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PROGRAMS

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WE DO

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Call of the Uplands® is Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's first-ever comprehensive, national campaign: a $500 million effort to cultivate the next generation of conservationists and protect and restore upland habitat.

This campaign is a $500 million effort to cultivate the next generation of conservationists, enhance over 9 million acres of upland habitat, and permanently protect 75,000 acres of land FOREVER.

 
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BUILD A WILDLIFE AREA

HELP US RAISE FUNDS TO ACQUIRE CRITICAL WILDLIFE HABITAT AND OPEN IT TO PUBLIC RECREATION

With the support of people like you, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have created over 204,000 acres of permanently protected and publicly accessible upland wildlife habitat. Now, through the ambitious goals of our Call of the Uplands® campaign we aim to increase this total by nearly 40%.

Habitat protection, enhancement and public access is at the core of our mission and these key activities are at the heart of the Build a Wildlife Area program: to raise funds to acquire and restore critical wildlife habitat and open it to public recreation.

 
 
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EDUCATION

Learn all about QUAIL!

Quail 101

Quail Identification & Different Quail Species


Six native species of quail are found in North America, and all of them benefit from the work of Quail Forever. Although similar in size, quail species throughout the United States differ greatly in preferred habitat conditions. Bobwhite Quail: The most common species of quail, the bobwhite is often referred to as the number one game bird of the eastern and southern United States. The name "bobwhite" derives from its characteristic whistling call. Males have a white throat and brow stripe bordered by black compared to brown colored females. The bobwhite quail has the largest range of any game bird in America. California Quail: Also known as valley quail, California quail are the most popular of the five species of western quail. These birds have a curving crest or plume, made of six feathers, that droops forward: black in males and brown for females; the flanks are brown with white streaks. California quail are also known as valley quail. Mountain Quail: The largest quail species found in the United States, Mountain quail possess a unique characteristic of two straight feathers that arch over the back. These birds are easily recognized by their top knots, which are shorter in the female. They have a brown face and heavily white-barred underside. Mountain quail are only found in Washington, Oregon, California and parts of Nevada. Gambel's Quail: Also known as desert quail, Gambel's quail are located in dry regions of the southwestern United States. Gambel's quail are easily recognized by their top knots and scaly plumage on their undersides. They have gray plumage on their bodies, and males have copper feathers on the top of their heads, black faces, and white stripes above their eyes. Though they look similar to California quail, the two species' ranges do not overlap. Scaled Quail: Also known as blue quail, Scaled quail are known for their blue scaled appearance. Along with its scaly markings, the bird is easily identified by its white crest that resembles a tuft of cotton. Scaled quail are also commonly called blue quail. Mearn’s Quail: With the smallest range in the United States, the Mearn's quail is found in southern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. They live in mountain areas populated with oak and juniper trees, as well as grasslands. Often referred to as Montezuma quail, they have a unique coloration of feathers which aids in their means of camoflauge. Mearns' quail are also known as the montezuma quail. Learn more HERE.




Quail Ecology


Quail are birds that are typically found in small flocks, otherwise known as "coveys." In late spring and early summer, coveys begin to break up as pair bonds form between individual males and females prior to the breeding season. Quail spend most of their lives in a relatively small area, with groups of 8 to 25 birds common in a single covey. Flight speed of most quail is 30 to 40 mph. Quail generally forage twice a day, in early morning and mid-to-late afternoon. Quail eat a wide variety of foods including insects, seeds, leaves, and berries. Young quail also feed very heavily on insects, gradually shifting to a greater proportion of seeds as they near adult size. Learn more HERE.




Basic Quail Facts


Weight: 5-10 ounces depending on the species Length: 6-12 inches depending on the species Flight Speed: 30-40 mph Favorite Foods: Insects, waste grains, weed seeds, and berries Preferred Habitat: Early successional habitat to brushy areas throughout the country Average Nest Initiation: Early summer Length of Incubation: 23-25 days Average First Hatch: End of June Average Clutch Size: 7-28 depending on the species Average Nest Success: 40-60% Broods Per Year: 1-2; persistent renesters Average Rate of Chick Survival: 40-50% Major Nest Predators: Raccoon, opossum, snake, skunk Major Adult Predators: Human, hawk, fox, owl Learn more HERE.




Quail Survival


Rarely, if ever, does a quail die of old age. In fact, the average life span is less than 1 year. Quail are a prey species and face major sources of mortality beginning the day it is laid in the nest as an egg. On average, 70 percent to 80 percent of the nation's quail population is lost each year; this high mortality rate is off-set by large broods of wild quail. Learn more HERE.





Upland Habitat

Quail Nesting Cover Basics


Nesting cover is the single most significant limiting factor for wildlife populations, which makes it a major consideration for upland habitat projects. Here are some considerations for ideal nesting cover:

  • Secure - Cover providing overhead and horizontal concealment from predators
  • Undisturbed - Free from both human (mowing, dog training) and weather related (flooding) disturbances
  • Diverse - Ideal nesting cover should contain several species of grasses and forbs at a minimum
  • Dynamic - Planning ahead to manage for diverse nesting cover yields the best results
  • Structure - Research has shown that quail perfer to nest within reasonable distance of an "edge" - an area where two habitats intersect
  • Unconventional - Roadsides also provide habitat with up to five acres of potential nesting cover along each mile of rural Midwest roads.
Quail are "edge" birds, using field and border edges for feeding, nesting and cover. Quail live out their lives within a home range of about 40 acres, requiring all habitat components (nesting cover, brood habitat, covey headquarters, and food plots) to be in close proximity. Learn more HERE.




Quail Winter Cover Basics


As temperatures plummet and snow blankets grassland habitat, quail and other wildlife utilize winter cover to seek shelter from the bitter winds and heavy snow. Exposure to the extremes of winter can limit the condition and number of quail that survive to the nesting season, leading to reduced reproduction the following spring. Quality winter cover located near a high-energy food source can provide the elements needed by quail and other wildlife to survive in harsh winter conditions. Shelterbelts or stiff-stemmed native grasses such as switch grass are examples of good winter cover. Since the bobwhite has a small travel area, two habitat requirements, such as food and cover, should be available in close proximity. Learn more HERE.




Quail Brood Rearing Cover Basics


Brood rearing cover is another important component to successful quail management. Broad leaf plants attract insects critical for chick survival during a broods' first few weeks of life. Species like alfalfa, sweet clover, wild flowers, and a diverse group of native legumes can be incorporated into grassland seeding mixes to create brood rearing habitat. Reducing the number and acres of row cropped food plots and converting them to brooding habitat areas can increase chick survival on your property. Other important brood rearing cover components: Protection - Good lateral and overhead concealment from predators Openness - Travel corridors at ground level to feed freely through a stand of cover Bug Production - Food sources readily available for hungry chicks Learn more HERE.





Food & Cover Plots

Overview: Helping Carry Quail Through The Toughest Winters


There are two critical factors for food plot design—location next to heavy cover (i.e. shelterbelts or covey headquarters) and size. If there is no winter cover available, food plots must be large enough to provide significant cover in addition to being a food source.

Food plots can be established almost anywhere, even on Conservation Reserve or Wetland Reserve Program land, or right next to a farm grove. Above all else, the key to a successful food plot is its location next to heavy winter cover that is frequented by quail and other upland wildlife.
Learn more HERE.




Designing A Food Plot For Quail


In open country, up to 50 rows of standing crop can be filled in a single blizzard. Large (3-10 acre) square or block-type food plots are preferable to smaller, linear food plots. Whenever possible, large food plots should be located directly adjacent to woody and herbaceous winter cover on the windward side (generally the northwest). If this is not possible, effective food plots can be established nearby if they are linked via corridors of escape cover to traditional winter cover. Where winter cover is scarce, large 10-acre-plus blocks of corn may be planted to serve as both food and shelter for the birds. Bear in mind that these areas will be used by many species of wildlife and that some, such as deer and turkeys, consume a great deal of grain daily and can potentially exhaust food resources well before winter has ended. If plots will be small, minimize drifting by establishing snow traps (leave 4-6 rows windward, then harvest 12-20 adjacent rows as a snow catch). This same approach can be used to make wetlands, and small patches of woody cover more effective wintering areas—place food plots on their windward side to catch snow before it enters the winter roosting cover. Link any nearby satellite food plots to the best winter cover with travel corridors of heavy vegetation. Learn more HERE.




What To Plant: The Best Plants For Quail


Plan your food plots carefully, taking the worst-case scenario into account. Don't bother to create a project that is going to be buried by the first winter blizzard. Corn and grain sorghum are among the most reliable food sources. Planted separately or in combinations, they retain grain on stalks, stand well in winter weather and provide very high-energy food. Large blocks of corn, and combinations of forage sorghum and grain sorghum can also provide excellent cover. See Quail Forever's Signature Series Seed Mixes. Wheat, soybeans, millets, rye, and buckwheat are good food sources, but are often buried by snow, forcing birds into the open to utilize them. Learn more HERE.




Establishing Your Plot: Getting Started


Whether by standard tractor and corn planter, grain drill, or via broadcast seeder mounted on an ATV or pickup truck, there is a way to get a food plot in the ground where it will do the most good for wildlife. If you are without planting equipment, it may be available to rent from local conservation offices. Some agencies and some chapters of Quail Forever provide planting services at nominal rates, and there are often local custom operators willing to plant these areas. Learn more HERE.




Check Local Sources For Assistance


It often works well to dovetail with farm programs like the Conservation Reserve and Wetland Reserve Programs, which have acreage eligible for food plots. Food plots on these acres make valuable use of land that is already wildlife habitat. Acreage allowances and crop restrictions vary by state, so contact your local Quail Forever farm bill biologist or local USDA Service Center for local guidelines. State wildlife agencies may also provide food plot assistance to landowners. Learn more HERE.





Effects of Predators

Quail Ecology & Predators


No single predator gets more blame for quail predation than coyotes, but research over several decades has proven that coyotes focus their foraging on rodents and rabbits and do not take adult quail or nests as frequently as the other mammalian predators (red fox, striped skunk, and raccoon). In addition, the larger home range and territorial nature of coyotes can actually result in lower populations of these other, more destructive predators. Predation accounts for three-fourths of unsuccessful nests, and nearly all of adult mortality (excluding hunting) is directly predator related. The best way to minimize the threat of predators? Make their job tougher with more upland habitat.

Bottom line: Through the addition and management of habitat, we not only decrease the impact predators have on existing nests, but also increase the number of nests and population size in the area. This management comes at a fraction of the cost of other predator reduction methods. Learn more HERE.




More Habitat, Less Predation, Best Outcome


Less-expensive methods to improve game bird populations and nesting success exist. Experts have focused on the amount of habitat (composition of the landscape) and the arrangement (configuration) that increase nesting success by reducing the effectiveness of predators. Well-designed habitat projects can reduce predation by up to 80 percent. A lack of quality cover can make quail susceptible to predators – of both aerial and ground variety. Larger patches of nesting cover (more than 40 acres) have significantly higher rates of nest success than smaller sized patches. For example, in agricultural landscapes where the primary form of grassland habitat is road and drainage ditches, predator activity is concentrated on those smaller strips of cover. In landscapes having a greater component of grassland habitat, predator activity is diluted throughout the many patches of habitat. In addition to diluting predator activity, high grassland landscapes reduce the efficiency of predators. Cover quality is also important. Dense blocks of undisturbed cover, such as Conservation Reserve Program acreage that is not mowed or grazed, are the most effective at reducing predation. Dense mixtures of grasses and forbs offering good residual cover after winter are highly selected by hen quail because they conceal nests from both avian and mammalian predators. Learn more HERE.




Predator Removal: A Small Scale Remedy


Early attempts to decrease the impact of predators on quail populations focused on reducing the overall number of predators, mainly through trapping. These efforts are effective for small areas but are dependent on three important factors.

  • Trapping efforts must reduce nest predator populations during the key period of recruitment—beginning prior to, and continuing throughout the entire quail nesting season (approximately 100 days).
  • Trapping needs to extend beyond the boundaries of the controlled area. Most nest predators have large home ranges and if trapping efforts fail to account for this, predators from surrounding areas will still negatively impact nesting success within the controlled area.
  • Most importantly, a successful removal program is a professional, full-time effort. The occasional removal of individual animals by hunters has very little impact on predator populations and trapping efforts that rely on bounties are destined to fail.
It is important to understand that sustained trapping efforts tend to stimulate reproduction by predators (compensating for artificially low densities) and create populations with proportionately more juveniles that wander more across the landscape thereby increasing the chances of encountering quail. Learn more HERE.




Effects of Predators: A Summary


While predator removal and exclusion methods can increase nesting success in small areas, these methods are too expensive for use on a landscape basis and do not significantly increase the number of nesting birds over the long term. Through the addition and management of habitat, we not only decrease the impact predators have on existing nests, but also increase the number of nests and population size in an area. Predators will continue to eat quail and their nests, but weather and habitat conditions will drive population fluctuations. Learn more HERE.





Effects of Weather

Weather: A Key Factor Driving Quail Populations


Weather is another extremely important factor in determining quail numbers. Severe winter storms can potentially decimate quail populations overnight. Cold wet springs can claim an equally devastating number of newborn chicks who do not develop the ability to regulate their own temperature until three weeks of age. The direct effects of weather are obvious—less obvious is the indirect role weather can play on quail numbers. Quail moving considerable distances from their roosting and loafing areas for food during severe weather burn up much-needed energy and expose themselves to predators. Learn more HERE.




