Quail season opens statewide on October 31 and ends February 28, 2016. The daily bag limit for scaled (blue), bobwhite and Gambel’s quail is 15, and the possession limit is 45.
The bag limit is the maximum number that may be killed during the legal shooting hours in one day.
Legal shooting hours for all non-migratory game birds are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Forecast Much Improved Over 2014
The forecast for quail hunting in many areas of Texas is good to excellent. Across the state, Texas Parks and Wildlife staff report that they’ve not seen this many quail in several years, if not decades.
South Texas appears to have most dramatic swell in numbers, with some predicting a real boom there this year. The Rolling Plains area is seeing a remarkable increase from last year, which was the first year quail started to rebound after years of drought. The Trans-Pecos reports indicate extraordinary scaled quail production for this year; the last time numbers were recorded near this level was in 2007!
Read more about this year’s quail season in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine’s digital extra, Texas Hunting 2015.
Do you need a place to hunt? Consider Public Hunting Lands for quail hunting opportunities, available with a $48 Annual Public Hunting permit.
Take Three Things on Your Quail Hunt
When you go into the field to hunt for quail, you’ll need to have these three things with you:
valid hunting license
Upland Game Bird Endorsement
proof of Hunter Education
Licenses and endorsements may be purchased at a license retailer near you. They may also be purchased online or by phone (800-895-4248) with a $5 administrative fee required for each transaction.
Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after September 2, 1971 must carry proof of Hunter Education Certification or deferral on their person while hunting.
Skill Builder: Safe Zones-of-Fire
Safe zones of fire
“Swinging on game” incidents lead the list of hunting accidents in Texas. To avoid becoming a statistic this upcoming season, quail hunters need to establish “Safe Zones-of-Fire” and stick to them. Always keep the swing of your gun within your “safe zone-of-fire.”
Establishing a safe zone involves communicating with those hunting with you and being observant of everything around you while hunting. Ask yourself these questions:
Are you wearing blaze orange clothing? Being able to see you will help others stick to their safe zones of fire.
Are other people approaching from behind?
Is there anything that you DO NOT want to shoot within 300-400 yards of the spot from where you are shooting?
Does your safe zone include open sky, well above the sporting dogs?
Be wary of low-flying quail and those that fly between you, the dogs or your fellow hunters.
Remember: Stick to your SAFE zone-of-fire and constantly be aware of your surroundings while hunting – you can’t take an unsafe shot back.
Be safe and have fun this quail season!
Effects of Land Fragmentation on Quail
Quail are beginning to rebound from the years of drought in the south Texas and Rolling Plains areas. But the quail population east of Interstate 35 has a problem much harder to overcome – land fragmentation.