ABILENE – August will soon be here and with it comes the Statewide Quail Symposium set for Aug. 16-18 in Abilene.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service symposium will headquarter at the MCM Elegante Hotel, 4250 Ridgemont Drive.
“This premier statewide event draws the top names in the quail world to address some of the hotly debated current topics in quail research and conservation,” said Dr. Dale Rollins of San Angelo, a symposium planner and AgriLife Extension’s statewide coordinator for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative.
Rollins is also director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch at Roby.
“Can we insulate the quail crop? That’s one topic we hear a lot of discussion over,” Rollins said. “I’ll take the stance we can through proper management, but there are others who are very quail-savvy who say it hinges strictly on the weather. It’ll be interesting to see how this discussion plays out.”
Rollins said another point to be discussed is whether or not quail hunting is self-regulating, meaning the fewer birds, the fewer hunters, or does the sport need more regulation? The two camps will meet to discuss the alternatives.
Other topics will include the debate over the issue of invasive plants and quail. Some maintain they are all bad, while others say “if the plants offer traits and structure quail will use, why fight them?”
“Translocation of quail, or the moving of wild birds from one place to another, is an area we’ve devoted quite a bit of study to, but does it work and is it worth the time and expense involved?” Rollins said. “It’ll be interesting to learn from this research and see what positive effects it could hold for quail population dynamics in the future.”
The event will open at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 16 with a field tour of the Hailey Ranch. Participants will view implemented quail management efforts while learning to evaluate quail habitat.
Directions and GPS coordinates to the The Hailey Ranch – Pavilion Gate entrance are as follows: 13542 County Road 301, Abilene, Texas 79601.
“Mr. Hailey, the ranch owner, will act as our tour guide,” Rollins said. “He’s not only a strong quail proponent but also an excellent manager of quail habitat. So this experience should provide a wealth ofinformation for those wanting to make a positive impact on the land through improved management techniques.”
The program continues on Aug. 17 from 8:45 a.m.-5:45 p.m. and Aug. 18 from 8 a.m. until adjournment at noon at the hotel.
Early individual registration by Aug. 7 is $50 and $20 for students. Registration at the door will be $75and $50 for students.
For more information and to register, go to http://statewidequailsymposium.com/.