Quail Thrive In Mild Weather


Generally speaking, quail do best in mild weather conditions. Mild weather is especially appreciated during the nesting period, as the amount of rainfall can greatly determine nesting success. Rain is essential in that it spurs vegetation growth, creates nesting cover, and attracts insects for new broods to feed on. However, heavy rains or flash flood events can wash out nests before eggs hatch or wash away the young quail before they can escape the rising water. As the nesting season progresses into June and chicks hatch, mild weather remains key for quail. Chicks become susceptible to exposure in elements that are too cold or too wet. In addition, periods of extended drought can adversely affect cover quality and make insects and food less available. Quail require a lot of energy to survive sub-zero temperatures, but as long as enough food is easily accessible, they usually have little trouble withstanding the cold. Learn more HERE.




Winter: The Toughest Season


A 2°F night with even a moderate wind of 11 mph creates a wind chill of -25°F. How can quail survive such conditions? The arrival of cold and snow doesn't necessarily mean a death sentence for quail. In fact, these hardy birds can do remarkably well even in tough winters provided quality winter cover is available. Winter habitat includes grass cover for roosting at night, trees and shrubs to loaf in during the day, and food. With adequate habitat, a quail's body fat content can be at its highest in January. Yet the major cause of quail winter mortality is freezing. Quail essentially need to burn 25 percent more energy to survive during extreme winter conditions. As an example, the temperature inside a high-quality shelterbelt - ideal cover from the cold - can be 5°F warmer. Finally, the same wind that creates biting wind chills can also be a blessing, as it blows many farm fields free of snow and uncovers areas where quail can feed. Learn more HERE.




Indirect Weather Effects


Hot dry summers can impede insect production, depriving chicks of the protein they need early in life. Drought conditions will stunt vegetation growth, reducing the amount of cover on the landscape and leaving birds vulnerable to winter storms. Precipitation is essential but too much or the wrong form at the wrong time can be the difference between a great and poor quail reproduction year. Learn more HERE.




Is There An Answer For Adverse Weather?


Although weather conditions cannot be controlled, providing critical habitat elements (nesting cover, brood rearing cover, winter cover and food plots) when conditions are favorable is essential to helping quail populations rebound after a tough year. Known for their prolific nesting abilities, quail have been documented in some states to double their population in a given year provided seasonal weather is optimal for increased nesting success. Learn more HERE.





Does Quail Stocking Work?

Quail Stocking: An Ineffective Management Tool


Stocking of pen-raised birds is not an efficient means to increase wild bird populations, as shown by numerous studies over the past 25 years. Developing and enhancing habitat, on the other hand, has proven to help increase quail numbers.




What Is Quail Stocking?


By definition, "stocking" is the release of pen-raised quail into habitat where wild birds already are present. "Introductions" or "transplants" are different. These refer to the capture and release of wild birds into areas where birds are not generally present, using management that has been studied very thoroughly.




What About Stocking Young Quail?


On average, only 60 percent will survive the initial week of release. After one month, roughly 25 percent will remain. Winter survival has been documented as high as 10 percent but seldom exceeds 5 percent of the released birds.




With High Mortality Rates, Shouldn't We Close The Season?


For the most part, hunting has little to do with poor survival. Predators take the real toll on pen-raised quail, accounting for more than 90 percent of all deaths. The reason being pen-raised birds never had a chance to learn predator avoidance behavior. Starvation can also be a problem. Some newly-released quail take up to three weeks to develop optimal foraging patterns essential to survival in the wild.




Why Not Wait Until Spring To Release Breeder Hens?


Mortality is still very high—roughly 40 to 70 percent of the hens will perish before attempting to nest. Also, high mortality rates continue even after nests are initiated or eggs successfully hatched, resulting in dismally low production. The average production of spring-released hens ranges from 5 to 40 chicks per 100 hens released. Thus, released hens are not productive enough to replace their own losses.




Can't Survival Rates Be Different For Some Areas?


There often will be a few that make it, but studies have shown they are unable to maintain a population. This is why local stocking programs continue year after year. Ultimately we must ask ourselves why there is a need to repeat stocking efforts on an annual basis if survival is as high as often claimed.




Isn't Minimal Survival Better Than None At All?


Not necessarily. We're concerned about a self-sustaining population that we won't have to continually supplement with pen-raised birds. In order to remain at a constant level, wild quail populations must have a production rate of roughly four chicks (surviving to 10 weeks) per hen. With production rates of less than one chick per hen, a population would decline rapidly.




Is There Harm In Releasing Birds?


Though not proven, there is cause for concern. Genetic dilution may be occurring. Even with minimal survival, the release of thousands of pen-raised birds over many years may be diminishing the "wildness" of the wild stock. Another concern is that, by releasing hundreds of birds in a given area, predators may start keying on quail. This may result in wild birds incurring higher predation. Finally, there is the potential of disease transmission from released birds to the wild flock.




What If I Just Want To Put A Few More Birds In The Bag?


Simple enough. Release the birds as close to the time you want to hunt as possible. To do otherwise is a waste of money. Pen-raised birds do provide shooting opportunities and a chance to keep your dog in shape. Just keep in mind that these birds are not going to produce a wild self-sustaining population in your area.




Is There Hope For Areas WIth Low Quail Populations?


Yes. Start by understanding quail habitat needs. What kinds of areas do quail nest in? What are optimal covers in which they survive harsh winters? How can these areas be created and preserved? The answers can be learned from your local wildlife professionals. Consider becoming a member of Quail Forever. Informative and educational articles on these and other subjects are part of every Quail Forever Journal of Quail Conservation. If you are serious about improving local habitat conditions, consider joining or forming a local chapter.




With Improved Habitat, Where Will Quail Come From?


Because of their high productivity, wild quail in the area can quickly populate newly-created habitats. In unpopulated areas of suitable habitat, transplanting wild birds or their offspring (F1 generation) appears to be the best solution. The first step should be an investigation of factors that have limited quail populations in the past—for example a lack of winter habitat or increased pesticide use.




Can We Realistically Rebuild Wild Quail Numbers?


Yes. During the past 50 years there has been a colossal amount of money spent on supplemental stocking programs by state and local governments, sportsmen's groups, and private individuals. If these dollars would have been invested in habitat restoration, hundreds of species of wildlife in addition to quail would have been benefited. Here's the bottom line: When habitat conditions improve, wild quail populations will increase in response to that habitat. Learn more HERE.





 
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CONSERVATION

Learn about what all Quail Forever is doing to promote Conservation
within Texas as well as nationally

Habitat Education

Overview


Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Habitat Education was developed to grow an informed public that appreciates and supports wildlife habitat conservation and the benefits it provides to clean water, clean air, soil protection and a healthy environment to live in. Explore the features of our program below. WHY HABITAT? Quail Forever: "The Habitat Organiztion" Two factors affect quail populations above all others—habitat and weather. While we can’t control the weather, we can influence the quality and quantity of upland habitat. Habitat is what supports long-term strong and healthy quail populations.

The quality and quantity of upland habitat is what ultimately has the biggest impact on quail numbers. Since forming in 1982, Pheasants Forever, and its subsequent quail division, Quail Forever (formed in 2005) has created or enhanced wildlife habitat on more than 15.8 million acres across the United States and parts of Canada. Here’s how Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever accomplishes this work. HABITAT PROJECTS With a network of more than 700 chapters nationally and 149,000 members nationally across the United States and Canada, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever are able to accomplish thousands of wildlife habitat projects annually. From native grass plantings to installing guzzlers for western quail species, Quail Forever chapter volunteers help impact thousands of acres annually for quail and upland wildlife. Additionally, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever participate in land acquisitions to permanently protect critical habitat for upland wildlife while simultaneously opening the areas to public recreation, including hunting. Completed in conjunction with local, state, and/or federal natural resource agencies, more than 187,000 acres are now protected and open to the public as a result of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s participation. Quail Forever is working hard for the future of upland conservation and upland hunting. UNIQUE CHAPTER MODEL Why are chapters of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever completing nearly 15,000 wildlife habitat projects annually? They have the funds to do so. Unique among national conservation organizations, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever empower local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally-raised funds are spent. Chapter volunteers raise funds locally, spend funds locally, but remain vitally connected to a national organization to help impact conservation on a state and national level.
HABITAT CONSERVATION ADVOCACY Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s mission is directly tied to a strong framework of federal conservation programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). In addition to advocating for strong conservation policies in the Conservation Title of the Federal Farm Bill and at the state level, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever employ more than 100 farm bill biologists across quail and pheasant country who work with landowners to implement these conservation programs. HABITAT CONSERVATION EDUCATION Who will carry the conservation torch in years to come? Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever are dedicated to passing on a land ethic and our outdoor heritage to the next generation. Youth interest in hunting and shooting sports can lead to a lifetime of outdoor appreciation and conservation support. Get youth involved.




Pollinator Habitat Outreach Program


The Pollinator Habitat Outreach Program is designed to educate a future generation of conservationists about the importance of our habitat mission. With the realization that good pheasant and quail habitat is also good pollinator habitat, we work with our chapters to create pollinator habitat projects in their communities. In 2013, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever created the Pollinator Habitat Outreach Program to educate a future generation of conservationists about the importance of our habitat mission. With the realization that good pheasant and quail habitat is also good pollinator habitat, we worked with our chapters to create youth pollinator habitat projects in their communities. The Pollinator Habitat Outreach Program provides tools, training and financial assistance for chapters to engage youth, families and local communities in establishing local pollinator habitat projects. The objective of this program is to educate youth and communities on the importance of habitat for all wildlife. By helping plant quality pollinator habitat projects, they learn firsthand the habitat needs of pheasants, quail, bees and butterflies, and a host of other upland wildlife. Interested? The Pollinator Habitat Outreach Program will provide financial assistance with grants up to $500 per project for chapters who agree to meet the grant guidelines. Learn more HERE.




Milkweed In The Classroom


Our Milkweed in the Classroom Program is a turn-key habitat education program designed for the classroom. This program not only benefit pollinators, but it provides opportunities for youth to get outside and gain an appreciation for wildlife and conservation. Program support includes all the materials to grow native plants in the classroom (seed, soil, planting containers, grow light), on-line training on how to grow native plants in the classroom, and curriculum that meets all national science standards. The results of this program not only benefit pollinators by providing quality foraging and nesting habitat, but also provide opportunities for youth to get outside and gain an appreciation for wildlife and conservation. Learn More HERE.




Miles For Monarchs


The Monarch Joint Venture, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are partnering with athletes across North America to run, walk, swim or paddles the monarch migration while raising funds for monarch conservation at the same time! Your participation will help us fund monarch research projects, education programs and habitat projects across North America. By yourself, or with a team, here are 3 ways you can participate: 1. MAKE A DIRECT DONATION

  • You'll receive a shirt for your upcoming race or activity, or just for fun!
2. SIGN UP TO BECOME A FUNDRAISER
  • Register for an existing run/walk or other event
  • Leverage the event to promote and fundraise for monarchs
  • Get Miles for Monarchs gear for you or your team!
  • Not a competitor? Do it on your own by creating a mileage and dollar goal and track your own progress!
3. HOST AN EVENT
  • Your community or organziation can organize your own fun run, 5k, or other activity to raise funds for monarch conservation through the Miles for Monarchs campaign!
  • You can even dedicate a portion of funds raised from an event to your own local habitat incentive
  • Talk to us to find out more about creating an event.
Learn more HERE.




Clays For Conservation


The Kit contains biodegradable stickers, seed, seed measuring device, colored chalk, and instructions on how to create conservation clays targets to promote pollinator habitat and the importance of shooting sports. Chapters can purchase these kits at a cost of $50 (price includes shipping). Kits contains enough stickers, seeds and chalk to create 90 conservation clay targets. Chapters are highly encouraged to use biodegradable clay targets when creating conservation clays. USE THESE KITS IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:

  • Create a fun event with a shooting team to raise awareness around the various ways shooting sports helps support conservation (guns & ammo help pay for conservation).
  • Create a raffle by numbering the clays and selling them as raffle tickets at the annual banquet.
  • Create a hands-on educational activity at your next outreach event by having participants design their own conservation clays.
  • Create a fun shooting event in conjunction with the establishment of your chapter’s next habitat project by shooting conservation clays over your project.
Learn more HERE.




Take Habitat Home


This brochure contains information about the importance of pollinators and the work we are doing related to creating pollinator habitat across the country. Contains a small, native-mix pollinator seed packet designed to platn a 10' x 10' area with instructions on how to plant a successful pollinator habitat project! Available to order these new brochures at a cost of $100 for 50 brochures (includes shipping). Promote your project with #takehabitathome Learn more HERE.




Resources


Check out all the Conservation Resources from Quail Forever HERE!





Pollinator Week

Pollinator Week Boosts Upland Birds


Did you know healthy pollinator habitat is great bird habitat? The same plants bees and butterflies rely on are the same insect producing forbs and flowers that help pheasant and quail broods thrive.
Make sure to follow along with the blogs, podcasts, and stories posted below as we celebrate National Pollinator Week and all of the hard work our chapters put into creating healthy habitat for the birds and the bees.
Milkweed and wildflowers mean wings over the blooms: flutters and hums from butterflies and bees over the colorful and fragrant flowers of summer … and flushes of pheasants and quail over the dried flowerheads of autumn and winter.
That’s why Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have partnered with other concerned organizations – Corteva, Bayer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and many others – to assure the future of pollinators and pollinator habitat. Learn more HERE.





Precision Agriculture

Precision Agriculture & Conservation Solutions


PROVIDING TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS TO HELP TURN RED ACRES GREEN Precision ag technology is used to make a variety of agronomic management decisions on farms. Increasingly, this technology has become critically important in identifying underperforming acres within farming operations. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever support agricultural producers by assisting them in understanding how their farm specific data can serve as a guide to identifying areas where management changes and conservation programs can improve the profitability of low-yielding areas. Changes that are implemented as a result of this analysis are beneficial for wildlife habitat, building soil health, increasing water quality, and improving sustainability. As stewards of the land and business owners, growers need access to all options, including conservation, when analyzing ROI negative acres. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever is your resource to explore those options. Explore common questions answered by Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's Precision Agriculture and Conservation Specialist Scott Stipetich below. Learn more HERE.




