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Quail Forever Effectiveness?

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dogrunner

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Scott Berg
3 hours ago, Scar said:

With all due respect, come show me something my local chapter has done other than gather money.  I note you say "banquet proceeds" stay in the community.  They sell everybody a membership at the door.  That money goes to Washington.  In my opinion the banquet is primarily used by the organization to increase membership based upon the promise (unfulfilled in my community) of future habitat improvement projects.  They know the time proven complaints locals have had about conservation organizations and fashion this type of quick, feel-good response to offset that complaint.  It doesn't make it less true.  The simple fact is they take $$ from people here who have very little to give and do little or nothing (in boots on the ground real action) for those same people in return.

 

During the drought cattle were starving while uncut CRP stood across the county road because it couldn't be released until after the pheasant's had nested.  There is nothing that can take away the  angst surrounding the Government telling landowners (contractually) what they can/can't do with their land.  Again, despite the pretty language landowners in my community feel that PF has lobbied for restrictions on their land use that interfere with their ability to make a living.  I frankly am supportive of wildlife conservation and understand that without meaningful restrictions the farmers/ranchers will make an even greater mockery of that Federal program at great cost to our wildlife but I also don't blame the ranchers when they don't get all warm and fuzzy about a PF sticker on the dog trailer.   

 

The OP asked about what actions we've seen the organization undertake and I responded with my experience.  Despite being called a liar I stand by everything I've posted.  

 

 

 

Help me out here ... How is the CRP program tied to QF and why is the scenario you described relevant to the relative merit of QF?

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quailguy
3 hours ago, mccuha said:

I found out and quit going for the very reason that the guys that were the local volunteers for QU were using there proceeds to create really nice dove fields that only they shot. I would be inclined to join in helping if I saw more effort on public ground and opening up more ground to the public here as well as westward like OK, TX,NM and the such. I do realize that more of the impact that they do along with PF is more in the mid west .  But you are correct that a lot of the benefits are on private that the average Joe will never have a chance to utilize.

^^^^^^^^^ yeah.

 

 In my experience this is normally the case. And I have been in 2 QF chapters in Texas (same place, 2 different attempts to get a QF chapter going, both folded. members could see no benefit to themselves or to quail in general. A few guys got some habitat work done on their land which no one else could hunt.)

 

As I noted, I helped start a PF chapter which way back then in PA did some local habitat work on private ground that was open to public hunting, as well as offering support to the PA Game Commish and sending in dues to national PF. Not a normal chapter deal IMHO. Too many things are done on private land. And I have seen PF chapter signs on habitat improvement projects in Kansas on WIHA.

 

Running youth shotgun programs etc is nice but what good does that do quail??

 

Now putting out and maintaining guzzlers in the desert would be a habitat project that would help everybody who hunted quail and the the quail there. Buying equipment the state DNR used to manage habitat would be another. But these types of support are limited simply by land ownership and the location of public land. I hunted with a National Forest Service manager in Texas who was a quail expert (MS in Wildlife Management from Clemson U) and tried without success for years to get him any help at all from the QF and QU. I personally wrote letters to state and national QU and QF to bring this opportunity to their attention. Nothing happened. This man controlled over 300,000 acres of public land. Not one thing was done and there were 2 or 3 QF and QU chapters in or near his forests. That is when I quite QF.

 

I just don't see the average QF chapter doing much for quail which was the question.

 

 

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quailguy
2 hours ago, Scott Berg said:

Help me out here ... How is the CRP program tied to QF and why is the scenario you described relevant to the relative merit of QF?

 

 

 Scott,

 

 National PF lobbies Congress heavily for Farm Bill inserts that would help pheasants, supports CRP strongly, etc. Dunno about quail.

 

Best !

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Kansas Bound

As mentioned annual dues go to the National QF headquarters to support various initiatives.  QF gets a very high mark on how the money is used.

 

Local money raised stays with the chapter.  Each chapter uses the funds how they see fit.  Examples of how chapters use their money

Supports Youth activities to promote the next generation

Purchase land

Purchase equipment

Habitat improvement projects

Education 

 

If you don't like how the local chapter uses the money just join the chapter to make a difference.  I think PF and QF are very beneficial so I am a strong supporter. 

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mccuha

I think that it really matters what part of the country you are in to actually see what they do.  In states heavy with private land and limited public there maybe things being done but it doesn’t help the average person. In states that have a lot of land open to the public whether state , federal or leased private you will probably see more results. All the “unlimited “ groups I believe do good work but it depends on where you are to see or benefit from what they do.  I have thought about joining Texas quail coalition. I realize that they probably do little work on public land but the research they do may benefit all us quail hunters in the long run.  The property I huntbin tx is not managed for quail but luckily the rancher doesn’t over graze and is pretty wildlife friendly. 

