Quail Hunting Trends
Licensed Hunter Surveys
The MDWFP has conducted random, statewide surveys of
hunting license holders almost yearly since the early 1980s
(with some periodic surveys prior to
that). The data below are from these surveys
conducted since the 1980 - 1981 hunting seasons. These data do
not separate wild and pen-raised, released quail. It is
assumed that a large proportion (perhaps more than 80%) of the more
recent quail harvest is pen-raised quail. The dramatic
decrease in harvest and number of hunters is a result of quail
being harder to find due to less suitable habitat for birds to
thrive in. Although wild quail are seldom found in numbers
suitable to provide significant hunting opportunity, wild quail
still persist in small populations throughout the state. Habitat
management allows those populations to increase. However, it
must be realized that habitat must be enhanced over more than a few
hundred acres to have a large-scale effect on a local populations.
Therefore, conservative harvest and promoting habitat management
across multiple land holdings is important for sustaining huntable
quail populations. See the quail Management
Information section or contact a wildlife biologist for
more information about quail habitat and population management.
Figure 1. Trends in quail harvest estimated from surveys of
licensed, resident hunters.
Figure 2. Trends in quail harvest estimated from surveys of
licensed, resident and non-resident hunters. Data for non-resident
hunters were not available prior to the 1994 - 1995 season.
Hunt, K. M. 2012. Trends in Resident and Non-resident Hunter
Effort and Harvest for Quail in Mississippi: 1980-81 to 2010-11
Seasons. Human Dimensions and Conservation Law Enforcement
Laboratory Technical Document # 131, Mississippi State University,
Mississippi State, MS.
Responsive Management. 2012. Mississippi Resident and
Nonresident Hunter Harvest Survey 2012, Harrisonburg, VA.
Responsive Management. 2013. Mississippi Resident and
Nonresident Hunter Harvest Survey 2013, Harrisonburg, VA.
Responsive Management. 2014. Mississippi Resident and
Nonresident Hunter Harvest Survey 2014, Harrisonburg, VA.
Avid Quail Hunter Surveys
The Small Game Program conducted surveys of hunters
pursuing wild quail from the mid-1990s to the 2011 - 2012 hunting
season. However, we began to receive too few data to
obtain useful information given the time and expense required to
administer the survey. It was discontinued in 2012.
Figure 3. Results from avid quail hunter surveys conducted from
1995 - 1996 to 2011 - 2012 hunting seasons.