How is the Precision Agriculture Initiative going?


Since 2015, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have utilized precision ag to help farmers identify sub-field areas where management change or voluntary conservation programs can improve profitability and support healthy wildlife habitat. Our team has witnessed great farmer interest to implement conservation practices when the data supports their decision. Our efforts extend beyond the farmer as we have developed working partnerships with leading agriculture companies and conservation organizations with a shared vision like USDA, John Deere, Climate Corporation, Truterra and Granular. With the continued support, we have been able to put boots on the ground in six states and continue to grow our Precision Ag & Conservation team. Learn more HERE.




Can you share some examples of alternative management solutions that you have reccommended?


Sitting down in the farm office or riding along in the combine, creativity flows and alternative ideas are drafted for consideration: forage, pasture, the addition of small grains, cover crops & seed crops, wetland restoration, CRP, and the list goes on and on. All suggestions depend on that individual farm, how their operation runs, and what their goals are. Learn more HERE.




What services and tools do you bring to the table for farmers?


Our PACS provide a basic Precision Ag Business Plan to our farmers that includes technical support, solutions, and funding opportunities at no cost. Deferring to those already utilized by the farm, we can work in different software platforms. Additionally, for those who have not yet selected a software, free platforms are available allowing our team the needed tools to deliver a Precision Business Plan. Solutions and funding opportunities are unique and specialized to each farm. Our PACS are well versed in federal conservation programs and local programs that offer incentives for implementing alternative management. One example of a local, exclusive funding opportunity is the Soil Health and Habitat program through a partnership with Purina. Click HERE to read more about the program. Learn more HERE.




Is public hunting access a requirement for working with PACS?


We get this one all the time! While many states have incentives for those interested in providing this opportunity, and we do present the option, it is completely voluntary to enroll acres for public access. Learn more HERE.




Who are you commissioned by and what's the catch?


Our team works under partnerships and contribution agreements that allows us to provide the service at no cost and collect no commission for our work. It is through these partnerships that we act in the best interest of the farmer and the wildlife habitat our mission supports. THERE IS NO CATCH! Learn more HERE.





Farm Bill Priorities: Background

Farm Bill Priorities: Background


Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever (QF/PF) volunteers, members and staff work hand in hand with America’s farmers, ranchers and landowners to complete conservation and wildlife habitat projects that compliment working farm and ranch operations. Habitat projects provide opportunities to protect and restore soil health, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat supporting pheasant and quail populations, pollinators and other wildlife. Our nationwide “farm bill biologists” program is supported through diverse partnerships with USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), state wildlife agencies, and others. The program provides a “boots-on-the-ground” delivery system which collaborates with local farmers, ranchers, and landowners to educate and assist with enrollment in various voluntary incentive-based conservation programs. At QF/PF we work with the entire suite of USDA conservation programs. The policies and prgrams listed below are our organization's top priorities. We look forward to supporting a comprehensive suite of Farm Bill Title II programs that will benefit farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers and society. For More Information Contact Jim Inglis, Director of Governmental Affairs
419.569.1096 / jinglis@pheasantsforever.org

Bethany Erb, Washington, DC Representative
571.289.4472 / berb@pheasantsforever.org Learn more HERE.





Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)


Modernize the CRP application and signup processes. Future signups should target larger blocks of habitat and reflect the “historic” distribution of CRP during 1990-2010 when in excess of 32 million acres were enrolled, and restore CRP authorization to 40 million acres. Implement dynamic CRP transition strategies for expiring contracts. Provisions supporting additional working lands programs focused on long-term and permanent natural resource protection should be developed. Assisting farmers and ranchers with opportunities for grazing, cover crops, organics and other agriculture production systems should be considered. Specific to quail life cycle requirements needs, future CRP should prioritize planting and managing native vegetation, create conservation practices and programs that have frequent disturbance encouraging early successional habitats, and increase incentives for pine tree thinning and prescribed burning.





Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)


Expand funding for EQIP and increase to 10% funds used for wildlife conservation practices. We strongly support the successful Working Lands for Wildlife Program and showcase the successful Sage Grouse Initiative in the West, Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative in the Southern Great Plains, and eastern forest initiatives focusing on improving habitat for the Golden Winged Warbler and bobwhite quail.





Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)


We support funding of at least $500M per year.





Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP)

Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP)


This program provides both habitat improvements and supports public access for America’s hunters and anglers and should be continued at no less than $150 million over 5 years.





Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA)

Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA)


CTA funds are leveraged with local partner funds to deliver USDA conservation programs and provide technical support for farmers, ranchers and landowners. We support a robust funding level that ensures efficient and effective conservation program implementation that result in multiple benefits.





Sodsaver and Conservation Compliance

Sodsaver and Conservation Compliance


We support continuing these provisions to protect native habitats. The result is a balanced working lands ecosystem that consists of agricultural production systems and conservation.





Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)


We support maintaining and strengthening this program as a way to leverage local, state and other non-federal funding sources in order to create and enhance wildlife habitat on private lands.





 
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HUNTING

Are you interested in going hunting or harvesting your own wild game, but not sure where to start? Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever are committed to creating and protecting wild spaces and supporting outdoor recreation, so that others can enjoy public lands, habitat and the wildlife that calls it home.

The experience of hunting is so important… spending quality bonding time outdoors, seeking adventure, finding intimate wildlife encounters, physically challenging ourselves, harvesting fresh wild game meat and gaining solitude away from the busy world.


These are among some of the many reasons why individuals hunt. Research continues to show that time spent in the outdoors has a variety of mental and physical health benefits, so we want to continue inspiring and empowering more people to connect with the land we love.

Hunter Mentor Pledge

Quail Forever Hunter Mentor Challenge


PARTNERING TO SAVE THE LIFESTYLE Quail Forever has partnered with ALPS OutdoorZ in an effort to engage current hunters by challenging them to pledge to preserve our outdoor lifestyle by taking a new or lapsed hunter afield this upcoming year. Hunting in the United States is a vital part of our culture and although most Americans support hunting for food, involvement continues to decline as hunters age out and represent a smaller percentage of the overall population.
The mission of the Mentor Pledge is simple, we want to create responsible new hunter-conservationist or reactivate those that have fallen away from hunting and we believe the best way to do so is through one-on-one mentoring. This is where you come in…
When you pay it forward and recruit someone new into hunting, it can be a life-changing moment for both of you. There is satisfaction and a sense of achievement when outdoorsmen and women with experience share their wealth of knowledge with someone new, but it can also help a seasoned hunter learn valuable new things so take the time to create new memories for someone this year.
The impact sportsmen and women can have is huge and it's up to all of us to educate others about our outdoor passions, all it takes to win is your commitment to saving our hunting lifestyle. Our ALPS/QF challenge is simple…will you help save our outdoor lifestyle by taking a new or lapsed hunter afield this year and Take The Pledge?





Hunting Heritage

Youth Learn To Hunt


INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF CONSERVATION All the efforts made today by Pheasants Forever have little impact without future conservation leaders taking a stand for wildlife habitat conservation. As part of this effort, our organization is dedicated to working with members, chapters and conservation partners to provide opportunities for youth and their families to share our outdoor traditions through our Learn To Hunt Program. Learn to Hunt events always energize the local community and rally individuals around a common goal of introducing more kids to outdoor activities! Our organization will continue pursuing these mentored hunts as it might be the spark needed to light the fire in a future hunter-conservationist or the simple education needed to change the awareness of a future voter. OUR COMMITMENT:

  • Get kids outdoors learning firsthand about our natural resources
  • Foster a love for shooting sports and safe handling of firearms
  • Introduce young people to hunting and conservation
  • Develop conservation-minded citizens and leaders

OUR IMPACT: Over 250 annual youth hunts reaching more than 5,000 participants each year WHAT IS A LEARN TO HUNT EVENT A first-time hunting exposure for many youth and their families, these mentored hunts provide a positive hunting experience for kids of all ages while teaching individuals and their families the importance of firearm safety, conservation and outdoor ethics. Each youth is paired with an adult mentor for an entire day, with the goal for mentors to share firsthand knowledge regarding hunting, wildlife and outdoor skills in a controlled setting. Chapters and staff can adapt their events based on local species opportunities, so we have pheasant, quail, deer, turkey, waterfowl and dove hunts taking place across the country. The goal of the Learn To Hunt Program is to give participants enough knowledge and contacts to further pursue their outdoor interest beyond these one-day events. Recruitment and retention for the next generation of hunter-conservationists is a major priority for Pheasants Forever and we will continue this effort by mentoring future sportsmen and women, one youth at a time. LEARN TO HUNT EVENTS TYPICALLY COMBINE SEVERAL DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES INTO AN ENTIRE DAY THAT IS FOCUSED ON ENJOYING THE OUTDOORS. THE COMMON ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
  • Firearm & Hunting Safety Review
  • Hunting and Conservation Regulations
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Dog Handling & Care
  • Upland Hunting 101
  • Wingshooting Instruction
  • Public Access & Landowner Appreciation
  • Outdoor Gear & Firearm Cleaning
  • Live Action Mentored Hunt
  • Wild Game Cleaning and Cooking
HOW TO GET INVOLVED The original launch and success of Pheasant Forever's Learn To Hunt Program is credited to the chapters and volunteers of our organization who make these events possible. For more information on enrolling a participant, starting a Learn To Hunt event in your community or to volunteer at one of the many mentored hunts across the country, contact your local Pheasants Forever chapter today!




Adult Learn To Hunt


NON-TRADITIONAL EXPERIENCES Although our Learn To Hunt program was originally focused on mentoring new youth, it has expanded in scope to serve hunter-conservationist of all ages. Chapters and staff across the country have hosted women’s hunts, family hunts, locavore (food-conscious) adult hunts and university student hunts in an effort to diversify our hunting community. There's no substitute for going out into the field with a knowledgeable sportsman or sportswoman to show you the ropes, so PF along with our valuable partners host dozens of adult based Learn To Hunt outdoor skill development events throughout the year to create awareness about upland birds, hunting tactics and opportunities. These innovative Learn To Hunt events are specifically designed to provide knowledge, essential skills and an introduction to upland bird hunting through interaction with experienced ethical mentors and hands-on activities. These enlightening events focus on building a unique experience around camaraderie, active involvement and social support and are a great way to discover the value of habitat, wildlife and conservation. There is a multitude of reasons why people want to be in the uplands including dogs, harvesting fresh organic food, friendships, outdoor adventure, exercise and conservation. Knowing this, with a shared vision of attracting non-traditional individuals into the hunting and sporting-dog community, PF has partnered with the North America Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) to help create unique entryways into the hunting community as part of the adult Learn To Hunt program. Because of the general public’s passion for dogs and their emotional bonds, its certain that bird dogs have a role in our future hunting heritage. HOW TO GET INVOLVED The non-traditional Learn To Hunt experiences are new to our organization and often take place over multiple days with things like overnight lodging, so most of these events are currently being led by staff and our partner organizations. That being said, we are looking for some superior chapters, mentors and volunteers to lead the national charge and play host to one of these unique events in the coming years. For more information on enrolling as a participant, introducing an adult Learn To Hunt event in your community or to volunteer at one of these please contact us.




Tips To Get Started


This collection of tips and insights can help you create meaningful and successful “first hunt” experiences. TAKE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS Upland bird hunting is a fun activity, but a very serious level of responsibility comes with taking to the field. Hunting is not inherently dangerous, but it can become very unsafe when firearm safety guidelines are compromised. It is important for all hunters to go through a Firearm Safety or Hunter Education Course no matter how old you are. The purpose of hunter ed is to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to become a safe and responsible hunter-conservationist. In addition, most states require individuals to complete classes before issuing a valid hunting license. People can meet these requirements by attending a traditional instructor led course with classroom and range experiences (check with your state's natural resource agency for available classes) or today most states offer hunter education courses online. While pheasants are a great game bird, the thrill of harvesting a rooster should never sacrifice the safe handling of a firearm. When going afield, it's important to refresh the basics of Safe Gun Handling before each hunt, as taught by the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

  • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
  • Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use
  • Don’t rely on your gun’s “Safety”
  • Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
  • Use correct ammunition
  • If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care
  • Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting
  • Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting
  • Don’t alter or modify your gun, and have guns serviced regularly
  • Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using

CONSIDER HUNTER ETHICS Equally as important as following firearm safety is being an ethical hunter. Though it differs for each one of us, all sportsmen & sportswomen in the field should have a personal code of ethics. Sometimes hunters are faced with situations that may be well within the hunting regulations, but may push the boundaries of ethical hunting. Remember, the actions of one hunter can affect how others view all hunters. With social media and today’s content we have a great opportunity to re-brand what a hunter looks like to the general public. Think about telling the story beyond the harvest because a “trophy shot” picture of dead animals says little to a non-hunter about the overall experience. It is our responsibility as sportsmen/women to tell the full narrative and perhaps we’ll cultivate more people to become enthusiastic about hunting. Also, remember to always respect other hunters who are also enjoying our wild places—don't ruin a quality hunt for another party (and yourself) by walking in on them, find another public area or knock on a door—you'll be glad you did.
GEAR UP
  • Become knowledgeable with state laws and regulations regarding the harvest of game, blaze orange requirements, season dates and bag limits.
  • Reliable field gear, such as boots, hats, vests, chaps, socks and protective gear, is essential for upland bird hunting. Don't know where to shop? Check out the Pheasants Forever Marketplace and get outfitted today.
  • Research weather conditions and be prepared with several layers of clothing for an enjoyable experience in the field.
  • Be comfortable with your choice of firearm—most gauges of shotguns will be effective for a bagging a rooster including .410, 28-gauge, 20-gauge and 12-gauge options.
  • Be aware of where you'll be hunting regarding the use of lead, as some areas require that only non-toxic shot be used. In both cases, Federal Premium Ammunition's Pheasants Forever shells are always a great choice.
USE THESE TIPS & TECHNIQUES
  • Be ready in the morning as soon as legal shooting hours begin.
  • Hunt the "Golden Hour"—the last hour of the day; birds move out of crop fields and into grass for roosting.
  • Hunt after Thanksgiving. Late-season hunting can be very productive and a lot of fun.
  • Be quiet—pheasants will bust out of the area with the sound of approaching hunters, especially late-season.
  • Dogs—follow and trust their instincts, hunting dogs will work to find your birds.
  • Not all land was created equal as habitat for upland birds, so hunt the good stuff before burning all your energy.
  • Edges—read the contours of the land, looking for places where habitat changes, such as crops, trees, shrubs, cattails, ditches and fence lines.
  • When the snow flies, the game changes. Find the thermal cover—cattails, shelter belts and food plots are king.
  • Bring your hip boots or waders—if you cross water barriers that block most hunters, you may find your way to hunting utopia.




