AUSTIN (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that quail hunting season opens on Oct. 28.
According to a TPWD press release, surveys indicate an increased number of bobwhite and scaled quail due to a combination of cooler temperatures and rainfall during the start of nesting season.
“Statewide, we are still far from where we would like to be and drought conditions this summer caused us to temper expectations,” said John Mclaughlin, TPWD Upland Game Bird Program Leader. “But with that said, quail populations are likely in their strongest position since 2018-19 and primed to grow if winter and spring conditions are favorable again in 2024.”
The release detailed that the heat helped bobwhite numbers increase and birds took advantage of the early nesting season opportunities. Officials said TPWD biologists determined that the weather reprieve during that time could lead to the most promising population survey results of the last five years.
“Birds were abundant and widely distributed in South Texas and the Gulf Coast Prairies, indicating that the wet-dry cycle we experienced this year was beneficial along the coast and further inland,” said Mclaughlin.
TPWD added that the Trans-Pecos remains the standard bearer for scaled quail populations in Texas.
“Much like with bobwhites, a combination of cooler temperatures and spring rainfall led to reports of early hatches,” added Mclaughlin. “Large broods were seen throughout the spring and into the summer. As habitat conditions improved, birds were able to take advantage and put chicks on the ground. The only speed bump for scaled quail this year was the summer heat, which settled in and enveloped much of the state through July and August.”
Officials said if conditions hold and the El Nino cycle brings rainfall and average temperatures could make for a good hunting season and increased quail in the Spring.
For more information regarding Texas quail hunting season visit the TPWD website.