Newly Designed Wild Quail Feeder Update

My revised model for my wild quail feeder has been in the quail habitat for several months now and it is performing well. The primary goal of using the wild quail feeder for raising wild quail was to stop the raiding of the feed by the critters. That goal has been completely met – critters almost completely avoid the wild quail feeder now – possibly due to the small electric fence built into the quail feeder itself. However, there has not been any wild quail traffic at the feeder – probably for two reasons. It has been a very wet and rainy Spring in Central Texas and there is no shortage of wild available quail feed. Second, while the wild quail feeder is located in a good bobwhite quail habitat area and where I have seen coveys previously, I think it may be too exposed for them to feel comfortable coming to the wild quail feeder and I think the holes that deliver the feed may be too small for the quail feeder to be truly effective.

 

 

Wild Quail Feeder Deployed in the Field

White Bucket Wild Quail Feeder Installed in Green Pasture
Wild Quail Feeder Installed

The installation of the quail feeder was easy and went as expected. It hangs from a T post and a piece of re-bar secured with some u bolts and hose clamps. This makes the quail feeder easily portable to new areas where I am raising wild quail. It also makes it very easy to site in quail habitat locations that are accessible and then be re-sited when needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rain and Dew Protection on the Wild Quail Feeder

White Bucket Quail Feeder with Brown Dirt Splash Weathers Storms
Quail Feeder Weathers Storms

The quail feeder does have a weakness and that is that it is possible for rain to either bounce from the ground or drip down the sides and clog the feed in the quail feeder holes. I also believe that the feeder holes are too small in that they require activity to cause quail feed to drain rather than draining feed via gravity. My next step is to enlarge the holes that deliver the quail feed so that they easily respond to gravity when the wind blows the quail feeder.

 

 

 

 

 

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Drainage of Quail Feed

Partiall Empty White Bucket Bobwhite Quail Feeder Supplementing Quail Habitat
Bobwhite Quail Feeder Supplementing Quail Habitat

The first month on site in the quail habitat the quail feeder delivered most of the five gallons of feed stored in the container. Due to the battery and electronics compartment within the quail feeder, the feed needs to drain around that compartment. As long as the feed stays dry, it appears that the feed delivery works well and my efforts in raising wild quail will be supplemented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Critter Action at the Wild Quail Feeder

White Bucket Bobwhite Quail Feeder Showing Squirrel Damage
Bobwhite Quail Feeder Damage

There appears to have been some squirrel or rat action at the quail feeder that was not caught on camera. The benefit to using an inexpensive five gallon bucket and lid combination as part of my strategy raising wild quail is that I can replace the lid on the quail feeder for about a dollar and a few minutes with a screwdriver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobwhite Quail Predator Control

Black and White Photo of Feral Cat Wild Quail Predators at Quail Feeder
Wild Quail Predators at Quail Feeder

In the off season October to May, when I’m not actively raising wild quail, I don’t visit the ranch as much and my predator control activities in my quail habitat areas wane. A game camera is a very valuable tool to keep a reasonable count on the predator population. I’ve heard many times about the impact of feral cats on wild quail but haven’t seen any at my place until this picture in the Spring of 2012. It must be time to restart my predator control activities – especially around the wild quail feeder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Newly Designed Wild Quail Feeder Update

My newly designed wild quail feeder worked well in my selected quail habitat area. My strategy in raising wild quail is to provide sufficient feed so that I can keep a reasonably accurate population census. I invest a lot of time and money raising quail in my quail surrogator so it just makes sense to follow up to see how well I’m doing. It met the primary goal of fending off feed stealing critters. It did not meet the goal of attracting wild quail. The quail feed is draining well enough but could use some improvement with larger quail feed drainage holes. It does not seem to be effected by rain or dew. Three months into the deployment, I’ve had surprising little damage and what has occurred can be repaired for a few dollars within a few minutes. Predators are showing themselves again and it appears to be time to resume my predator control activities to protect the wild quail that may be attracted to the wild quail feeder.

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Read about the first challenge we faced when determining the best method to feed quail.

Hunting Wood Ducks in Texas

Wood Ducks are wonderful.  Not only are they beautiful, they tend to inhabit woody areas and creeks where other ducks fear to tread.  Finding a wood duck roost can be a challenge.  You’ll need to find a woody area with a creek or other shallow water nearby.  They can also be tough to find once you’ve found a likely location.  Wood ducks tend to stay on small bodies of water during the day and move to their roosts late in the afternoon as the sun is setting.  I really enjoy hunting wood ducks.

Texas Duck Hunting Dog?

Bird Dog for Duck Hunting
Duck Hunting Bird Dog

I use my trusty bird dog and add a neoprene flotation vest to keep her warm, help her float and camouflage her bright orange and white colors.  She generously tolerates my shenanigans treating her like a duck hunting dog knowing that I’ll owe her an extra bird hunt or two if she does well.

Hunting Location for Wood Ducks
Wood Duck Hunting Location

It doesn’t take many decoys for a wood duck hunt – just a few and a mojo teal can help as well.  Wood ducks typically don’t live in large flocks like coastal marsh ducks.  They also don’t usually migrate, especially in the Central Texas area.

Perfect Timing and Location for Hunting Wood Ducks

Twilight Wood Duck Hunt
Twilight in a Wood Duck Creek

Woodies are going to be most active as the sun sets and they return to their roosts.  They make a very interesting peeping sound and it doesn’t take a lot of skill to get them to decoy to a call.  Again, a little motion from a Mojo Teal and just a few small teal decoys is usually sufficient to have them come take a look.  Don’t expect them to attempt to join the decoys though.  They are going to pass by, take a look and then continue on to their evening roost in some nearby trees.  You need to be ready to shoot quickly because wood ducks can fly right past you in the fading light and they are easy to miss.

Texas Location for Wood Duck Hunting
Hunting Wood Ducks on a Wooded Creek in Texas

I like to find seasonal creeks in woody areas to hunt wood ducks.  I tend to use Google Maps and Google Earth quite a bit to find ideal locations and then ask for land owner permission to scout the area.  There won’t be a bunch of wood ducks in any one place but a little hiking and scouting can help you find a bunch of places within a mile or so radius.

Cinnamon Teal is a Rare Duck to Hunt in Texas

Cinnamon Teal from Central Texas
Central Texas Duck Hunting Rarity - Cinnamon Teal

In Central Texas, it is quite rare to see a Cinnamon Teal.  These ducks typically fly and migrate further West so it was a real treat to see this one near Houston, Texas.

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