Mentoring


OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT For many of us, hunting is a tradition and a natural part of our lives as we enjoy spending time outdoors with family and pursuing wild game with friends. Unfortunately, there are lots of other interested people who would love to experience wild places and learn outdoor skills, but most of these individuals have limited social support and the perception that hunting is too complicated to learn, and those factors have held them back from their first hunting experience. Sharing our hunting heritage can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both the mentor and participant. It is a role we as hunters must take seriously. It is our responsibility to make certain that new hunters are not only given the knowledge and skills, but the history and moral compass to engage in ethical hunting and land stewardship.
RECRUITMENT, RETENTION AND REACTIVATION “R3” Even as America’s population continues to grow, participation in hunting has been generally decreasing in the U.S since the 1980’s and the resulting decline in conservation funding poses an ever-increasing threat to wildlife conservation. R3 stands for Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation which seeks to generate new hunters and increase participation rates of current or lapsed hunter-conservationist. Our partners at the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CAHSS) have put together some great resources explaining the significance of R3. Pheasants Forever is dedicated to continually working with our current members, other conservation organizations and state/federal wildlife agencies in national coordinated hunter R3 efforts. WHERE TO START When it comes to finding someone new, keep it natural and start by thinking about your neighbors, coworkers, friends and your family. Mentoring should start within your inner circle but be on the lookout for aspiring hunters in all sorts of surprising places as it is vital for us to engage different audiences who are interested in hunting. The first step is simply asking some to join you outdoors, it’s as easy as inviting them to take a hike with you. You’d be surprised at who may be willing to give hunting a try if someone just asked, but we must be willing to seek them out and properly show folks what hunting is truly about. Once you have found that interested individual, it’s extremely important to learn what they are passionate about and discuss each other’s expectations. Is it healthy food, exercise, experiencing wildlife, the bird dog? Whatever the driving factor, try to make a point to incorporate their passion into the journey as much as possible. Help develop a comfort with guns by taking them to the range and let them practice on clay targets. Cook a meal of wild game together, so they can relish the flavors of the field. The first outings with your new friend aren’t about shooting limits, or even shooting anything, it’s about helping someone else find their passion. Remember…be patient. Don't constantly be so serious and always enjoy just being out there together. Try to keep things short, fun and positive. Having fun is the number one priority so allow them to bring their mobile devices, take lots of pictures, make sure they are comfortable and create memories that will last a lifetime! Time spent afield is about much more than the harvest, it’s about a quality bonding experience. KEEPING THEM INVOLVED Being a good mentor goes beyond just taking someone hunting one time, we need to continue to provide them with support until they are self-confident enough to go on their own. People rarely stick with a new activity without a community of support, so continue to invite these new hunter-conservationists along throughout the entire year and build an outdoor experience not just during the hunting season. Everyone has a different comfort level, some may be able to go on their own after one or two mentored hunts, others need more time. By simply including them, even if they can’t go, they feel like they are welcomed. As a mentor, you need to keep them engaged multiple times if we are to have any hope of turning them into lifelong self-identified hunters. Simply encourage them to share their story with others and be proud of their connection to wildlife. Hopefully someone within their social network will be inspired and want to learn, as the ultimate goal is for the mentee to become a mentor. Together we can be a unified voice and we can spread the message of habitat conservation, hunting heritage and advocacy in our communities!





Quail Hunting

Path To The Uplands


Hunters have always been wildlife habitat’s strongest advocates, wildlife’s staunchest allies, and publicly accessible lands’ steadiest supporters. The world needs more hunter-conservationists, and specifically more upland bird hunters — lovers of pheasants, quail, prairie grouse and more, and defenders of the wild places these magnificent birds call home. The world also needs more pathways to becoming a hunter or taking up hunting again. That’s what Path to the Uplands is all about. Turn to this one-stop content shop for expert help with your journey into — or back to — upland bird hunting.




Quail Forever - Your Upland Hunting Resource


The explosive flush. That unmistakable whistle. Man's best friend. Golden hues of far-reaching prairie. Family traditions. Whatever defines your reason to go afield each fall, Quail Forever strives to be a resource for quail hunters across the United States. Quail hunting is both an American pastime and outdoor tradition which renews its roots every fall as countless individuals and families set out to pursue America's original game bird. Requiring knowledge, skill, and late-season toughness as one battles the elements of Mother Nature, the thrill of success and defeat in quail hunting is what motivates the average hunter to pursue coveys of quail. The entire quail hunting experience, however, begins with good quail habitat, which is why every quail hunter and there are approximately 1 million nationwide should be a Quail Forever member. No organization does more to improve habitat that produces quail than Quail Forever. Quail Forever promotes quail hunting as a great outdoor activity. Whether you are new to the sport, a seasoned veteran, or just getting interested, Quail Forever has something for you.




Step 1: Hunter Education


The purpose of hunter education is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to become a safe and responsible hunter. In addition, most states require individuals to complete hunter education courses before issuing a valid hunting license. Typically, individuals meet these needs by attending a traditional, instructor led course including classroom lectures and field/range experiences (check with your state's natural resource agency for available classes). In today's society, hunter education courses are also available online.




Step 2: Find A Mentor


There's no substitute for going out into the field with an experienced quail hunter to show you the ropes. State wildlife agencies are good resources to connect beginning hunters with mentors. For additional resources, contact your local chapter of Quail Forever and ask if they are hosting a mentored hunt in your area.




Step 3: Gear Up


  • Become knowledgeable with state laws and regulations regarding the harvest of game, blaze orange requirements, season dates, and bag limits.
  • Reliable field gear, such as boots, hats, vests, chaps, socks and protective gear, is essential for upland bird hunting. Don't know where to shop? Check out the Quail Forever Store and get outfitted today!
  • Research weather conditions and be prepared with several layers of clothing for an enjoyable experience in the field.
  • Be comfortable with your choice of firearm—most gauges of shotguns will be effective for a bagging a quail including .410, 28-gauge, 20-gauge and 12-gauge options.
  • Be aware of where you'll be hunting in regards to the use of lead or steel shot. Some areas require that only steel shot be used. In both cases, Federal Premium Ammunition's Quail Forever shells are always a great choice.




Step 4: Get A Good Map


Depending on the state you are hunting in, some areas that offer excellent hunting can be extremely large in acreage. Enjoy your hunting trips by knowing where you are located and where you want to go for pursuing upland game birds. Find a map!




Step 5: Know Where To Go


  • Read the State-by-State Quail Hunting Forecast to know where the highest concentrations of birds are located.
  • Understand the different habitat needs of a quail and how seasonal changes can influence bird locations.
  • Join a chapter of Quail Forever and make friends to hunt with this fall!
  • Recognize overlooked spots and ask permission of private landowners adjacent to public lands.




Step 6: Know How To Hunt


  • Be ready in the morning as soon as legal shooting hours begin.
  • Hunt the "Golden Hour"—the last hour of the day; birds move out of crop fields and into grass for roosting.
  • Hunt after Thanksgiving. Late-season hunting can be very productive and a lot of fun.
  • Be quiet—quail will bust out of the area with the sound of approaching hunters, especially late-season.
  • Respect other hunters who are enjoying our state lands—don't wreck a quality hunt for another party (and yourself) by walking in on them, find another public area or knock on a door—you'll be glad you did.
  • Dogs—follow and trust their instincts, hunting dogs will work to find your birds.




Step 7: Read The Habitat


  • Not all land was created equal as habitat for quail, so hunt the good stuff before burning all your energy.
  • Edges—read the contours of the land, looking for places where habitat changes, such as crops, trees, shrubs, and fence lines./li>
  • When the snow flies, the game changes. Find the thermal cover—shrub plantings and shelter belts are king.
  • Food plots—if undisturbed, food plots can provide phenomenal quail hunting opportunities.
  • Bring your hip boots or waders—if you cross water barriers that block most hunters, you may find your way to hunting utopia!




Where To Hunt: Public Access Available To Quail Hunters


Great places to hunt quail, pheasants and other wild game exist all across the country, and with a little effort, both in research and exploration, you'll be rewarded for your efforts. Every state has lands open to public hunting, and when combined with federal lands (such as Waterfowl Production Areas), public opportunities abound. WHAT TYPES OF PUBLIC HUNTING AREAS EXIST? Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs)

  • Federally owned and open to public hunting unless marked to the contrary
  • Steel shot only
  • Lands were purchased by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service through Federal Duck Stamp funds, conservation groups, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's Build a Wildlife Area program, etc.
State-Owned Public Hunting Areas
  • Different states have different names: Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), Game Production Areas (GPAs), etc. Check your state's regulations to find out if there are state-owned public hunting areas
  • Lands purchased by state natural resource agencies, conservation groups like Quail Forever, the Build a Wildlife Area program, etc.
Walk-In Areas
  • These are privately owned acres that state natural resource agencies have paid the landowner to open up to public hunting
  • Walk-in programs do not exist in every state and are called different names in each state. Check your state's regulations to find out if there are public hunting opportunities on private lands in your area
AREAS WITH QUAIL FOREVER HABITAT SIGNS Quail Forever members and followers contribute to local habitat projects in many different ways, including funding for seed, food plot equipment, planting of trees, or installation of native grass plantings. Here are some guidelines regarding areas posted with Quail Forever habitat signs:
  • Signs are located on both public AND private lands
  • If on a WPA, WMA, GPA, etc., it is open to public hunting
  • If you don't see a WMA or WPA sign, you MUST ask permission—this is private land
  • Private land is where over 90 percent of our quail habitat is located, thus our focus on private land is important to the health and sustainability of our quail populations
PUBLIC LAND RESOURCES Over 60 percent of land in the United States is privately owned. If you own or have hunting access to private land, you know there are prime hunting opportunities to be had. Not in either of those categories? Don't let that deter you from accessing great public land opportunities throughout the United States! Seasoned quail hunters find that having a mix of public and private hunting opportunities marked on the map is the best recipe for success. For public land access, here are some pointers to help you plan your next day afield:
  • Find comprehensive state-by-state maps and hunting regulations at wheretohunt.org
  • Find state-by-state natural resource agency contacts HERE to help plan your next adventure afield




Hunter Safety & Ethics: Always Be Safe & Be An Ethical Hunter


Quail hunting is a fun activity, but a very serious level of responsibility comes with taking to the field. Quail hunting, like most forms of hunting, is not inherently dangerous, but it can become dangerous or worse when firearm safety guidelines are compromised. TAKING SAFETY PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIELD It is important for all hunters to go through a Firearm Safety and/or Hunter Education course no matter how old you are or if your state requires it. While quail are great game birds, the thrill of harvesting this bird should never sacrifice safe handling of a firearm. When going afield, it's important to refresh the basics of gun safety before each hunting season as taught by the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

  • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
  • Don't rely on your gun's safety.
  • Be sure of your target and what's beyond it.
  • Use proper ammunition.
  • If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.
  • Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
  • Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
  • Don't alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.
  • Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.
PRACTICING HUNTER ETHICS IN THE FIELD Equally as important as following firearm safety is being an ethical hunter. Though it differs for each and every one of us, all hunters in the field should have a personal code of ethics. Sometimes hunters are faced with situations that may be well within the hunting regulations, but may push the boundaries of ethical hunting. Remember, the actions of one hunter can affect how others view the traditional sport of hunting. UPHOLD THE QUAIL FOREVER CODE As a member of Quail Forever, I believe in conserving wildlife and protecting the environment. I promise to leave the outdoors a little better than I found it. I will hunt safely and treat hunting on public and private land as a privilege. I will always ask permission before hunting private land.




Bird Dog Breeds


WITHOUT BIRD DOGS, WOULD WE HUNT AT ALL? For serious upland bird hunters, the idea of hunting quail (or any other gamebird for that matter) without a bird dog is a path to frustration, futility and no fun. BIRD FINDERS:
A dog is essential for finding birds and helping you get them in the air. CONSERVATION TOOLS:
Dogs help you locate downed birds and track down winged birds. Many bird dogs will even retrieve your trophy to hand. HUNTING PARTNERS:
The bond between hunter and bird dog is both ancient and magical. Are you looking for your next bird dog or your first? Our profiles get you started on learning more about 38 proven breeds for upland hunting.





