Those interested in West Texas quail management should plan to attend the Texas Quail Study Group in Odessa Oct. 2-3. The meeting will be held at the MCM Grande Hotel.
This year’s theme is Desert Quail Management, said Dr. Dale Rollins, Texas AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist at San Angelo.
“Texas is one of only three states that can claim four species of quail, and this year’s meeting will address each of them,” Rollins said.
The first day will have presentations on each of the four species and common sense approaches to managing their habitat. The second day will feature a tour of the Railway Ranch west of Odessa to inspect various management strategies.
“The secret is out about the quality of blue quail hunting in West Texas,” Rollins said. “Several national outdoor magazines and television shows have featured blue quail hunting recently. Hunting blues is considerably different than the more traditional bobwhite, and all of a sudden blue quail hunting is in vogue.”
The keynote speaker is Tom Waddell from the Armendaris Ranch near Truth or Consequences, N.M.
“The ranch is one of media mogul Ted Turner’s properties,” Rollins said. “I’ve been involved with some blue quail research on the Armendaris, and they certainly have their share of blue and Gambel’s quail there.
“This year’s meeting is being dedicated posthumously to Sherman Hammond of Fort Stockton,” he said. “Hammond was an important cog in bringing attention to blue quail management in West Texas. I attribute much of what we know about blue quail ecology to him. He’ll be missed.”
The meeting is sponsored by AgriLife Extension's Quail Decline Initiative, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Quail Unlimited, Sul Ross State University, and the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch.
Four Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be available for private applicators.
Individual registration is $50 until Sept. 15 and $75 thereafter. Fees will cover two meals, refreshments and a copy of the symposium proceedings. See http://teamquail.tamu.edu/home.php or contact Rollins at 325-653-4576 or [email protected].