Hunting Report

Good quail hunting season expected in 2017-18

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Oct 12, 2017

SACRAMENTO — California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) biologists are expecting a very good quail hunting this fall as the seasons open, thanks to rebounding populations that benefitted from California’s wet fall and winter in 2016.

quailhuntingQUAIL HUNTING IS expected to be good this year due to nesting conditions this past spring, and the California quail population is up and thriving.

California’s prolonged drought reduced quail populations state­wide. Biologists found overall declines of 33 percent for mountain quail, 29 percent for California quail and 17 percent for Gambel’s quail from 2005 to 2015 using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, which monitors the status and trends of North American bird populations.

Quail populations fluctuate naturally with weather and other prevailing environmental conditions such as wildfires. Fortunately, 2016 brought a shift in weather conditions for California. The rain received was critical to the production of food and cover for quail populations. Perhaps most importantly, rains produce more insects, which are a vital food source for young quail.

Quail season opened Sept. 9 in zone Q-1 for mountain quail only, Sept. 30 in Zone Q-2 and will open Oct. 21 for all quail in Q-1 and Q-3. The daily limit is 10 quail.

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