Bird Dog Breeds: Flushing Dogs

American Water Spaniel


Developed in the upper Midwest, this mid-sized flusher is well-suited to a variety of game DID YOU KNOW? American water spaniels were developed in Wisconsin and Minnesota as a do-it-all dog to meet the unique challenges of hunting the Great Lakes region. In 1985, the American water spaniel was named the official state dog of Wisconsin. HUNTING STYLE
American water spaniels are steady, close-working flushers and excellent retrievers that stay within shotgun range at a moderate pace. Their dense, curly coats and strong retrieving instinct also makes them excellent waterfowl dogs. Like many of the small flushers, American water spaniels are versatile dogs that take to flushing naturally. They have keen noses, a naturally strong desire to retrieve, and are as at home hunting over water as in upland areas; as such they make excellent dual-purpose dogs. GENERAL APPEARANCE
American Water Spaniels are well-built midsize gundogs, recognizable by a thick brown coat that is either tightly curled or wavy. The coat is dense and waterproof, the feet are thickly padded, and the toes are webbed. SIZE
The American water spaniel’s height ranges from 15 to 18 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders. Males weigh 30 to 45 pounds, while females are in the 25- to 40-pound range. DISPOSITION
American water spaniels are keenly intelligent and friendly dogs, that, like most dog breeds, crave human companionship. The key to keeping the American water spaniel happy is activity, as they can become overactive if not exercised. American water spaniels make good upland flushers, and would be an excellent choice for someone with limited space looking for a dog to do it all.




Boykin Spaniel


Developed in the Carolina lowlands, but well-suited to a variety of upland hunting. DID YOU KNOW?
Boykin spaniels were first bred in the early 1900s by hunters in South Carolina. They needed small, rugged dogs for hunting ducks and wild turkeys in the Wateree River Swamp; larger retrievers were too big for the small boats hunters used to access the river corridors. HUNTING STYLE
Boykin spaniels generally quarter within shotgun range at a moderate, steady pace. This gives them the ability to hunt for long stretches of time. Boykins track birds both by scent and sight. Known for “hesitation flushes” – they don’t flush birds with wild abandon, instead taking their time before making an aggressive flush – Boykin spaniels are versatile dogs that don’t need to be commanded to flush birds. They have keen noses, a naturally strong desire to retrieve, and are as at home hunting over water as in upland areas; as such they make excellent dual-purpose dogs for uplanders who also like to chase a few ducks too. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Boykin spaniels are medium-sized dogs with a double coat of fur – a short, dense undercoat and a longer, wavy outercoat. This helps them stave off cold water. Their coat is brown, but its darkness ranges from rich chocolate to solid liver. Boykin’s coats are shorter than other those of other spaniels, and their tails are generally docked to one-third of full length. SIZE
Solid dogs, Boykin’s height ranges from 14 to 18 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders. Males weigh 30 to 40 pounds, while females are in the 25- to 35-pound range. DISPOSITION
Boykins are intelligent and friendly, getting along well with children and other dogs. They are good and affectionate family dogs that thrive on human companionship. While hunting, Boykins are enthusiastic, energetic and willing workers. They make good upland dogs in general, but seem particularly suited to pheasants, as well as quail.




Chesapeake Bay Retriever


A rugged and loyal retriever that can withstand the harshest of conditions and hunt all day. DID YOU KNOW?
The state of Maryland in 1964 designated the Chesapeake Bay retriever as the official state dog, given the breed’s namesake is the state’s famous bay region. HUNTING STYLE
Chesapeake Bay retrievers are rugged, tough dogs that are in many ways synonymous with harsh hunting conditions. Their coats and skin are designed to resist low temperatures and icy water – as their name suggests, they’re built to make long retrieves in the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay – but they make good upland partners as well. Athletic dogs with stamina in abundance, Chesapeake Bay retrievers have strong hunting drive, a natural retrieving ability, and they generally stay within gun range. They’re also great for tracking wounded or running birds because they just won’t give up. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Chesapeake Bay retrievers sport a thick, short coat and a heavy undercoat that keeps them warm and dry even in extreme conditions. Their fur is generally wavy, and oily to the touch. The breed features solid coat colors that range from chocolate brown to dark sedge. One of their recognizable traits is their yellow-amber eyes. Tails are left full. SIZE
Chesapeakes are solid, sturdy dogs with a height ranging from 21 to 16 inches from the ground to the highest point on the shoulders. Males weigh from 65 to 80 pounds, females from 55 to 70 pounds. Despite their size, Chessies are agile, especially when kept lean. DISPOSITION
Chesapeake Bay retrievers are intelligent, intensely loyal dogs that are more emotionally complex than other breeds. Protective of their owners and family, they are polite without being overbearing. They can be stubborn with a likelihood to choose their own path, but they are receptive to obedience training so long as they aren’t dealt with harshly. Chesapeake Bay retrievers have a love for the water and have no qualms about having to break ice as they retrieve their quarry. They make superb late-season or harsh-weather pheasant dogs.




Clumber Spaniel


The largest of the spaniels, stockily built to work slowly and power through thick cover in a thorough and relentless search for birds. DID YOU KNOW?
The Clumber spaniel is named for a large estate in England called Clumber Park, where the Duke of Newcastle bred the dogs and hunted them with local aristocracy. HUNTING STYLE
If you are looking for a slow-working flushing dog that is easy to keep up with and is not going to leave any cattail unturned or thicket un-snuffled during its search for pheasants or quail, then you have found your dog. Clumbers have an interesting plowing-cruising gate, quartering well and working cover thoroughly. For older hunters, or hunters who move slowly or find walking challenging, Clumbers are easy to keep up with, and their gait puts pheasants (used to fast-working dogs) off guard. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Clumber spaniel exhibits a long, low body and a heavy head. Color is predominantly white, with lemon, orange or honey markings, usually around the head. Bassets or other hounds may be the Clumber’s past, and that’s no surprise, given the dogs’ droopy, mournful-looking face and long ears. Hound ancestry is also why the Clumber’s nose is so exceedingly good. SIZE
A long and low-slung dog. Clumbers stand but 17 to 20 inches at the shoulders, yet can weigh anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds for females, and 70 to 85 pounds for males. DISPOSITION
Clumbers are gentle, laid-back, loving and loyal. They may be aloof to new people, but they just need to get you to know you; they’re never in much of a hurry. Despite their size, Clumbers are quite playful and like to cause a little mischief when they can. Queen Victoria once wrote of Clumbers, which Prince Albert owned and hunted with: “They are such dear, nice dogs.”




Curly-Coated Retreiver


Built for water work but skilled in the uplands. DID YOU KNOW?
Curly-coated retrievers were created by crossing Old English water dogs, Irish water spaniels and small Newfoundlands. There are poodle genes in them as well. HUNTING STYLE
Curly-coated retrievers are among the most versatile and oldest of the retriever breeds. Records indicate curly-coats have been used for retrieving work in England since at least the early 1800s. These dogs are agile and quick, perform well on land and in water, but require plenty of exercise to stay in shape and stave off boredom. They naturally perform well in upland situations, staying within gun range and effectively flushing birds from cover. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Curly-coated retrievers are tall retrievers distinguishable by their tapered, wedge-shaped head and the short, thick coat of tight curls that makes them look like a Labrador retriever crossed with a poodle. Their coats, which are black to liver in color, provide them protection in the water, while also shedding thorns and other upland hazards. The hair on their faces and front of their legs is straight. They have a tall look about them, and can seem “leggy.” Their tails are left full. SIZE
Males and females are about the same height (females 23 to 25 inches; males 25 to 27 inches) from the ground to shoulders. Their weight ranges between 60 and 80 pounds. These are hardy dogs. DISPOSITION
Curly-coated retrievers are affectionate and gentle animals, but are more independent than other retriever breeds. They make good companions and enjoy being part of the family – they’re playful and protective in such situations – but they’re often reserved with strangers or people they aren’t around frequently. They can be calm, but they are smart and require plenty of stimulation.




English Cocker Spaniel


The original pocket rocket: the biggest-hearted, hardest hunting little dog out there. DID YOU KNOW?
English cocker spaniels were named after the bird species they were developed to hunt – the woodcock. HUNTING STYLE
English cocker spaniels are adept at quartering across the field within gun range in front of their hunters, but they are also eager and fully willing to dive into the heaviest cover around if the reward is a flushed bird. Indeed, their stature is small but their heart and drive are big. These little spaniels have no qualms about entering thick, dense cover. Field-bred cockers are excited hunters – a blur of motion when they’re afield – that have the word “work” bred into their genes. They make superb all-around upland dogs, and their approach is effective on pheasants in particular. GENERAL APPEARANCE
English cocker spaniels are small-sized dogs with medium-length coats that may be flat, silky or wavy. Given their propensity for entering the thickest cover around, some hunters choose to trim their coats to cut down on the amount of debris they pick up afield. Their coat is often a solid color, including black, liver, red or a tan-colored roan. Other dogs have a combination of white with black, liver, lemon, orange or red ticking. For field lines, tails are sometimes docked to two-thirds of full length. English cocker spaniels also have alert, intelligent eyes and close-lying ears. SIZE
Relatively small in stature, English cocker spaniels are between 15 and 18 inches in height. Males weigh between 25 and 34 pounds, females between 20 and 30. DISPOSITION
English cocker spaniels are very friendly and loving, and they make outstanding family dogs. Cockers are great in the field as well, cranking their energy level up multiple notches and displaying an exuberance that’s contagious. Unlike some other breeds, English cocker spaniels tend to avoid hyperactivity and are eager to please in any environment. They are the ultimate field machine / house potato.




English Springer Spaniel


A good-sized, family-friendly flushing dog for pheasants, quail and other upland birds. DID YOU KNOW?
According to the American Kennel Club, English springers and cocker spaniels were once the same breed. From a litter, the smaller dogs were designated cockers (as woodcock hunters) and the larger were designated springers, for their high-energy hunting locomotion style. HUNTING STYLE
Named for their propensity to flush – or “spring” – birds, English springer spaniels quarter well and bust into any cover they encounter. They are capable retrievers, too, whether it’s pheasants in the field, grouse in the woods, or ducks in smaller waters. English springer spaniels are animated hunters and at times their exuberance can make them range too far in front of the gun. Proper training and gentle reminding is a necessity. Springers plow cover like troopers, and make great all-season pheasant dogs. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Built to motor through heavy cover, English springer spaniels sport brush-resistant coats. Their undercoat is soft and dense, while the topcoat is made of flat or wavy hair of medium length. As with other Spaniels, some hunters trim the dog’s coat in order to cut down on post-hunt grooming. Springers’ general coloration is white with black, brown or liver patches and spots. Their ears are long and lush, while their eyes show friendliness and trust. In field lines, tails of English springer spaniels are docked a few inches. SIZE
English springer spaniels are muscular dogs that are 19 to 20 inches from the ground to the highest point on their shoulders. They commonly weigh 40 to 50 pounds. DISPOSITION
English springer spaniels generally behave well around kids and other dogs, and do well in a family setting, where they are affectionate and friendly. They enjoy being busy and socializing, and don’t do particularly well when left alone. They are eager to please and have great stamina, which contributes to their success in the field, and their even-keeled nature makes them good around the home as well.




Flat-Coated Retriever


One of the happiest hunting breeds out there, these hard-working retrievers make great triple-purpose dogs: upland bird flusher (and retriever), reliable waterfowling companion and fetcher, and exuberant family member. DID YOU KNOW?
The flatcoat comes out of the “Labrador” family, and many experts say the dog also has some Newfoundland in its background. The flat-coated retriever is known as the Peter Pan of the dog world: At times almost obnoxious in their perpetual cheery state, flatcoats will always bring positivity and pep into the field and your life. HUNTING STYLE
Originating in the 1800's, the flat-coated retriever became very popular as a gamekeeper's dog in England. Flatcoats are versatile hunting retrievers that score high in trainability. In the uplands, flatcoats are flushing dogs. The breed works close and hunts smart. If there’s bird scent in the area, you can be confident your flatcoat is on something and let the fun begin! Like most retrieving breeds, the flatcoat will quarter in front of the hunter to flush upland birds within comfortable gun range. They are extremely good at finding and retrieving downed birds. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The flat-coated retriever is a large breed with a thick, medium-density coat that is solid black or liver in color. Although thick, the coat tends to be very smooth with feathering at the legs, tail and chest. Tails are left full. The nose is long (the better to smell with), the eyes full of expression, and the overall look regal. SIZE
This is large-sized hunting dog. Height usually ranges from 22 to 25 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 55 and 75 pounds. DISPOSITION
Flat-Coated Retrievers are cheerful companions that are generally calm indoors and energetic outdoors. They are an intelligent breed – exuberant, loving and outgoing -- that is easily trained. Flatcoats do best without harsh correction. Their social natures make them great companions, and they tend to get along well with other animals. This breed does best living indoors with frequent opportunities to exercise and play outdoors.