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dogrunner
29 minutes ago, mccuha said:

I think that it really matters what part of the country you are in to actually see what they do.  In states heavy with private land and limited public there maybe things being done but it doesn’t help the average person. In states that have a lot of land open to the public whether state , federal or leased private you will probably see more results. All the “unlimited “ groups I believe do good work but it depends on where you are to see or benefit from what they do.  I have thought about joining Texas quail coalition. I realize that they probably do little work on public land but the research they do may benefit all us quail hunters in the long run.  The property I huntbin tx is not managed for quail but luckily the rancher doesn’t over graze and is pretty wildlife friendly. 

So do I. Our 2 last Regional State PF reps have really been good and active on getting things done on State property and working with chapters. They also write Grants and get State and Fed money plus search out other funds to do projects. 

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Larry Brown

PF/QF supports aspects of the Farm Bill that are detrimental to farmers?  That's a new one on me.  Last time I checked, Iowa--where farming is very serious business--had more PF chapters than it has counties.  One county chapter had the goal of putting some CRP acres on every section in the county.  (Mostly stream buffers, which are very easy to get enrolled, and which pay pretty big $/acre to the farmer.)  The one I belonged to when I lived there gave away something close to 20 youth guns at their annual banquet.  They sponsored 2 or 3 high school trap shooting teams.  How does that help pheasants (and quail)?  Well . . . if you don't have kids getting interested in shooting, they're not likely to get interested in hunting.  And if they don't get interested in hunting, who's going to come up with the $ to support strong conservation provisions in the Farm Bill that are actually GOOD for farmers? (No one holding a gun to their heads to enroll in CRP . . . and right now, with the price of corn, wheat, and soybeans, I expect there are quite a few farmers who would be glad to grow wildlife habitat and collect a check from Uncle Sam.  Unfortunately, Uncle is cutting back on those programs.  And PF/QF is an excellent voice in DC for the hunters and for wildlife.)

 

As noted above, everything raised at the banquet stays with the local chapter.  They decide what to do with the money.  And from what I've seen, a lot of it gets plowed into the ground in the form of wildlife habitat.  Which is more critical for quail than it is for pheasants.  I'll never forget a presentation by a PF biologist in Nebraska.  He said that good pheasant habitat isn't necessarily good quail habitat.  (Almost all CRP, unless maybe the landowner plants trees, is good pheasant habitat.)  But good quail habitat is always good pheasant habitat--but takes more effort than does pheasant habitat.  We got a lot of pheasant habitat as a result of the 1985 Farm Bill, which established CRP.

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co_setter
9 hours ago, Scar said:

With all due respect, come show me something my local chapter has done other than gather money.  I note you say "banquet proceeds" stay in the community.  They sell everybody a membership at the door.  That money goes to Washington.  In my opinion the banquet is primarily used by the organization to increase membership based upon the promise (unfulfilled in my community) of future habitat improvement projects.  They know the time proven complaints locals have had about conservation organizations and fashion this type of quick, feel-good response to offset that complaint.  It doesn't make it less true.  The simple fact is they take $$ from people here who have very little to give and do little or nothing (in boots on the ground real action) for those same people in return.

 

During the drought cattle were starving while uncut CRP stood across the county road because it couldn't be released until after the pheasant's had nested.  There is nothing that can take away the  angst surrounding the Government telling landowners (contractually) what they can/can't do with their land.  Again, despite the pretty language landowners in my community feel that PF has lobbied for restrictions on their land use that interfere with their ability to make a living.  I frankly am supportive of wildlife conservation and understand that without meaningful restrictions the farmers/ranchers will make an even greater mockery of that Federal program at great cost to our wildlife but I also don't blame the ranchers when they don't get all warm and fuzzy about a PF sticker on the dog trailer.   

 

The OP asked about what actions we've seen the organization undertake and I responded with my experience.  Despite being called a liar I stand by everything I've posted.  

 

 

As an agronomist, over the years, I have been involved in quite a few release decisions of CRP for haying and grazing and while it can be a lifesaver, it is mostly driven by operators that overstock thier range/pastures and want the US taxpayer to bail them out.  If you need forage released before the growing season is half over, you have bigger problems than PF/QF. 

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LabHunter

I think there's a distinction between the utility of these groups in the east and those in other parts of the country.  I was told by a farmer on the eastern shore that they don't enroll much land in CRP because it doesn't really pay that well.  He insinuated that the land is more productive out east and so a $/acre value out west really isn't a great amount out here. 

