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Quail season opens statewide on Oct. 29 and ends Feb. 26, 2017. The daily bag limit for bobwhite, scaled (blue) and Gambel’s quail is 15, and the possession limit is 45. Legal shooting hours for all quail are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
This year, excellent range conditions, insect crop and nesting cover have come together to create a perfect storm of quail in some areas of the state. Forecasts by region:
- Rolling Plains: Exceptional, highest survey numbers ever recorded
- Trans Pecos: Exceptional, highest survey numbers ever recorded
- South Texas Plains: Very Good, mixed reports
- Gulf Prairies: Below Average, populations affected by rainfall
If you want to take advantage of this quail boom, but aren’t sure exactly where to go, check out the Public Hunting Lands. One million acres is available for your use with a $48 permit. Search by area and game animal, use the interactive map for hunt area information, then head out on your quail hunting adventure in a new locale.
Every hunter, including those from out-of-state, born after Sept. 2, 1971, must carry proof of Hunter Education on their person while hunting. If you’ve misplaced your certification card, go online and print a replacement for free. You can also purchase your license and endorsement online. Your purchases go toward supporting the wildlife and habitat management that help to create these boom seasons. Thank you!
Taking Action for Quail Conservation
Texas is considered one of the best places in the country to hunt quail. But quail management has its challenges, and the help of landowners is critical.
Bobwhite quail have all but disappeared from some regions of our state due to changes in available grassland habitat. But we’ve been working successfully with landowners and conservation partners to prove that, with the right conditions, a bobwhite comeback is possible. We’ve learned that when supplied with good habitat, quail will capitalize on it and fill it up. And if quail habitat needs can be met on a large enough scale, bobwhite restoration is possible.
If you’re hunting with bird dogs in your party, congratulations! Hunting with dogs is an ageless tradition, and it’s awe-inspiring to watch them work.
To keep the bird dogs safe (and the rest of your hunting party too), everyone must establish a safe zone-of-fire which takes the dogs into account, and stick to it. When you’re hunting quail, this is especially important because quail will flush in unpredictable directions. So take special care not to shoot directly over the dogs.
Putting a blaze orange vest, tail tape or collar on your bird dog can also help keep it safe by making the dog easier to see, and thus out of the sights of a gun.
For more information on Texas hunting, click here.