If you’re an experienced hunter with hundreds of birds under your belt or a novice just starting out, it’s crucial to take note of the invaluable tips and tricks accumulated by experts with some of the best quail hunts in Texas, it’s important to pay attention to these pointers. The central region of the United States is the most common location to find quail, but we are fortunate enough to have an abundance of these birds in our own backyard here in Texas. Among the various types of game birds, the bobwhite quail is the most sought after and prevalent in Texas.
Quails are creatures of habit and prefer to stay concealed within the dense grasses and brush to avoid predators and harsh weather conditions.
In the morning, quails can be found grazing in pastures with moderate growth, but as the sun rises, they move to cooler and safer areas with dense brush where they can rely on their natural camouflage for protection.
Quails also graze in the late afternoon and spend their nights sleeping.
Locating the bird
When embarking on a quail hunt, your primary objective is to locate your target, which can be a daunting task given their elusive nature. Despite the challenge, the thrill of the hunt should motivate you. To increase your chances of success, keep an eye out for semi-wooded areas and shrubs that suggest the presence of quail. In addition, pay attention to damp ground, which provides easy access to insects and worms, a favored food of quail. Remember, even though they are difficult to find, with the right techniques, you can still bag a quail (or hopefully a covey!) on your Texas hunt.
Choosing the appropriate firearm is crucial when it comes to quail hunting. The recommended shotgun gauges are 410 or 12, as they offer considerable power and accuracy. Nonetheless, the 20-gauge and 28-gauge are currently more popular. For optimum results, a 26″ barrel with a skeet choke and a 7.5-8 load shell should be utilized. If you aim accurately, taking down a quail should be a breeze.
The role of Weather
The presence of moisture in the soil is important in the context of quail hunting. Quails tend to be attracted to areas with dampness because of the abundance of food they can find there. Therefore, it is recommended to take advantage of rainy days for a successful Texas quail hunt, as the rain brings worms to the surface and coveys tend to gather in these areas. However, it’s important to avoid excessively windy days, as they may compromise your aim.
If you’re an experienced hunter, you know that patience is crucial to the sport, and even more so when it comes to Texas quail hunting. Since these birds primarily live under cover, it’s rare to catch them out in the open long enough to take a shot.
This is why it’s essential to maintain distance and exercise patience.
Approaching the covey too closely may cause them to flee before you’re ready to aim. It’s recommended to crouch at a distance of 10 to 20 yards from the roost, giving you enough space to set up your shotgun without giving away your position.
Mastering upland shooting is an uphill battle that requires time and practice.
One crucial rule is to keep your gun swinging continually. When the covey is flushed, you must maintain the same pace and movement with your gun. Slowing down or wavering will cause you to lose control and shoot behind your targets.
Additionally, keep your head down, pressing the stock of your gun firmly against your cheek. Popping up your head to peek will alter your sight plane, making you lose control of the shot again. Plant your feet firmly and lean your stance toward the gun and your target to improve your chances of successfully taking down a bird.
One at a time!
When it comes to firing your shotgun at a flushed covey, it’s important to have a strategy and a specific target in mind. Choose your quail and aim for a specific part of the bird, such as the distinctive stripe above its eye or the white patch at its throat. This will increase your chances of success in taking down a bobwhite quail. Although there may be many birds in the covey, resist the temptation to shoot multiple rounds and instead focus on downing your first bird before attempting a double.