North Carolina – Loss of Habitat Continuing its Effects

Forecast: Due to continual loss of habitat, North Carolina's quail population was reported to be down in 23 of the 26 quail mail carrier route surveys conducted by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, reports Mark Jones, private lands supervising wildlife biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The silver lining he noted is that declines were slight, and North Carolina is not seeing the drastic impact winter weather had on quail numbers in other parts of the country.

Jones recommends hunting along the Coastal Plains east of I-95 on farm land properly managed for quail. Public land hunters should look at one of the four state managed quail lands, including the Holly Shelter Game Lands, which holds good numbers of birds, but is difficult to hunt due to its expansive size. Corporate managed lands are open to permit hunting as per regulation illustrated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Season Dates: November 19, 2011 through February 29, 2012
Daily Bag Limit: 6
Possession Limit: 12
Field Notes: Each hunting season since 1984, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has asked dedicated quail hunters to record their daily hunting activities including the number of hours they hunt, number of birds flushed and number bagged. Hunters found more coveys 20 years ago, but hunter success has been relatively steady since 1990. What this means is quail have declined, but within good quail habitat, they continue to hold their own.

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