Golden Retriever


A beautiful, versatile and people-loving retriever that is a pro in the uplands. DID YOU KNOW?
Golden retrievers almost always carry something in their mouths – or want to be carrying something, anyway. Their mouth is incredibly soft, and many can carry a raw egg without cracking its shell. HUNTING STYLE
Golden retrievers are versatile retrievers that love to work and live to please. They are excellent at retrieving waterfowl in and around water, and fully capable of solid work in the field as well. They take to both styles of hunting with enthusiasm, and will quarter in front of hunters to flush birds. While their beautiful coat keeps them warm and dry even in cold conditions, it also makes them warm on hot days, so hunters who bring them afield must ensure they don’t overheat. In general, golden retrievers are tough and durable, and the way they perform in the field reflects that. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Golden retrievers are sturdy, muscular and large dogs with dense, double-layered coats that keep them dry and warm. Their coloration is generally golden, though some trend more toward cream while others are more distinctly red. They have a broad head with eyes that are exceedingly friendly, intelligent and piercing. Their tails are full and straight. SIZE
Goldens’ height ranges from about 22 to 24 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders. Females weigh 55 to 65 pounds, while males weigh between 65 and 75 pounds. It is not uncommon for males, especially, to be even heavier than that. DISPOSITION
Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dogs in the world because they’re exceptionally friendly and perform well in a wide variety of situations (in addition to being family and hunting dogs, golden retrievers often are used as guide dogs, and as comfort dogs and in search-and-rescue operations). Their faces show a distinct smile when they’re happy – which is often – and whether they’re at home or in the field, they aim to please. They are intelligent dogs that are easy to train. Worth noting, however, is that goldens’ popularity as pets has resulted in some deviation from hunting roots; the search for a hunting companion should focus on clear field and hunting lines.




Labrador Retriever


Perhaps the most versatile hunting dog of all; warrior in the field, family pooch at home. DID YOU KNOW?
It doesn’t matter the color (or colors) of their parents: A single litter of Labrador retrievers can include individuals that are black, chocolate or yellow in color. HUNTING STYLE
The most popular dog breed in America – and among Pheasants Forever members -- Labrador retrievers are active and outgoing dogs that are as comfortable in a family setting as they are cruising the wide-open prairie in October or November, or crashing through cattail swamps in the dead of winter. Blessed with good agility and speed, Labrador retrievers also have stamina in abundance and a desire to retrieve for hours on end. They have a sturdy build and are plenty durable, able to perform well in a variety of upland- and water-based hunting scenarios. While hunting in the field, they quarter in front of the hunter and are wonderful flushers. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Labrador retrievers are medium to large dogs with a short, double-layered coat that’s dense and clings tight to their bodies. There are three colors of Labrador retrievers: black, chocolate and yellow. With kind, friendly eyes framed by wide heads, Labrador retrievers have athletic builds that are evident of their desire for activity. They have thick tails that taper to the end and are left full. SIZE
Female Labrador retrievers’ height ranges from about 21 to 24 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, while males range from about 22 to 25 inches. Males range from 65 to 80 pounds, females from 55 to 70 pounds. Smaller British lines are out there, too. DISPOSITION
Labrador retrievers’ popularity among hunters is easy to understand. Labs are extremely versatile and highly social -- affectionate enough to be considered part of the family and enthusiastic enough to work hard and perform well in a variety of hunting-related tasks. They are the ultimate combo dog for the hunter who wants to pursue both waterfowl and upland birds. But plenty of Labs just go uplanding. They are highly intelligent and willing to be trained. Most Labs pound the upland fields with reckless abandon, then turn into big cuddle-lovers at home.




Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Toller)


This intelligent and fascinating duck dog takes to the uplands well. DID YOU KNOW?
One of the most unique aspects of Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers is their scream, which typically is a reaction to something they find exciting. You wouldn’t know they’re excited, though, because the scream is high-pitched, frantic and loud. HUNTING STYLE
Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers, also known as “tollers,” are tireless retrievers that are well-adapted to cold hunting conditions. They are equally as adept in the uplands as they are the water, though they were bred specifically to hunt by frolicking and splashing along the bank to lure – or toll – curious waterfowl. When the birds are in range, the dog heads back to the blind so hunters can make their shots. Tollers retrieve the ducks from the water. Tollers are compact dogs with a sturdy build, sufficiently agile to flush birds in the uplands and blessed with sufficient energy to hunt all day long. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Tollers are the smallest of the retrievers, a medium-sized dog with a medium coat that’s mostly straight. It’s double-layered with water-repelling properties that allows them to retrieve ducks even in harsh conditions. Their coat is various shades of red with lighter featherings and white markings on the tip of tail, feet, chest and blaze, and their almond-shaped eyes are alert and hint at their desire to always be active. Their tails are left full and have a slight curve in them. SIZE
Male tollers generally stand between 18 and 21 inches from the ground to the highest point of their shoulders, while females are in the 17- to 20-inch range. Both genders range from about 35 to 50 pounds. DISPOSITION
Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers are eager to please and intelligent, but they can be destructive and disobedient in the absence of mental stimulation and the opportunity to burn off energy. Tollers are affectionate and good family dogs, though they tend to be reserved around strangers. However, they are inquisitive and playful, and given enough time they get along well with other animals and people outside their families.




Poodle (Standard)


Poodles aren’t just for laps and limousines: meet the real thing hunting dog. DID YOU KNOW?
Some people associate poodles with circuses and shows. There’s a reason for that – they are among the most intelligent of all dog breeds, taking quickly to learning new things. They’re highly observant as well, like a child learning things even when humans don’t intend to be teaching a lesson. HUNTING STYLE
Standard poodles may not typically be classified in the sporting category , but don’t be fooled: They originated as water dogs and are fully capable of flushing birds on land and retrieving them in water. It’s true that many of today’s poodles aren’t hunting dogs, but the breed itself has many qualities that are attractive to hunters. Active and intelligent, poodles are rather easy to train and can make excellent hunting companions. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Poodles’ coats are heavy and dense, with hair that’s tightly curled or corded. They don’t shed, and poodles used for hunting generally have fur that’s cut to about an inch all over their bodies. That will keep them warm in all but the coldest of water, while also protecting them from hazards afield. Their coats can be a wide variety of colors, including red, apricot, black, brown, gray and white. Their tails are either full length or docked to half-length. SIZE
Poodles come in a huge array of sizes, but standard poodles should be at least 15 inches – and preferably 22 to 26 inches – from the ground to the highest point of their shoulders. They generally weigh between 45 and 70 pounds. DISPOSITION
Standard poodles are exceptionally smart, proud animals. They are alert and eager to please, friendly, and excited to learn new things. They get along well with humans and other dogs alike, and tend to be protective of their owners and those they know well. While standard poodles do well inside the home, they are active, athletic dogs that need to burn energy and keep their minds sharp.




What Is A Flushing Dog?


Flushing dogs work cover close to the hunter – within shotgun range – and work to put birds into the air for a shot. It’s up to hunter to know his or her dog and when it is “birdy,” and be ready. Many flushing dogs are also natural retrievers, and it can be as easy to train the dog to bring birds back as it is to teach the dog to stay close while scouring cover.





Shotgun Showcase


Bird Dog Breeds: Pointing Dogs

What Is A Pointing Dog?


Pointing dogs generally cruise a little or a lot out of shotgun range of the hunter. When a bird is found, the dog “locks up” and points it; the hunter walks in for the flush. Some hunters keep their pointer within shotgun range in case of errant flushes from spooky birds. Pointing dogs aren’t always natural retrievers, but the skill can be taught. That said, most pointing dogs are good at finding and re-pointing downed birds, and running down cripples.




American Brittany


A fine little pointing and family dog from the northwest of France. DID YOU KNOW?
Although it was originally referred to as the Brittany Spaniel, this versatile breed's working characteristics are more similar to a pointer or setter, and in 1982 the "Spaniel" was officially dropped from the name. Now it’s just Brittany. HUNTING STYLE
The Brittany is a close-working pointing dog with natural hunting and retrieving ability. The Brittany originated in the Brittany region of northwestern France, and was depicted in paintings as early as the 17th century. While not large in stature, Brittanys have the speed and agility to cover a lot of ground. They are a tough and durable breed with skin and coat built to resist punctures and tears in thick cover. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Brittany is a medium-sized breed with a coat that is generally dense and wavy in orange-and-white or liver-and-white patterns, often with some ticking. Tri-colors are also found as liver and white dogs with orange markings on eyebrows, muzzle, cheeks and under the tail. Other colors include orange roan and liver roan. Tails are often docked either completely or to a length of no more than approximately four inches. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 17 to 21 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 30 and 45 pounds. DISPOSITION
Generally, the Brittany is a very active and alert dog with a good disposition. A very outgoing nature makes the Brittany an excellent upland hunting companion and also an ideal family dog. Brittanys make good house dogs provided they have sufficient exercise. They are eager to please and friendly, they generally learn quickly, and they are loyal and attached to their owners.




Bracco Italiano


One of the oldest pointing breeds, the Bracco Italiano is a classic gun dog that originated in Italy, and makes a great workmate in the field and friend at home. DID YOU KNOW?
Even though the Bracco Italiano is recognized as one of the world’s oldest pointing breeds, it was only introduced to the United States in the 1990’s. HUNTING STYLE
Although this personality-filled creature may be a challenging dog to train for newer hunters and dog owners, the Bracco Italiano is an excellent worker with plenty of stamina and energy. Their alert and responsive temperament makes them great workers in the field, in addition to possessing natural pointing and retrieving skills. Owners of the Bracco admire their ability to learn something one hunting season, apply it the next hunting season, and get gradually better and better at hunting as they get older. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Simply put, these are some of the coolest looking bird dogs out there. At first look, the Bracco looks like a bloodhound that decided to have the coloration of a German shorthair. Their coats will either be white, white and chestnut, or white and orange, and there is plenty of skin like a bloodhound. The build is quite athletic. SIZE
This is a good-sized to large-sized hunting dog. Braccos stand 21 to 27 inches tall, and weigh 55 to 90 pounds. DISPOSITION Being at once alert, laidback and responsive, Bracco Italianos are also Intelligent, kind, and enthusiastic. With proper mental stimulation and exercise, the Bracco will make a great companion in the field and at home as well.




Braques d'Auvergne


The Braques d’Auvergne is a loving dog that works hard to please its master while hunting. DID YOU KNOW?
Although they are not a vulnerable breed, the Braques d’Auvergne is recognized as a rare breed. HUNTING STYLE
The Braques d’Auvergne is a part of the large family of French pointing dogs. Eager to please like many of its cousins, it is a great gundog that is perfect in a family setting as well. These dogs are natural hunters, will check in often, and are extremely easy to train. It is notable that they are very comfortable getting to know other dogs. GENERAL APPEARANCE
With a sturdy, robust, and muscular build, Braques d’Auvergne pointers can and will work tirelessly. They are white and black, with ticked markings or roan markings, and a tail of 6 to 8 inches in length. They have a distinct hound appearance. SIZE
Standing at 21 to 24.5 inches tall, the Braque d’Auvergne weighs 48 to 62 pounds, which puts it in the “medium sized” class of bird dog. DISPOSITION
Gentle and eager to please, The Braques d’Auvergne makes a great companion in the field for its natural instincts and trainability, and a great companion at home for its kindness and affection.




Braques du Bourbonnais


A versatile hunting dog from the heart of France, these pups are a lot of dog in a small package. DID YOU KNOW?
Developed in 15th century France, the Braques du Bourbonnais almost went extinct in the late 1960s. Thanks to careful breeding in their home province of Bourbonnais and beyond, the Braques was saved, and introduced to the United States in 1988. HUNTING STYLE
“Versatile” is almost an understatement with this continental breed: The Braques du Bourbonnais can catch a scent, track, point, swim and retrieve. The Braques is skilled at working at medium distances and a smooth pace, and comes back often to check in. They are beautiful dogs, solidly built. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Often born with either no tail or a very short tail, the Braques Du Bourbonnais is a medium-sized dog with a white coat ticked in either fawn, liver or chestnut. They have floppy ears and a sturdy body, paired with an intelligent look. SIZE
Braques du Bourbonnais dogs stand 20 to 22.5 inches tall and weigh 35 to 50 pounds. It’s a nice range whether you are looking for a smaller or a little larger dog. DISPOSITION
Braques du Bourbonnais are eager to please, enthusiastic, and affectionate. They’re truly great dogs all around – serious in the field and affectionate family pets.




Braques Francais


The Braque Francais, an ancient breed from France, is considered the common ancestor to all contemporary shorthaired pointing dogs. DID YOU KNOW?
Jacques Espee de Selincourt, a huntsman for the French royalty, wrote of the Braque in his 1683 book “La Parfait Chasseur” (The Perfect Hunter): “He is a quite tall dog, very strong, with a robust chest, big head, long ears, good-sized nose, loose lips, and a white coat with brown spots.” HUNTING STYLE
There are two types of Braque Francais: The Pyrenean and the Gascogne types. The Pyrenean was originally bred to hunt the rugged Pyrenees Mountains on the border of France and Spain, and is smaller than the Gascogne type. Braque Francais are especially adept at adjusting their hunting style and cruising distance at hand and the wishes of their masters. They are extremely versatile, with excellent noses and staunch points. Braques are thought to be the most natural retrievers of all the pointing breeds. As a bonus, most Braques love water and eagerly jump in to fetch an upland bird or duck. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Braques Francais feature short, straight, easy-care hair on relatively tight skin with little or no dewlap on the neck. Acceptable color combinations are brown, brown and white, heavily spotted brown and white, and mottled. Subjective terms applied to the Braque include noble, well-muscled and robust. The tail is docked, but some tails are naturally short at birth. SIZE
Pyrenean Braque Francais stand 18.5 to 23 inches at the shoulder, and weigh 35 to 55 pounds. Gascogne-strain Braques Francais stand 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder, and weigh 45 to 80 pounds. DISPOSITION
Braques are gentle and sociable in the home. The dogs find it easy to turn off their hard-charging hunting instincts and switch into house pets that can lounge and loll around with the best of lapdogs.




