Whether you’ve bagged hundreds of birds in your lifetime or are just starting out, you’re going to want to heed some of the tips and tricks that the experts at Schmidt Double T have accumulated over the years.
After all, our quail hunts are some of the best in Texas!
Quail are most commonly found in the central U.S., with an abundance of this bird in our very own backyard. Texas is home to plenty of bobwhite quail, the most popular game bird to hunt.
1. Understanding quail
Quail are habitual birds and tend to lay low, burrowing within tall grasses and brush in order to remain camouflaged from predators and protected from the elements.
They graze in the morning in moderately grown pastures and as the sun rises, they retreat to the safety of cooler brush where they can rely on their camouflage for protection
They also will graze in the late afternoon and sleep at night.
2. Locating quail
As you venture out on your Texas quail hunt, your first line of duty is actually locating your target (or hopefully targets if you stumble upon a covey!).
So, how do you know where to look for a bird that is notoriously difficult to find?
Since they rarely reveal themselves if not for a split-second when scampering from one area of coverage to another, it poses a challenge to hunters in locating their soon-to-be bagged birds.
However, the process shouldn’t deter you—it should entice you!
So, keep an eye out for semi-wooded areas and an abundance of shrubs, letting you know that quail are probably lurking. Also look for dampened grounds that present the quail with easily accessible insects and worms.
3. Let the weather determine your quail hunt
Speaking of wet grounds, weather plays a vital role in quail hunting. These birds tend to flock to these damp environments because they hold promise of food for them.
That being said, work with the rain!
A rainy day makes for the best Texas quail hunt—not to the point where you’re soaked from the elements, but just enough water to get those worms to the surface and those coveys flocking.
It would also be smart to avoid windy days, as well; you won’t be able to aim accurately with the wind pushing back at you.
4. Selecting the right gun
Selecting the right type of gun is also an important step in the quail hunting process. In general, you should use either a 410 or 12 gauge shotgun. Not only are they fairly accurate as far as shotguns are concerned, but these gauges offer incredible power.
The most popular, however, is the 20-gauge and even a 28-gauge. A 26″ barrel with a skeet choke is best used with a 7.5-8 load shell, as well.
As long as you line up your shot correctly, you should have no trouble taking a quail down.
5. Be patient and stay distant
As an avid hunter you already know that the sport is a waiting game, and on a Texas quail hunt, it’s even more so. Due to the fact that these birds function almost solely underneath some form of cover, it’s very rare to spot a bird, or an entire covey, out in the open long enough to bag it.
This is why patience is key and keeping your distance is vital.
You don’t want to get too close to the covey that you’ll startle them into fleeing before you’re set and ready to aim. So, we suggest crouching 10 to 20 yards away from the roost, giving you enough room to set up your shotgun without compromising your position.
And have no fear—when you come with us on a Texas quail hunt at Schmidt Double T Ranches, we have flush dogs and pointers ready to help you get those birds in the air.
6. Perfect your upland shooting
Upland shooting is an uphill battle—it’s a technique that takes time and practice.
First, never stop swinging. When the covey is flushed, you can’t change your gun’s pace or movement. If you waiver or slow down, you’ll begin to lose control and shoot behind your targets.
With that said, remember to keep your head down, with the stock of your gun nestled in your cheek. If you pop your head up to take a peak, your sight plane will be altered, losing control yet again. With your feet planted and a strong stance leaned in towards the gun and your target, you should have no problem dropping that bird.
7. Aim for one quail (just one!)
It certainly is no free-for-all when it comes to firing off your shotgun at a recently flushed out covey. You need to have a strategy behind your shot and a chosen target that you can zoom in on.
So, once you’ve selected your quail, narrow your target even further and aim for a distinct part of the bird. Whether that’s the distinct stripe above the eye or the white patch at the throat, creating an even smaller target will help you find more success in taking down a bobwhite quail.
And we know, there will be a lot of quail in the covey and it will be tempting to fire off a couple rounds, but that doesn’t mean you should. Focus on downing your first bird before you move on to try and score a double.
If you’re ready to experience some true quail hunting in Texas, then give us a call at 325-347-2613. We offer some of the best guided quail hunts across our two ranches, perfect for hunting experts and beginners.
We look forward to hunting with you!