Hawk Bait – Bobwhite Quail Released Along the Stillwater River

Well as a person with a growing interest in all things upland I was pleased to see news this morning that ODNR is releasing quail not too far from my home. Good stuff, I think.

To me this sounds like an exercise in futility but, I’m not a biologist. Based on my limited experience, like driving on my road everyday, I’d say our healthy population of red tail hawks will have these things hunted down and munched in about a week. But again, I’m not a biologist. So bring it on, if we can get a healthy enough population going maybe we’ll be able to hunt someday. We can only hope.

LUDLOW FALLS, OH– As part of an ongoing initiative to increase the range of bobwhite quail, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife biologists released 35 bobwhite quail in Miami County’s Newton Township this week.

The partnership between private landowners and the Division of Wildlife make this program possible. For nine years Wildlife management staff in the southwestern portion of the state have trapped and transferred quail from areas with abundant populations to areas with good quail habitat and few quail. The quail were originally trapped in Brown, Preble, Highland, and Butler counties where the quail populations are stable. In recent years quail have been released in Clark, Darke, Shelby, and Miami counties.

The release took place on January 18th and was the first of the 2010-2011 season. “We originally planned to release 31 birds but continued trapping efforts up to the day of the release resulting in the 35 quail total” said Diana Malas, Private Lands Biologist for Wildlife District Five.

Quail coveys will naturally expand their range a quarter of a mile per year which means it may take several years for the population to spread out.  The trap-and-transfer program speeds up this process.

Quail were once very common throughout the area; blizzards of the late 1970s and ultimately the loss of habitat decimated their populations in many counties.  The overall goal of the quail project is to increase Ohio’s biodiversity.


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