Cesk Fousek


A high-powered and extremely versatile hunting dog that loves being part of the family. DID YOU KNOW?
“Cesky” (pronounced chess-kee) and “Fousek” (pronounced foe-sek) stands for “Czechoslovakian Rough-hair” in Czech. HUNTING STYLE
The Germans made their own efficient wire-haired dog. Why not the Czechs? Meet the Cesky Fousek, a fine and very versatile hunting dog originating in Czechoslovakia, in particular Bohemia. Due in large part to the devastating effect the First World War on Eastern Europe, the Cesky Fousek was nearly extinct by 1918. Efforts to revive the breed were stalled by World War II, and once again the numbers of Cesky Fousek dwindled. Careful breeding, and apparently some early crossbreeding with German shorthairs and wirehairs during the late 1940s, helped to develop the modern Cesky Fousek. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Cesky Fousek is a high-powered, intelligent and versatile dog ready to handle the toughest conditions, yet is a calm, friendly companion in the home. This brown-and-white wirehaired dog features a beard and mustache typical of this family of breeds. He is sometimes called the Bohemian Pointer. SIZE
The Cesky Fousek stands anywhere from 23 to 26 inches long and weighs from 49 to 75 pounds. DISPOSITION
The Cesky Fousek turns off its hard-core hunting drive to be a calm, friendly companion in the home. He is also disposed to water work, and makes a good dual-purpose upland and duck dog.




Deutsch-Drahthaar


A happy, high-energy and whiskered bird dog with extremely versatile hunting skills and excellent family-dog traits. DID YOU KNOW?
Every Deutsch-Drahthaar (The English translation of Deutsch-Drahthaar is German Wirehair) has a 5- or 6-digit ZuchtBuch, or registration number, tattooed on their right ear. HUNTING STYLE
The Deutsch-Drahthaar was developed in Germany, bred as a versatile hunting dog for all aspects of field hunting: field, forest and water. The breed adheres to a strict system of ability testing and breeding controls set by the VDD (Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar). Deutsch-Drahthaars are known for their endurance and passion to hunt, as well as the ability to focus on tasks at hand. They will point and retrieve upland birds in addition to tracking furred game. Their double coat, ability to swim and strong drive to retrieve combine to make them well suited to waterfowl hunting as well. GENERAL APPEARANCE
A Deutsch-Drahthaar’s fur is wiry with a thick undercoat that is water-repellent. The coat is easy to care for and requires little to no maintenance. The extended eyebrows, whiskers and beard, intended to protect their face and eyes in the field, give the breed it’s distinct, characteristic appearance. Colors range from brown/white or black/white ticked, usually with some solid patches, to solid brown. Tails are generally docked to roughly forty percent of full length. SIZE
Height for males varies from 24 to 26.7 inches from the ground to the shoulders, with weight usually ranging between 55 and 85 pounds. Height for females varies from 22.4 to 25.2 inches from the ground to the shoulders, with weight usually ranging between 50 and 65 pounds. DISPOSITION
With its intelligence and calm manner, the Deutsch-Drahthaar is a great hunting breed, but they are also well suited in the home as a family dog. Drahts are typically gentle and friendly with children and other dogs, but are known to be protective of their family and home. Because of their intense drive to hunt, Deutsch-Drahthaars must be exercised regularly, and are not recommended for non-hunting families.




Deutsch-Kurzhaar


An extremely versatile bird dog with a strong desire to both hunt and please its master. DID YOU KNOW?
The Deutsch-Kurzhaar breed (The English translation of Deutsch-Kurzhaar is German Shorthair) was likely established in Germany sometime between the 18th and 19th century. HUNTING STYLE
The Deutsch-Kurzhaar was developed in Germany, bred as a versatile hunting dog for all aspects of hunting: field, forest and water. The breed adheres to a strict system of ability testing and breeding controls set by the Deutsch Kurzhaar Verband (DKV) under the motto: noble, versatile, reliable, easy to groom. The Deutsch-Kurzhaar breed is known for its incredible endurance in the field, as well as the ability to focus and quickly adapt as needed in pursuit of game. They will point upland birds and track furred game, while displaying a strong desire to retrieve on land and in water. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Deutsch-Kurzhaar is medium-large hunting breed that is athletic in appearance, with a deep chest, short angled top-line and muscular build. The short, thick hair is easy to groom with coat colors consisting of combinations of brown, black and white, including: solid brown; solid black; and varying roan and ticked combinations such as brown-ticked or black-ticked. The coat dries quickly and feels slightly coarse. The Deutsch-Kurzhaar’s head is well shaped with robust forehead and a strong snout. SIZE
Height for males varies from 24.4 to 25.9 inches from the ground to the shoulders, with weight usually ranging between 65 and 75 pounds. Height for females varies from 22.8 to 24.8 inches from the ground to the shoulders, with weight usually ranging between 58 and 68 pounds. DISPOSITION
The Deutsch-Kurzhaar has a calm, animated temperament, and possesses excellent speed and natural hunting instincts. Their intelligence, strong desire and endurance enable them to successfully perform any hunting task required. They are very loyal breed, with a strong, innate desire to please their handler, making them an excellent family and hunting companions provided they are kept active. Because of their intense drive to hunt, Deutsch-Kurzhaars must be exercised regularly, and are not recommended for non-hunting families.




English Setter


An elegant and graceful pointing dog that's equally adept in the uplands and the home. DID YOU KNOW?
The English setter's name is derived from the origins of the breed, when the setter was developed to lay down, or "set" when it scented game. HUNTING STYLE
The English Setter (aka Setter) is a quick and efficient worker with an excellent nose and ground speed that was bred specifically for upland bird hunting. They are graceful hunters that combine agility with stamina to cover a lot of ground. They are energetic dogs from a long, rich history of finding and pointing upland birds. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The English Setter is a large breed with a coat that is generally long with feathering at the ears, tail and underside. Base color is usually white with secondary colors including orange belton (speckling), blue (black) belton, liver belton and yellow belton. Tri-color belton are also found as blue belton dogs with tan markings on muzzle, eyes and legs. Tails are generally left full. English Setters generally produce fewer Dual Champions since the more effective field sizes, colors and coat characteristics tend to vary from desired show characteristics. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 23 to 27 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 45 and 75 pounds. DISPOSITION
They are a gentle and affectionate breed with a very mild disposition that tend to train better with positive reinforcement. They do well in a home environment as they tend to mellow indoors and take on a friendly "couch potato" mentality provided they are kept active when outdoors.




Epagneaul Breton (French Brittany)


Also known as the French Brittany, this is the original Brittany and the smallest of the pointing breeds; built for living in a peasant’s tiny cottage and poaching the local Lord’s game. DID YOU KNOW?
Epagneul Bretons served as some of the “seed” for American Brittanys, which were developed to be longer legged and bigger running than Bretons, which were “designed” for hunting close in front of a master afoot. HUNTING STYLE
Epagneul Breton (pronounced Ep-an-yul Bray-ton) stands for Spaniel of Brittany in French. These dogs originated in olden times in the center of the province as close-working pointing dogs for local woodcock, partridge, pheasants and hares. Despite their small size, Epagneul Bretons have big hunting hearts and will go all day. They live to hunt and tend to work close, which makes them good pheasant, quail and ruffed grouse dogs, but Bretons know how to range out more in the big wide open for prairie grouse. Many Bretons are natural and willing retrievers. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The body is compact – one might even say square or “cobby” – and most Bretons are powerfully built. The coat is wavy, with a variety of color variations utilizing orange, black, liver and white. Some dogs are tricolor. It is notable that Bretons typically exhibit little pure white, tending to instead be roan or heavily ticked where white would otherwise be. The tail is docked. SIZE
Epagneul Bretons come in small packages, with a height of only 16 to 19 inches at the shoulders and weights between 25 and 32 pounds for females, 27 to 35 pounds for males. This makes them ideal house companions. DISPOSITION
Epagneul Bretons are sweet and friendly dogs: ultimate couch potatoes at home but hunting fiends in the field. Their need for love and their masters’ approval keeps them close in the house, and checking in often in the field. They can be sneaky and mischievous little fellows and gals though.




German Shorthaired Pointer


This versatile do-everything dog is one of the most popular hunting breeds. DID YOU KNOW?
The GSP consistently ranks as the top pointing dog in the annual AKC rankings of most popular dog breeds. HUNTING STYLE
The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) should range and hunt within a comfortable distance from the hunter. They work well with other dogs in the field and should honor instinctively. They are a versatile and popular hunting choice due to their ability to hunt enthusiastically on both land and water. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The GSP is a large breed with a coat that is generally very short, sleek and dense. Color should be liver, liver and white or black and white, solid, patched and ticked or roan. They are generally lean but very well muscled. Tails are generally docked to roughly forty percent of full length. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 21 to 25 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 45 and 70 pounds. DISPOSITION
The German Shorthaired Pointer is very energetic, smart and eager to please. They are very loyal and make excellent family and hunting companions provided they are kept active. They exhibit excellent speed and natural hunting instincts.




German Wirehaired Pointer


A versatile, handsome and loyal bearded dog with dual skills for the uplands and the water. DID YOU KNOW?
With their webbed feet and water-resistant coats, German Wirehaired Pointers are excellent swimmers. HUNTING STYLE
The German Wirehaired Pointer is an all-around gun dog that is able to hunt many types of game on almost any terrain. As a versatile hunter that will track, point and retrieve on both land and water, they are a top pick for hunters wanting a pointing dog that can double as a skilled duck retriever. They are sturdy dogs that are well muscled and determined hunters, these dogs are also known to be very cooperative with their handler. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The German Wirehaired Pointer is a medium-sized hunting dog with a wiry, double coat that is both weather-resistant and water-repellent. The breed is also noted for their distinctive beard, whiskers and eyebrows—which protect their face and eyes in the field. Coat color will be liver and white or black and white, ticked or roan (fine mixture of colored and white hair), although an occasional solid liver color is possible. Tails are generally docked to roughly forty percent of full length. SIZE
A medium- to large-sized hunting dog, height usually ranges from 22 to 26 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 55 and 70 pounds. DISPOSITION
The German Wirehaired Pointer breed is very affectionate and cooperative, making them loyal hunting companions and good family dogs. They can be somewhat aloof to strangers so it is recommended they be socialized at an early age. Though known as a high-drive breed, German Wirehaired Pointers aren’t known to be overly hyper; but similar to other hunting breeds, they must be thoroughly and consistently exercised to avoid restlessness and mischief around the house.




Gordon Setter


Developed in Scotland, but with a long history in America. DID YOU KNOW?
The first Gordon setters to arrive in America were brought here in 1842, when the breed was still known as the "Gordon Castle Setter" after Alexander Gordon, the Fourth Duke of Gordon, who was instrumental in the breed’s development. The name was officially changed to Gordon setter in 1892. HUNTING STYLE
The Gordon Setter should range and hunt independently some distance from the hunter. They are not generally fast but are patient and have very good stamina. They exhibit natural abilities to point and retrieve and are well suited to hunt in adverse weather conditions. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Gordon Setter is a large breed with a coat that is generally glossy, soft, wavy and black and tan in color. It differs from other Setters in its more robust stature, and it is the only black and tan Setter. Tails are well feathered and are left full. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 23 to 27 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 50 and 80 pounds. DISPOSITION
Gordon Setters are energetic working dogs that tend to be calm household companions when properly exercised. They are somewhat slow to mature and will exhibit puppy characteristics beyond three years of age. They are generally good with children and other pets.




Irish Red & White Setter


An Irish import with a keen nose and excellent stamina. DID YOU KNOW?
The Irish Red & White setter has been a distinct breed since at least 1775. While popular during the1800s, it was almost extinct by 1900. It was then revived during the 1920s by a small group of dedicated breeders. HUNTING STYLE
The Irish Red & White Setter is a cousin to the Irish Setter. The Red & White is much more commonly used as a gundog than its cousin and has been revived for this use in recent years. They are known for a keen nose and can hunt a wide variety of terrain in any climate. The Irish Red & White Setter has the stamina and intensity to hunt all day, with the natural ability to adjust to different terrain conditions. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Irish Red & White Setter is a large breed with a coat that is long and silky. Base color is mostly white with deep red patches and occasional flecking. Tails are left full. Field lines generally run smaller and leaner with somewhat shorter coats. Compared to its more popular cousin the Irish (Red) Setter, the Red & White Setter is heavier in body with a broader head. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 22 to 26 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 50 and 75 pounds. DISPOSITION
Red & Whites are very loyal and do well with children and other animals. They do best in an active household with plenty of opportunity to romp and play. Though not considered an extremely quick learner, the Red & White is a very swift hunter and makes a very good finished hunting companion.




Large Munsterlander


A gentle and cooperative versatile hunter with an easy-going, trainable disposition. DID YOU KNOW?
The Large Munsterlander was recognized as a distinct breed in 1919. HUNTING STYLE
The Large Munsterlander is a versatile hunter and a reliable companion both in the field and at home. They are generally good at adapting their search pattern to accommodate variations in cover, and they have a natural inclination for retrieving. Most will back other dogs with little training. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Large Munsterlander was developed in Munster, Germany, from a black-and-white color variation of the German longhaired pointer. It is a larger dog, with a soft, medium length coat that is highly variable and includes ticked or roan patterns. Tails are generally left full. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 23 to 26 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 51 and 71 pounds. DISPOSITION
The Large Munsterlander is typically a gentle, cooperative, and intelligent breed, and is a reliable companion both in the field and at home.




Llewellin Setter


A strain of the English setter beloved by many. DID YOU KNOW?
All Llewellins are currently registered via the Field Dog Stud Book separately from English setters. Although some do breed English setters to Llewellins, the litter must be registered as English Setter with the FDSB. HUNTING STYLE
The Llewellin Setter is an unrecognized (by the AKC) strain of English Setters with very similar hunting characteristics. While not a separate breed, the Llewellin Setter is a pure and distinct bloodline of the English Setter breed that was bred for superior performance in the field. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Build, coat length and color are generally not distinguishable from a standard English Setter. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 23 to 27 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 45 and 75 pounds. DISPOSITION
They are a gentle and affectionate breed with the same gentle, inquisitive disposition appreciated in all English Setters. They do better in a home environment when they are kept active and allowed to spend time running outdoors.




