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  #21  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:41 AM
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We have a research facility near us that does work on this very same question...very interesting what they do....one of the things they stress is the periodic use of controlled burning....double benefit....better habitat for the quail and less fuel base for forest fires if they occur.
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  #22  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:45 AM
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Bran,

I am in the early stages of a project that sounds similar to that which you described. I hope I am as successful.

How old is GSP? Mine first GSP, a female, is coming up on 9 months.
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  #23  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:33 AM
gg1262 gg1262 is offline
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That is so cool that there are some quail in the cove. We were just there 3 weeks ago and while driving around I told my wife that if there wasn't, there should be. I spend a LOT of time chasing after Bobwhites in SE Indiana on the farms I grew up on (English Setter by the way Bran and Grouseman). Habitat loss is by far our biggest bugaboo. Everybody has to clean up every fencerow and swath of rough ground. Then, if it was good habitat, it is now fescue, which in my opinion should be labeled a noxious weed. Finally, we've lost all but the last of the coon hunters. As such, coon populations are out of control and they rob nests. Adult coveys can fly away, a nest is just going to set there for the feast. At least that is my unscientific but field researched 2 pennies worth!!
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  #24  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:17 AM
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Greg,
You've nailed a bunch of our problems too! Grouseman, my girl is 2 now (3 in Nov.). She is doing really well.

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  #25  
Old 08-25-2009, 12:18 PM
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That is a great looking dog. I need to work on getting some pictures on line.
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  #26  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:15 PM
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Glad to see how many of you guys have a GSP. I have had 7 of them in the last 40 yrs. Can't think of a better breed for company and a lil hunting.
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  #27  
Old 08-25-2009, 05:58 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Bran--I'm old enough to have grown up when there were lots of bobwhites, even in the mountains where habitat was not optimal. Now they are scarce as hen's teeth. I've written a fair amount on the subject over the years and talked to a bunch of folks as well. Here are some, but by no means all, of the reasons for the bird's demise.
*Tenant farmers, who killed nest predators such as skunks, 'possums, snakes, and 'coons, have vanished like the quail.
*Clean farming--no more uncut peafiled corners or tangled fence rows.
*Less small farming with all the fine habitat it offered.
*A huge surge in raptor numbers--when I was a lad every hawk was a "chicken hawk" and they were shot (or at least shot at) on sight. Same thing goes for the hooters.
*'Coon hunters no longer kill what they hunt.
*Advent of coyotes.
*Far more bobcats than once was the case.
*Precious few prime habitat areas such as broomsedge fields, old house places, and the like.
*Pine deserts. After about five years, planted pines become useless habitat for much of anything.
*Changed human attitudes--deer and turkey are THE game animals to most of today's hunters--and when's the last time you heard of someone leaving the corner of a peafield uncut?
*Maybe the biggest problem of all--too many humans.
I'd make one other point about Gentleman Bob--The heyday of the great little bird, "five ounces of feathered dynamite," as Havilah Babcock put it, was actually something of an anomaly. King Cotton had fallen from his throne, tenant farmers were omnipresent, and big game animals were virtually non-existent (I saw precisely 10 deer before I went off to college, and I was outdoors a great deal). Ruark, Buckingham, Babock, Rutledge, Elliott, and others of their ilk lived in a magical time to hunt quail.
Now, lest this thread get totally away from trout and fishing, I'll finish with a quail-connected matter worthy of note. A primary quail wing feather, dyed yellow, makes a fine substitute for the real thing (which is illegal) in tying that most traditional of mountain patterns, a Yellarhammar. Jim Casada
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  #28  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:27 PM
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While we are wandering from trout to bears and now quail, I'll get my two cents in. Several years ago while in a gun shop I saw a brochure by some quail organization that said cats, both domestic and feral, were a major contributor to the decline of quail. The Nature Conservancy in discussing pets stated that if you must have a pet "try not to have one that does its level best to kill every other creature". Oh yeah I do like cats, and almost always have had a least one around, but I do keep them up.
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  #29  
Old 08-26-2009, 09:38 AM
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I will add one more thing to the above list of things that have led to the demise of local quail populations....Dollywood. When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to hunt these wonderful birds while on Xmas break to my grandparents up and down the old Middlecreek area between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge....with the advent of Dollywood and the attendant growth many of the places I used to hunt are now under asphalt or built over with tourist cabins....
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  #30  
Old 08-26-2009, 10:32 AM
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back to bears for a moment.....bears have stolen at least 2 backpacks near grotto falls and one at laurel falls....all backpacks contained food and were left unattended.....at laurel falls the owner of said food laden pack tried to use bear spray and shot himself....bear got away after ransacking the pack
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