Quail season opened with lackluster results for Brazoria County and coastal prairie hunters.
The upland game birds were found in sporadic coveys as late summer rains provided lots of cover, but may have come too late to bolster populations.
Quail depend on rainfall at crucial intervals during developmental stages in order to sustain thriving numbers. An ongoing statewide drought, although diminished in some regions, continues to plague quail and other wildlife in Texas. Fortunately, dewfall along the coast works to offset drought conditions, supplying much-needed moisture. Texas Parks & Wildlife annual quail forecast calls for increased bird quantities in coastal counties as a direct result of this dewfall.
Rain still plays a big role in quail survival rates, as too much or too little in late spring and early summer can negatively impact bird counts. While still too early to tell, this may be the case amid coastal areas.
Quail hunters in Brazoria and other coastal counties can look forward to colder weather that will reduce foliage and grass cover, which could expose greater game bird numbers.
Hunters on public and private land reported similar spotty results on October 25th’s opener. Cover on the ranch where I hunted was almost too heavy for my bird dog to get through, making it very difficult to locate birds.
The good news is quail season runs until February 22nd, giving Brazoria county hunters plenty of opportunities to overcome October’s weak start.