English Pointer


A hard-charging and beautiful upland specialist. DID YOU KNOW?
The pointer is one of the oldest hunting breeds, first appearing in England around 1650. HUNTING STYLE
The pointer is a very hard driving hunter known to be a tireless worker with great work ethics. They are independent and enthusiastic hunters with great range, and they work well in the field with other dogs. They generally exhibit natural hunting instincts at a very young age and have the abilities to cover larger areas of ground. Pointers are generally bred for upland hunting in warmer climates with a need to cover larger areas. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The pointer (formerly known as the English pointer but now just pointer) is a large breed with a coat that is generally very short and smooth. Color is primarily white with liver, orange, black or lemon patches or speckles. They are generally lean but very well-muscled. Tails are rarely docked and provide distinction when on point. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 21 to 24 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 45 and 75 pounds. Field lines tend to run larger than show lines. DISPOSITION
They are very loyal and tend to make excellent companions but must be kept active. While loyal and affectionate, field bred lines may exhibit restless traits that make them less than ideal as indoor pets unless exercised extensively.




Picardy Spaniel


A noble and ancient French breed, extremely handsome and almost setter-like in body form, hard-charging in the field and docile at home. DID YOU KNOW?
Because of their good nature, Picardy spaniels were the only dogs allowed in the salons of Revolutionary France: cultural hubs of discussion, good manners and sociability. HUNTING STYLE
The Picardy spaniel is one of the oldest continental spaniel breeds, and was tremendously popular in France, its country of origin, before and after the French Revolution. Picardys were originally developed for hunting in heavily wooded areas and swamps, excelling in hunting marshes, and thus make a particularly good choice as a pheasant dog. Picardys also do double duty as waterfowl dogs. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Picardy’s coat is highly weather resistant, enabling it to hunt in both heavy cover and retrieve from water under adverse conditions … once again, extremely good features for a pheasant dog. The breed is squarely built muscular, with a long muzzle and long ears that hang fairly low. Coat color varies from chocolate, chestnut brown and white with sandy colored markings on the head and white or grey spots on the legs. SIZE
Pircady spaniels range from 22 to 24 inches tall, and weigh from 44 to 55 pounds. DISPOSITION
Picardy spaniels are known for their even temperament and sociability in the home while being bold hunters with a strong desire to work.




Pudelpointer


Part poodle and part pointer, a fine combination: natural at pointing, retrieving and loving a family. DID YOU KNOW?
Pudelpointers were developed in Germany in the 1880s. One of the founders of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, Sigbot “Bodo” Winterhelt, brought them to the United States. HUNTING STYLE
Pudelpointers are calm, versatile hunting dogs with natural pointing and retrieving instincts. Happy to retrieve on land or in water, pudelpointers don’t exhibit game or gun shyness. Pudelpointers are a cross of pudels (poodles) and pointers, with a good nose, excellent endurance and a strong desire to hunt. Of note is their focus in the field, which benefits them with whatever species they’re pursuing. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Pudelpointers are large dogs with dense, wiry coats that prevent them from getting soaked, and that don’t shed much around the house. Their coats are usually rather coarse to the touch. Pudelpointers have expressive faces. Their tails are generally docked at two-thirds of the original length. In general, they are liver or chestnut in color, but some individuals are solid black. SIZE
Male pudelpointers are 22 to 27 inches tall from the ground to the highest point of their shoulders, while females are 20 to 26 inches in height. The weight range for both males and females is about 45 to 65 pounds. DISPOSITION
Pudelpointers are affectionate dogs that are very loyal to their owners. They do well in the home, are relatively easy to train, and have a strong desire to hunt. They also are described as calm with a good amount of self-control. They are not super-popular in the United States, though that is changing as more people learn about them or see them perform in the field.




Red Setter (Irish Setter)


A hard-charging and beautiful upland specialist. DID YOU KNOW?
Today's modern red setter is the result of an infusion of English setter blood in the 1950 by a small group of red setter enthusiasts who wanted to restore the Irish red setter as a hunting dog. HUNTING STYLE
The Red Setter is an upland bird dog with a high prey drive, work ethic and stamina. While registered as Irish Setters, they are referred to as Red Setters to acknowledge their distinct differences. Red Setters are a product of an extensive restoration initiated in the 1950s. They have a racy ground pattern, can cover extensive range, and are known for their high intelligence. They are at home in pheasant fields, grouse woods, and on the prairies, and tend to break out easily and at a young age. They are an excellent choice for the hunter who has a variety of upland hunting destinations. Most specimens are natural backers and retrievers. GENERAL APPEARANCE
Red Setters are smaller than the traditional Irish setter. They tend to have less feathering, and will often have white on the chest, feet, face, and occasionally tail. Most lines of Red Setters point with extreme style, with the high tail and high head typical of American bred pointing breeds. SIZE
Red Setters are typically in the range of 40 to 50 pounds, with females usually slightly smaller than the males. DISPOSITION
Red Setters are very "people" oriented and tend to do much better when co-existing as companion dogs with their hunting family. They do well as house companions, provided they are provided plenty of exercise. They tend to become very loyal and attached to their human companions, and make excellent house dogs as well as hunters.




Small Munsterlander


A versatile hunter with an easily trainable disposition. DID YOU KNOW?
Although they share a very similar name and originated in the same area of Germany, the Small and Large Munsterlanders are not closely related. HUNTING STYLE
The Small Munsterlander is a very versatile hunter that will flush, point and retrieve on land and water. Their numbers are small in the United States but they are much sought after by hunters that perceive them to be one of the most versatile and easily trained gundog breeds. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Small Munsterlander is of medium size with a soft, medium length coat that provides protection during the hunt but may require grooming after. Color is generally large patches of brown or black on a ticked or solid white background. Tails are generally left full. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 18 to 22 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 35 and 55 pounds. DISPOSITION
The Small Munsterlander is a very quick study in training that generally performs best for a patient trainer with a very consistent approach. They can be strong willed but are excellent companions and easily make the transition from house pet to driven field hunter. Small Munsterlanders usually get along well with other pets provided they are given the freedom to play.




Spinonr Italiano


A cool-looking, close-working pointing dog with a laid-back approach to life. DID YOU KNOW?
The Spinone may have been named was named for the Italian Spino bush, a thorny plant providing cover to game and which could be penetrated only by dogs with thick, wiry coats. The ne (pronounced nay) probably comes from the Italian word for dog, cane. HUNTING STYLE
The Italian Spinone (aka Spinone Italiano) is a large, rugged gun dog with a thick, wiry coat that is well suited for protection in dense upland grasses or cold water. They are sturdy and determined hunters with a close-working, deliberate style. That makes Spinones excellent pheasant and ruffed grouse dogs. While not fast or flashy, the breed will naturally point and retrieve, and is gaining popularity due to its wonderfully unique appearance and extreme reliability in the field. The Spinone is a calm dog, typically hunting at a more relaxed pace than many pointing breeds. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Spinone is a large breed with a very distinctive appearance. Color should be solid white, white and orange, orange roan with or without orange markings, white with brown markings, or brown roan with or without brown markings. Most color combinations are ticked or roan although an occasional solid liver color is possible. Tails are generally docked to roughly fifty percent of full length. The Spinone Italiano is an ancient breed of dog, possibly dating back to 500 B.C. Greek traders are thought to have brought rough-coated dogs to Italy, and those dogs crossed with breeds there to create what we now know as the Spinone Italiano. SIZE
This a large and rugged bird dog. Height usually ranges from 23 to 28 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 64 and 86 pounds. DISPOSITION
The Spinone is extremely mild mannered and makes an excellent companion. They are intelligent and easily trained although they can be stubborn and may need a firm training hand. Spinones are very calm indoors and transition easily from house to hunt. The Spinone gets along wonderfully with children and other pets.




Vizsla


An ancient and versatile breed from Hungary, the Vizsla offers a staunch and beautiful point, a natural desire to retrieve, and deep loyalty to its owner and hunting partner. DID YOU KNOW?
Originally bred in Hungary, Vizslas would flush birds and drive small game into nets. Ancestors of the Vizsla were used by Hungarian aristocracy as early as the mid-14th century and somehow, thanks to their wonderful nature and excellent hunting abilities, survived the Turkish occupation (1526–1696), the Hungarian Revolution (1848), and World War II. HUNTING STYLE
Vizslas are very energetic working dogs that are robust but rather lightly built. They exhibit natural abilities to point and retrieve, and show a genuine love of water. They do not have an undercoat, however, and are not particularly well suited for very low temperatures. Consider this your teal dog if you want to do some water work. The Vizsla makes an ideal early- to mid-season upland bird dog. That said, these hardcore hunters will give you everything they’ve got for as long as they can in late-season conditions too. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Vizsla’s coat is generally short and smooth in a golden rust color, although it can tend toward a deeper red. Tails are generally docked to a length of roughly two-thirds of the natural length. Vizslas are generally lean but quite well muscled. SIZE
This is a medium-sized bird dog. Vizslas ranges from 21 to 25 inches tall from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weigh between 40 and 60 pounds. DISPOSITION
Vizslas tend to be very bright and social dogs that thrive on attention and affection. They are known as one-owner dogs because of their loyalty. They take training well but must be handled carefully, as they generally exhibit sensitive personalities. They thrive indoors with the family, provided they are sufficiently exercised.




Weimaraner


Meet the Grey Ghost, so named for its handsome coloration and haunting eyes. DID YOU KNOW?
The Weimaraner originated in the Weimar region of Germany in the early 19th Century, and like many continental versatile dogs, was originally bred as a hunting dog for European royalty, who typically needed efficient dogs that could do most of the work. HUNTING STYLE
The Weimaraner (Vee-ma-rah-ner) is a fine all-purpose gun dog. Their versatility is legendary, and Weims adapt well to varied terrain, game and conditions. Originally bred to hunt boar, bear and deer, the Weimaraner has now become an upland specialist. Prey drive is strong and instinctive, so training should begin at a young age to shape these fine dogs’ general hunting instincts: Just getting a Weimaraner in the field is a good start, because they are so natural at their hunting skills of pointing and retrieving. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Weimaraner’s distinctive coat is generally short and smooth, in a mouse-gray or silver-grey color. Eye color varies, but the eyes are invariably handsome. Tails are generally docked early to no more than one-third of the natural length. SIZE
This is a large bird dog. Height usually ranges from 23 to 27 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders and weight usually falls between 55 and 80 pounds. DISPOSITION
A fast and powerful breed, Weimaraners are very active and are known for their stamina, so they must be kept active and exercised often. They tend to be less social toward strangers and can be protective. They can also be territorial and should be socialized early. That said, they are unerringly loyal and devoted to their handler, and are typically excellent family dogs.




Wirehaired Vizsla


What could be better than a Vizsla “armored up” like a wirehair for brushy, thorny, cold and wet conditions? DID YOU KNOW?
The tail of wirehaired Vizsla is generally docked to ¾ its natural length. There are under 500 wirehaired Vizslas in the U.S., and only 2,500 to 3,000 worldwide. HUNTING STYLE
Vizslas are wonderful and versatile bird dogs, but their short, relatively thin coat lacking underfur can limit the dogs’ effectiveness under harsh conditions. Enter the wirehaired Vizsla! The wirehaired Vizsla was bred in Hungary in the 1930s from Vizslas, with the intent of producing a dog that points and retrieves as well as a standard Vizsla, but can work well in harsher conditions and colder weather. G erman wirehaired pointers, pudelpointers, bloodhounds and setters all contributed to breed. The wirehaired Vizsla is best known for its staunch pointing skills, natural retrieving skills, and trainability. This a versatile dog that can also hunt waterfowl. GENERAL APPEARANCE
A strong robust body gives the wirehaired Vizsla the ability to work hard for hours. They feature a rust, golden, reddish or sandy colored coat. The coat is both dense and wiry. The shaggy beard and eyebrows are endearing indeed. SIZE
This is a medium-sized hunting dog, 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing 40 to 65 pounds. The build is stockier and studier than that of a standard Vizsla. DISPOSITION
Socialize a wirehaired Vizsla early on and you will have a loyal companion for life. They are affectionate family dogs. They do need a lot of exercise.




Wirehaired Pointing Griffon


An extremely versatile dog equally adept at waterfowl and upland birds. DID YOU KNOW?
The wirehaired pointing griffon was originally developed in the Netherlands, it was refined in France and is generally HUNTING STYLE
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an all-around gun dog that is able to hunt many types of game from rabbits to quail. It is a deliberate hunter that will track, point, and retrieve on land and water and stay within easy range of the hunter. Their thick, heavy coat is well suited to hunting in very cold temperatures and they tend to prefer cooler hunting climates. GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium sized breed with a thick, wiry coat that is very distinctive. Color should be steel gray with brown, orange, white or, occasionally, black markings. Tails are generally docked to roughly forty percent of full length. SIZE
Height usually ranges from 20 to 24 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders, and weight usually ranges between 40 and 60 pounds. DISPOSITION
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is affectionate and loyal to the immediate family but can be standoffish with strangers. They make very good watchdogs. They must be socialized early and kept very active in a home setting to avoid restless behavior. Their coat will shed very little but must be stripped to encourage new hair growth.





Quail Hunting In Texas

Quail Hunting In Texas


Check the Texas Parks & Wildlife website to stay up to date on your local hunting season, daily limits, and bag limits! Also be sure to double check any required endorsement required by the state. Learn more HERE. Or visit Texas Parks & Wildlife directly for more information!