Late season quail hunting is something I enjoy with mixed emotions. They tend to gather well in thick cover, CRP with woodies, etc. Being a very social bird, you need to find the clubs they like to hang out in! Thick CRP fields next to woody cover, tree lines, etc. can be just the ticket. A good dog can make this much easier, especially once the covey has busted. Couple the dog with a great quail gun and you are set. I really love my O/U 20 gauge as it is light, quick and packs just the punch needed for these little guys. My favorite load is #7 1/2 shot with #6 shot not a bad choice either. A IC or M choke and you are set. As for the dog…a good pointer is the ticket, preferably one that will look back at you with disgusted eyes every time you miss. If you hunt quail you will miss! I swear my dog laughs at me…
Etiquette…quail like to hang together. During late seasons when the weather is dangerously cold, they rely on each other to maintain body heat, keep away from predators, etc. Most of us will not hunt them after noon because we want to give the busted covey ample time to get back together prior to sunset. This gives the covey that small edge that will help them make it through a bitter cold night. That is my theory and I stick to it!
Get Em’ Out There