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24
Oklahoma Completes August Quail Survey
From the Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation

Although roadside bobwhite quail surveys conducted in August showed a slight decrease of five percent over the 14-year average, all indications point to a good season for Oklahoma quail hunters.

"It's been an unusual year. The spring was relatively warm and dry, but the summer was cool and wet. In fact, the high growth of vegetation made it difficult for biologists to see the quail on their surveys," said Mike Sams, upland bird biologist for the Department. "The October counts should provide some more clarity about this fall's quail population. It is still early, but there is no reason right now for hunters not to have good expectations about the upcoming quail season."

Mild summers are often associated with good quail production which has been the common assertion of landowners and field biologists.

"Cover conditions are being reported as good to excellent across Oklahoma which might explain the modest survey results," Sams said. "We have also had quite a few reports of late season hatches and results of the August survey generally don't include quail broods that hatch late in the productive season. Veteran quail hunters know that a successful second hatch often determines the difference between an average and good quail season."

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation biologists have conducted the roadside surveys during both August and October for the past 15 years.

The surveys, which consist of 20-mile routes, give biologists an index of quail abundance. Observers count the number of quail seen to provide an index of quail abundance and reproductive success. There are 83 routes with at least one route in every county except for Tulsa and Oklahoma counties.

Running Nov. 13, 2004 - Feb.15, 2005, quail season is one of the most popular events in the state, drawing hunters from all over the nation to enjoy some of America's finest bird hunting. For complete August roadside survey data, log onto www.wildlifedepartment.com


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