Quail Hunting Techniques
For many, quail hunting with dogs is the only way to practice the pursuit and they undoubtedly can play a major role, but first of all there is the need to identify the birds' habitat and this is why the use of calls and other such decoys is vital. Once you can establish an approximate location then it is very important to trust in your animals, and let them do exactly what they are bred to do. Learn to read the behaviour of the dog and have the rifle ready with pointed muzzle to get a shot of the bird being flushed in a split second.
In high season you are in direct competition with many fellow hunters and whilst that can be used to your advantage, if they have tracked a large group, it also can be a hindrance, as these tiny birds are not stupid and at the first sign of danger they will go to ground. In these circumstances a good technique or judgement call is to get off the beaten path and search places that are not recognized as being a particularly good source for your prey.
This might be considered a risky strategy by some when deciding how to hunt quail, but with a little research it can pay huge dividends. You need to look for things such as good cover, a regular supply of favoured food sorts, easy access to water, and best of all, few or better still no other people to complicate matters. Narrow canyons are a great place to aim at, completely out of sight of main areas, because rewards can be massive if you get it right.
Adapting to weather conditions is also a hugely important factor in quail hunting and should be at the forefront of any strategic planning before embarking on a hunt. The birds will alter their habitat to coincide with climate changes. For example: sunny slopes in a sheltered environment will attract those quails that have been used to decent temperatures and suddenly experience a drop of several degrees and, more importantly, an increase in cold winds. Discovering such a spot, especially where there is ample food, will almost certainly lead to a successful day.
Never underestimate the intelligence of the quails, they recognize danger and consequently they are not going to make life easy for a hunter. It is vital therefore to keep as quiet as possible. No slamming of car doors, unnecessary whistling, rustling, stomping in the thick undergrowth, basically anything that can be avoided. Patience is the name of the game and is probably the greatest technique any hunter can possess.