Quail Hunting Tips
A must in every quail hunter's wardrobe should be a pair of briar-faced pants, which prevent thorns and briars from scratching the hunter, due to the fact that these birds are frequently found in areas with a high concentration of thistles and briars. A very special and important hunting wardrobe item should always be the highly visible shirt or vest, if you prefer, because this way no fellow hunter will mistake you for an animal. Alternatively, you can purchase a vest differing in color so that you can rest even more assured that you are hunting in the safest conditions possible. Also, the all-important orange vest serves as a place to deposit and carry your shells and other hunting items you may use.
The choice of weapon and gauges is a crucial aspect of almost every hunting variety and quail hunting makes no exception. Generally, quails can be chased using any gauge from 410 to 12. It's important to know which is the proper length of the barrel and choke. In quail hunting, more open chokes and shorter barrels are favored because they offer the best mixture of reliability, power and precision. Although the most popular gauge of choice is the 20 gauge, more and more hunters are turning towards the 28 gauge for their hunts. Also, most of the quail hunters use 26" barrels and skeet or superior cylinder chokes.
Most of quail hunts are made using hounds as well as one or two companions to aid you on the field. The dogs are usually trained to compete with each other in order to get the best results. They will always try to be the first to see a bird, and when one dog has seen a quail he will signal to his quarry and start running towards the target. The other hounds will simply freeze and point their heads towards the bird signaled by the first dog. Bringing along a buddy can have tremendous benefits as you are provided with another pair of eyes which will give you a tactical advantage, and therefore increased chances of getting quails.
When you are not hunting on your own you have to be extra cautious when using firearms. Gun discipline and some firearm safety cautions are always recommended, whether or not you are alone on the field. First of all, remember to always approach your hounds from behind as not to interfere in their focusing attention on the target. Also, the gun muzzles must always be pointing skyward and the shotgun should be kept on safely at all times, only releasing it when you are about to shoot.
An important aspect which seems to be overlooked by many hunters today is that it is not wise to shoot at a quail that is flying too low. If you have to lower your gun below the horizontal level then you should hold your fire and wait for a better chance, as you may accidentally hit one of your dogs in the process.