 

I've always heard good things about PF out in the west & mid west where CRP is so valuable for pheasant habitat.  Out here, I just don't think that's the case.  We don't have walk in tresspass programs...we basically have state land, and that is it.  Some of it is managed (they have done a great job with some), and some of it is not.  Admittedly, it twists my shorts for me to know that there about 58,000 acres of Chesapeake Forest lands that are unmanaged for anything except pine trees.  If there was a way for a QF chapter to cut a bunch of those pine trees down, I'd be all for it.  I do have some contacts in the DNR that I'm inquiring about this with. 

 

Another thing I'd like to see is for us to convert some of the farmed land on our WMA's to habitat.  The purpose of the WMA's is to provide recreation and habitat...not to provide soy beans...you know?

 

I just want more of this, is that too much to ask? 

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quailguy
19 hours ago, co_setter said:

As an agronomist, over the years, I have been involved in quite a few release decisions of CRP for haying and grazing and while it can be a lifesaver, it is mostly driven by operators that overstock thier range/pastures and want the US taxpayer to bail them out.  If you need forage released before the growing season is half over, you have bigger problems than PF/QF. 

 

 Amen !! The truth; and how many other ag programs are driven by the mal administration by owners' of land they own or lease ? I bet I have seen a 1,000 places in Texas that have been run into ruin by owners' bad practices.

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Huntschool

Just a comment or two,  well ,  more maybe more.

 

I was highly involved with QU from its start as an advisory council member.  As such, I watched that organization shoot itself in the foot many times in its last  years.  Then here comes QF.  I thought perhaps there might be some good come out of it but I have not been at all pleased with what they have accomplished.  Let me make this plain.....  trying to assist quail across their range with the types of financial activities QF/PF uses, as I see it, is almost impossible with the majority of habitat or possible habitat available in private hands.  I have been around this block more times then I want to remember.  

 

I am not saying give up the fight but lets admit, quail prefer early stage succession and a diverse mix of plant species and land use types.  I have spent years working with  private land owners doing this.  It takes time, money and dedication to get the job done. The Federal and many state government land management agencies neither have the interest, the money, nor the staff to administrate these activities.  The money from QF is a pittance.......  Remember, us bird hunters, as it relates to quail, woodcock and to some extent rough grouse, are a verv small number compared to the deer and duck guys.  

 

So who gets more attention QF or not.....

 

Just my thoughts...... 

 

 

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quailguy
32 minutes ago, Huntschool said:

Let me make this plain.....  trying to assist quail across their range with the types of financial activities QF/PF uses, as I see it, is almost impossible with the majority of habitat or possible habitat available in private hands.

 

Absolutely. While it feels good good to make some good moves to support/improve quail habitat at the local level, and has some local benefit, landscape level change is what is required to really increase quail numbers and that sort of change is normally accomplished by Federal programs....

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Huntschool
8 minutes ago, quailguy said:

 

Absolutely. While it feels good good to make some good moves to support/improve quail habitat at the local level, and has some local benefit, landscape level change is what is required to really increase quail numbers and that sort of change is normally accomplished by Federal programs....

 

True Dat......  There is so much "band aid" effect spot stuff going on that its ridiculous.  Acreage needs to be up and good direction related to species management and interspersion is the key.  Hell, I can create quail heaven if ya got the bucks, the land, the support, the time and dedication as I said. 

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Ndi32

Can certainly agree with the sentiment that participating in a local chapter and spending dollars with a local chapter is something of a buyer beware type of situation.  If their choices involve poorly defined strategies for habitat improvement or a good deal of habitat improvements on private land owned by or hunted by chapter members I'm taking a pass. Sure any habitat is a positive but in that situation I am going to spend my "conservation budget" where I can make the biggest impact and that is going to be with the national offices of TRCP, PF, DU, QF etc.  Those groups work really well together to get the most out of the dollars available. Unfortunately as others have stated above there are not as many species synergies with bobwhite quail so "macro" efforts are not going to be as impactful for Bob's as it can be for Ducks or Pheasants. 

 

Was approached several times a few years ago to join a new PF Chapter in the twin cities metro.  The idea of it was really intriguing because I'm thinking this is happening in an area with a big population base & with a good amount of disposable income. Could see the possibilities where a well funded urban chapter like that could really impact bigger picture items like public access, public land acquisition, youth participation, organizing habitat improvements on existing public land, organizing state government lobbying efforts, organizing membership to be strategically vocal with state & federal lawmakers etc.

 

Ended up sending them an email asking what their plans were and if they were going to be prioritizing some of the above efforts.  The response I got back was pretty disappointing. Other than a youth program it was clear they had not given the other issues much thought at all and that what other efforts they were going to pursue were either poorly defined or so opposed to what I was prioritizing that they chose not to provide details.

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