There are number of misconceptions regarding quail and pheasant hunting. Like the items described in our deer hunting myths list, most of these upland hunting falsehoods are harmless. However, wildlife experts stress that some of these so-called facts can detract from the crisis facing upland birds today: the problem of adequate habitat. Biologists say that habitat is the number-one factor when it comes to the prosperity of these birds, and the success of the hunters who chase them.
1. Predators are responsible for lower bird populations
This is one myth that wildlife agencies have been trying to set the record straight on for years, but many hunters still think that predators are the major problem for upland bird populations in North America. According to the experts, it’s all about habitat. Predators do play a large role in reducing bird numbers, but that is usually for stocked birds, not wild populations. In contrast, hunters will often find that great habitat for quail and pheasant also translates to more predators, but not fewer birds. Of course, that does not mean that predators do not cause any problems, especially in smaller pieces of land where the birds find themselves penned in by coyotes and foxes. Biologists say that larger tracts of land will allow birds to flourish, even with predators nearby.
2. Hunting quail prevents inbreeding
We are not sure where this old, but patently false idea came from. According to wildlife agencies, there is no truth to the notion that hunting quail helps prevent inbreeding, and it was probably first formulated as an excuse for some hunter to go on an urbanized landowner’s property. The truth is, quail coveys are far from being family groups. Instead, numerous studies have show that coveys are generally just gatherings of random quail at any specific time. This mixing allows the species to naturally prevent inbreeding on its own.