01-31-2011, 02:57 PM
The MDC does exist! I had the pleasure of a hour long conversation with one of the upland specialist. Unfortunately confirming what we all know. It currently is the unseasonable spring weather, dating back to 2007 that really puts the bite on our populations. The one thing that would help more than anything else is a warm, seasonable, spring. Of course habitat can mitigate some effects of a bad hatch and poor brood success, and we are defficient in that area as well. So habitat is the fixable problem, we can't control the weather, but we can hope, and prepare habitat for when the odds even out with the weatherman. MDC has looked at the WIHA program, and found little landowner interest. They would be looking for a sportsman's group to step forward and push such a plan forward. I think with a "bell cow" to carry the ball, we could get one going. MDC will not start the ball rolling, but will be receptive to a landowner/sportsmans coalition that pushes the agenda. There are islands of habitat where quail are actually prospering currently. Raising wild quail is a lot more difficult than raising pheasants. Raptors and 4 legged predators, key in on isolated habitat and populations and are a significant factor in local quail populations. The cotton rat may actually benefit quail, by being the lowest occupant on the food chain. After my call they are looking at a possible link between the amount of soybeans and total soybean acres and quail decline. Finally a meaningful dialogue.