Finding Quail Without a Dog

ReelOfSteelReelOfSteel Posts: 148 Deckhand
Any advice for someone who doesn't have a dog to help in the field?

Replies

  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Posts: 1,772 Captain
    edited November 8 #2
    You’ll know it when you find them. Gets loud quickly. 
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 3,901 Captain
    Any advice for someonae who doesn't have a dog to help in the field?
    Pick up dove hunting or get a dog. You have almost no chance of a successful quail hunt without a dog. Maybe a long time ago when wild birds weren’t as scarce. Good luck
    You should have been here yesterday
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    Get out before sunrise and listen for them whistling. Whistle yourself to get them started.  We did this even with dogs to locate areas to hunt. Walk 2, 3, 4 hunters abreast and 10-20 yards apart through areas where you heard them. After first flush watch where others go down. But don't decimate the covey, leave some for seed.
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 9,108 Admiral
    I always found it difficult to point on one leg, locked onto the birds' spot and then transition to shooting.
    Best to bring a friend to flush them.
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,559 Captain
    If on private land try baiting them. I’ve never seen quail come in to a property just to get bait but I have seen quail use bait piles on private property where quail are already established. Go with bird seed like the kind you’d put in a bird feeder. 

    I’ve often thought about hunting them like mini turkeys, complete with little decoys. Doubt it would work. But I might try anyhow one day. 
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    If on private land try baiting them. I’ve never seen quail come in to a property just to get bait but I have seen quail use bait piles on private property where quail are already established. Go with bird seed like the kind you’d put in a bird feeder. 

    I’ve often thought about hunting them like mini turkeys, complete with little decoys. Doubt it would work. But I might try anyhow one day. 


    I know Ive called Quail in during the spring but don't know if I ever have when coinciding with hunting season.

    Maybe hunt then Fall Turkey style, flush covey then try to call back together.  Would take a lot of patience.

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,559 Captain
    Their season ends March 1, so maybe the beginning of their spring breeding season would overlap into the quail season. But I think they mate for life so I’m not sure if its possible to lure a rooster out to a hen like one can with a gobbler unless its a rooster that hasn’t paired yet. 
  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,963 Captain
    Any advice for someonae who doesn't have a dog to help in the field?
    Pick up dove hunting or get a dog. You have almost no chance of a successful quail hunt without a dog. Maybe a long time ago when wild birds weren’t as scarce. Good luck
    Hunting wild birds with a dog is just about useless now. It is coming back. We have at least 3 coveys on our place now and my neighbor has 1 that I know of. Like Salty said, back in my youth, you could walk fence rows and get up a dozen covey's in a day.
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 306 Deckhand
    ive heard of a guy who hunts ducks first hour or 2 of the morning then starts snipe hunting around flag ponds ,muddy pastures ect but on his way walking from spot to spot he will walk fencelines if there near or thru open fields the whole time his cell phone is ringing     his ring tone is a quail peep    goes off every 15 seconds    many times quail will answer back   my experience     i mean what ive heard is on wma,s quail like to follow fencelines    doves like hanging in pine trees    snipe in muddy pastures      if you go just to hunt quail on a south florida wma be prepared to walk alot and see very few     last season best day this guy had was 3 teal   8 snipe  9 quail 1 big **** cottontail.   good luck
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    meateater said:
      last season best day this guy had was 3 teal   8 snipe  9 quail 1 big **** cottontail.   good luck
    That's a d*** good day!  Probably all day and double digit miles.
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 684 Officer
    I'm lucky enough to have access to a place in central Florida with a good population of wild birds. I carry my boykin around and if we happen upon a covey we will work the dog, but she isn't a pointer and to find the birds consistently you have to have one.  Not to be discouraging but its **** near impossible to find quail on foot without a dog, even if you've listened for them early and have a good idea of their general location.
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    OP wants to go hunt Quail but doesn't have a dog.  I dont think the best advice is to "not go" or "get a dog".  If I was the OP and wanted to go hunt Quail, Id go do what I have posted and done in the past before I had dogs. Agreed it wont be easy. 2 Birds in the bag would be epic.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,448 AG
    fence lines, transition edges (powerlines/woods, prescribed burns/woods), lots of walking for sure.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • ReelOfSteelReelOfSteel Posts: 148 Deckhand
    Thanks for the tips. Plenty of fence lines where I hunt so I’ll be there bright and early. Hopefully I’ll have an update with some birds for y’all by Tuesday 
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 3,901 Captain
    Pinman said:
    OP wants to go hunt Quail but doesn't have a dog.  I dont think the best advice is to "not go" or "get a dog".  If I was the OP and wanted to go hunt Quail, Id go do what I have posted and done in the past before I had dogs. Agreed it wont be easy. 2 Birds in the bag would be epic.
    I’m not being discouraging. I’m being realistic. You have virtually no chance of getting any wild birds without a dog. I hope I’m wrong, but don’t think so. If you walk up on a covey, they will be gone before you shoulder your shotgun. Please post up some pics if you have success. Also if you make friends w someone w dogs, they may need a shooter for the birds they train with. I take newbies out when we want a shooter. Most experienced quail hunters want no part of that, but it can be fun for new shooters
    You should have been here yesterday
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain

    "sigh"

    The OP is not looking for encouragement or probabilities for success. I hope it got a few real tips that help.

    Ive shot plenty of wild Quail before I had dogs. Granted there were more around. But I never had a problem shouldering the gun just as I don't while Snipe hunting (same thing - no dog, always ready).

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,448 AG
    I have shot many quail without a dog.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • GreenwingGreenwing Posts: 107 Deckhand
    Grew up in Jax and many many years ago, a buddy and myself would go to the sand dunes around Regency Square right at daylight and listen for them to whistle.  When we heard them, we would walk down the road where we thought we heard them and put an arrow in the dirt pointing the direction.  Once we had 3-4 coveys pegged, we would walk in that general direction and try to get the coveys up.  Every so often we did, then we would try and walk up the singles.  Then we would ride around looking for coveys under bushes and shrubs.  Every so often we would find one and ground rake the fool out of them.  Hard to do but not impossible.  Go to your area and just walk where you think coveys might be.  Sometimes they are.  Time it so that dove season is in too so you have another opportunity.  
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,153 AG
    Greenwing said:
    Then we would ride around looking for coveys under bushes and shrubs.  Every so often we would find one and ground rake the fool out of them.  
    Wow.....just wow.... 
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • ReelOfSteelReelOfSteel Posts: 148 Deckhand
    Do quail always whistle or are there certain conditions? 
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,153 AG
    Do quail always whistle or are there certain conditions? 
    Not always....It's the males that do it when they see a particularly good looking female....with nice legs.   LOL  
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    Do quail always whistle or are there certain conditions? 

    If you went yesterday here in S Florida it was too rainy
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    duckmanJR said:
    Greenwing said:
    Then we would ride around looking for coveys under bushes and shrubs.  Every so often we would find one and ground rake the fool out of them.  
    Wow.....just wow.... 
    We did the same thing in the Orange Groves.  Couldn't hunt them off a flush bc they were behind some trees too quick. Wasn't the most sporting but they fried up real nice!
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,295 Captain
    Im not judging
  • ReelOfSteelReelOfSteel Posts: 148 Deckhand
    Went today and the weather was pretty cold don’t know if that made a difference. No quail at all or even a peep. Walked from day break around 6:30 til 12 and no luck. Found a hog but couldn’t catch up to it. Saved the day with a rabbit but will be going out there again soon. I’ve seen them in the area before so I at least know they’re there I just need to find them at the right time
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