would be true, but it doesn't seem that quail can thrive in small habitat areas of a few hundred acres. I can grow turkeys on my 400 acres, and actually have more of them than ever before. But quail seem to need a block of thousands of acres to do well. I have read this in research reports, and I have also experienced it trying to manage our land. They apparently move around a lot more than I expected.

The coyotes and hawks are not the only predators who have increased. The nest predators like coons and possums are a lot more abundant than they were back in the 70s. Stan wasn't the only one trying to catch and sell fur back then. I had 2 small kids and my wife didn't have a job, so the extra money I could make from trapping was very helpful. A couple of cats, an otter, and a big coon made this a very good day. Good hunting to all of you who still have quail to hunt!
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Perspective from the Heartland, and K-State ain't a bastion of liberal green ideology.
https://www.thekansan.com/news/20200315/where-have-all-pheasants-gone

The Meadowlark loss is a canary in the coalmine but one source, of course, blames global warming
https://www.kansas.com/news/state/article244425637.html

2021 forcast
https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Upland-Birds/Upland-Bird-Forecast

Missouri Conservationist in 2011
https://mdc.mo.gov/magazines/conservationist/2011-05/where-have-quail-gone

Short story from 2020
https://www.fourstateshomepage.com/...have-dropped-80-in-the-last-50-60-years/

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Keith: "Much of my area has actually seen the human population decline or remain stable for the last 50 years, so habitat loss is not the factor that it is in other areas."

ND is definitely one of those areas. Our farm population peaked in the 1920's and has been declining ever since. As the least forested state in the Union our habitat, native prairie, is all but gone except for some high rocky moraines and arid areas west of the Missouri River with shallow soils. Land use is far more intensive as the small diversified (livestock and grain) farms disappeared. Interesting that after the homesteaders arrived, prairie chickens flourished to the point they were a staple winter food item for many farm families, having largely displaced sharp-tailed grouse that were actually semi-migratory during tough winters. Now the chickens are gone and all we have left in eastern ND are barely huntable numbers of sharptails. They, along with introduced upland game birds, increased a bit with the habitat created by the CRP program. But they faced the same suite of skunk/raccoon/red fox egg, and to a lesser extent hen predators that was already well established. Coyotes were uncommon. Further west, where coyotes were more numerous, pheasants in particular thrived. So there is a balance between habitat, predators and prey that is the key to general game abundance. That is not to say that gamebird populations cannot be increased greatly on small areas with intensive predator control.

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Originally Posted by SKB
Originally Posted by HomelessjOe
Habitat loss is a cop out....

Next they'll blame it on global warming.

You missed your calling frAnk, you should have been a biologist

I've been warmed by Dave that I shouldn't reply to mOronic posts like yours SKB or he was going to put me back in fOrum jAil.....

I being a censored prisoner should just take your verbal attacks.

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SKB Offline
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Originally Posted by HomelessjOe
Originally Posted by SKB
Originally Posted by HomelessjOe
Habitat loss is a cop out....

Next they'll blame it on global warming.

You missed your calling frAnk, you should have been a biologist

I've been warmed by Dave that I shouldn't reply to mOronic posts like yours SKB or he was going to put me back in fOrum jAil.....

I being a censored prisoner should just take your verbal attacks.

Always the victim frAnk. Poor, poor you, I need a tissue......

Listening closely, I believe I hear the world's smallest violin playing a sad song for you.


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
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Sidelock
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Looking forward to this:


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Sidelock
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So what are they selling ?

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And hopefully the midget Strad is cranking out Bach's "Air in D"- the background music Olly Stone picked his movie "Platoon"-- Frank playing the part of Sgt. Barnes--RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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Sidelock
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Originally Posted by Run With The Fox
And hopefully the midget Strad is cranking out Bach's "Air in D"- the background music Olly Stone picked his movie "Platoon"-- Frank playing the part of Sgt. Barnes--RWTF

Wieder falsch, Fuchs.

Adagio for strings — Samuel Barber.


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