North Carolina Quail Hunting Forecast 2020

6ebf7520-0e4e-40a4-b8be-d3c83bff90fa By Oliver Hartner

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Dwindling habitat continues to have a negative impact on the bobwhite quail in North Carolina. Populations have stayed near record lows for several years, and quail have become nearly extinct in western parts of the state. However, there are glimmers of hope in eastern parts of the state where intense land management practices have taken place. Quail Forever volunteers are critical to stabilizing populations in the eastern part of North Carolina and improving habitat wherever else possible.   
 

WEATHER AND HABITAT

 
Despite having a mild winter across the region, North Carolina quail are still in steep decline. More detrimental to quail than any particular weather patterns seems to be habitat loss. Christopher Kreh, Upland Gamebird Biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commissions, says,
“In general, quality upland habitat for quail is in short supply, especially in the piedmont and mountains.  This has been the case for many years. We don’t do any quail-specific surveys or track annual changes, but information about the bobwhite in North Carolina can be found at https://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Birds/Bobwhite-Quail.”
 

TOP SPOTS

There is a glimmer of hope for bobwhite quail in places where habitat is being managed, and there are still opportunities for quail hunters in the eastern part of North Carolina. Kreh says, “Quail populations and hunting opportunity are best in eastern North Carolina.  Hunters may want to consider special permit quail hunting opportunities on Murphy-Brown Corporate CURE and Voice of America Game Lands.  Details about applying for permits can be found at https://www.ncwildlife.org/Licensing/Permit-Hunting-Opportunities.  Deadline for application is October 1st each year.”
 
 
 

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