Feeding quail or other kinds of wildlife is a really popular practice, and I always ask people, I say Do you think you’re feeding program is working and they’ll say well, it must be, and I’ll say well how do you know and they’ll say well they’re eating lots of feed, and I’ll say well, what’s eating lots of feed, and they’ll say well we really don’t know. The lamentation, the theme song for anybody that feeds any kind of wildlife is an old Ronnie Millsap tune, What goes on when the sun goes down.
We don’t really know who’s eating all of this, but as good managers, we’d like to have a better idea of just who is coming for dinner, there are ways to find out. Technology is on the shelf and it’s pretty inexpensive really, that allows you to monitor what’s going on at a feeder. These types of little game cameras, and boy have they become popular over the last ten years. I started dabbling with them 15 years ago when they weren’t quite as user friendly. Today you can buy different kinds that might start for less than $100. For $200.
You can get one that does everything in the world that you need. They’ll take not only still pictures, but they can take tutorial clips and so forth, and if you’ve got a 1 or 2 gig memory card, you can take 300 or 400 images. So you don’t have to come by and check these everyday like we used to with the old film cameras. Really useful technology, what we’ve seen in some of our studies here at the Research Ranch and other places where we’ve conducted feeder trials is that they are an all night buffet for various critters. Raccoon’s especially.
Species Visitation at Quail Feeders
Raccoon’s spend an average of 2 12 hours at night robbing you of feed out there. Feral hogs can be a real problem where they’re at. Such things as rodents, such things as nongame birds are a big consumer, so if you’re trying to feed quail, it’s a very inefficient process. It can still be effective, you’ve just got to realize that because of those inefficiencies, it’s going to be more expensive. We’ve seen that quail occur at a rate of about anywhere from five to fifteen percent of the visits at a quail feeder are by quail. So that again.