ROBY – The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch near Roby will feature a new twist for its May 4 field day, coordinators said.
“For this, our 10th edition, we’ll be breaking stride to feature our first such event during the spring,” said Dr. Dale Rollins, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service coordinator for the Reversing the Decline of Quail state initiative at San Angelo and the ranch’s executive director.
Preregistration is $10 per person by April 25 and $20 thereafter for the event scheduled from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the ranch. The ranch is 11 miles west of Roby on U.S. Highway 180 or just east of the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 611 and U.S. Highway 180.
To preregister and for more information, call Rollins at 325-653-4576 or see the full agenda at www.quailresearch.org.
Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units, one general and one integrated pest management, for private applicators will be offered.
“Why did we switch from the previous decade’s September date? If for no other reason than to make the tour and talks cloaked in nature’s Technicolor with surround sound,” Rollins said. “I hope attendees have to strain their ears to hear the speakers above a constant din of quail calling ‘poor-Bob-white.’ Oh, and this will be a true field day; no classroom instruction, hard chairs or powerpoint presentations. Our goal is to share what we’ve learned over the past 10 years in hopes of helping participants become more successful quail managers.”
Rollins said the tour and accompanying site presentations will key off noted conservationist Aldo Leopold’s central theses of game management, which centers around the premise that “game can be restored through the creative use of the same tools which often destroyed it — the ax, plow, cow, fire and gun.”
Topics relating to those “tools” identified by Leopold will include:
— Quail-friendly cacti management; Surgical strikes with herbicides; Brush sculpting for quail; Blueprints for “Quail Houses and Storm Shelters;” and Half-cutting regrowth mesquite.
— Food plot plantings; Seasonal discing to manage plant succession; and Post-Conservation Reserve Program: Promoting heterogeneity.
— Patch-burn-grazing and bobwhites, and Cows and quail: Where’s the beef?
Talks during lunch will include translocation efforts, eyeworm update, quail forensics, and coyotes and quail.
— Seasonal burn plots to increase forb diversity; Fire: An adjustable wrench for quail managers; How we burn; and a demonstration burn, weather permitting.
— Trapping-banding results and decreasing wounding loss.
Sponsors for the field day include AgriLife Extension’s Reversing the Decline of Quail Initiative, Quail Coalition and the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation.