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Beef, Brush, and Bobwhites

Quail Management in Cattle Country

Fidel Hernández and Fred Guthery; Foreword by Wyman Meinzer

Publication Year: 2012

In this completely revised Texas A&M University Press edition, Guthery and coauthor Fidel Hernández have breathed new life into a classic work that for more than twenty years has been teaching biologists, managers, and ranchers to "think like a quail." Updated with the latest research on quail habitat management, predator control, and recent issues such as aflatoxin contamination, Hernández and Guthery help land stewards understand the optimum conditions for encouraging and sustaining quail populations while continuing to manage rangeland for cattle production. Written in a style that is entertaining and easy to read, this book is, in Guthery’s words, "meant to be kept on the dashboard of your pickup." More than 150 helpful photographs and figures, along with supporting tables, accompany the text. In his foreword to this edition of Beef, Brush, and Bobwhites, respected Texas wildlife photographer Wyman Meinzer writes of how the calls of a covey of bobwhites—or the unfortunate absence of those calls—can remind us "that wildlife and habitat conservation is directly proportional to the quality of stewardship that we bestow on the land."

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xi

I recall the early 60’s when, taking my Stevens 410 shotgun on a winter morning, I could walk a short distance from our ranch house and harvest enough bobwhites in the span of a couple of hours so that my mom could fry them for dinner that evening. If I yearned for some real exercise I turned my focus toward the badlands to the west of our home where scaled quail treated me to some good foot races through ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

A university press had accepted the book for publication. However, the press dillydallied. I needed to establish a presence in South Texas, which was Val Lehmann (1913–1987) country (longtime wildlife biologist for the King Ranch and author of Bobwhites in the Rio Grande Plain of Texas). So I asked the late Sam Beasom (1945–1995), then director of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI), if the ...

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pp. xv

The Alfred C. Glassell Jr. Endowed Professorship for Quail Research at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI), Texas A&M University–Kingsville supported Hernández, and the Bollenbach Chair in Wildlife Ecology at the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University ...

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Chapter 1. The Colin Cosmos

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pp. 1-14

Literally thousands of studies have been conducted on the species. It has been the subject of formal investigation since the early 1900s. Name a topic about northern bobwhites, and it likely has been studied by someone somewhere sometime. Having such a broad and deep research foundation is fortunate for a species, particularly if it is one of conservation and management importance, as ...

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Chapter 2. General Ecology

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pp. 15-32

You are beginning to see the world through the eyes of a bobwhite. These are delicate, typically sedentary birds that require a variety of habitats. They are largely concerned with living space from ground level to a height of about 3 feet on areas usually no larger than 20–30 acres. Managers, therefore, must create crazy-quilt patterns of cover on small areas. “Patches” in the quilt must fulfill all ...

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Chapter 3. Principles of Habitat Management

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pp. 33-42

... thousands of northerners migrate to Texas. Convoys of motor homes, travel trailers, and camper trucks move south like Canada geese (Branta canadensis). These migratory humans travel hundreds of miles to escape blizzards and ice storms for the sunny days and fuzzy warmth of southern Texas. Northern journeyers pass through several plant communities en route to the Rio Grande Plains. Depending on route, they might see maple-beech ...

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Chapter 4. Brush Management

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pp. 43-64

Without brush, a few hardy birds may occupy the countryside in some years, but most move on to new areas, or die. How much brush do bobwhites need? What are suitable brush cover and structure? What brush-management practices are best for managing bobwhite habitat? In this chapter we describe how to provide bobwhites with the proper amounts and structure of woody ...

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Chapter 5. Grazing Management

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pp. 65-80

... is a most powerful habitat management tool. Give it a little salt, supplement, and water, and it manages millions of acres of bobwhite cover. Like any powerful tool, however, it can be harmful or helpful, depending on how it is applied. In this chapter, we give the background ecology of grazing, a discussion on grazing systems, and an overview of research findings on the relations ...

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Chapter 6. Food Management

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pp. 81-100

management that affects bobwhite habitat at fence-line to fence-line scales. We have decided on brush-control patterns and grazing programs. These practices have both direct and indirect effects on food supplies. In this chapter we discuss more localized practices executed specifically to increase availability of food, including feeding, food plots, strip discing, and patch burning. Before getting into the specifics of management, though, we ...

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Chapter 7. Water, Predators, and Pen-Raised Bobwhites

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pp. 101-118

All animals need water to survive. Laboratory experiments tell us that a 160-gram bobwhite in the wild needs about 18−22 milliliters of water/day to survive. Some of this water, about 3−5 milliliters, can be obtained during the metabolism of food (metabolic water). The rest has to be obtained from outside (exogenous) sources. Exogenous sources of water may include ...

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Chapter 8. Cover Management

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pp. 119-134

... approaches to managing bobwhite habitat: improving the quality of habitat or managing its structure. Practices such as supplemental feeding, food plots, and waterers attempt to manage quality. Other practices, such as half-cutting, grazing exclosures, and controlling nonnative grasses, attempt to manage the structure to maintain or increase usable space. In this chapter we ...

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Chapter 9. Population Counts

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pp. 135-156

... comprises 2 main pillars: habitat and population. Biologists and managers often gather information on these components to evaluate quail status. They may spend hours measuring habitat variables such as percent cover of bare ground, forbs, and brush and number of nesting clumps/acre. They also may collect data on the population such as the number ...

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Chapter 10. Sex and Age Ratios

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pp. 157-176

... of bobwhites in the harvest provides information that may be used to index or induce additional attributes of populations such as production, survival, and distribution of hatches during the breeding season. As was the case with population counts, this information may be useful in evaluation of management efforts or habitat types. For example, estimates of average annual survival may be used to evaluate quail responses between a pasture with a ...

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Chapter 11. Harvest Management

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pp. 177-192

... arise when discussing bobwhite harvest. “How many bobwhites can I sustainably harvest?” “Should hunting be stopped during drought?” “Is harvest later in the hunting season of more concern than harvest earlier in the season?” “Should daily bag limits and season lengths be reduced?” Many of you have probably pondered these questions. State agencies establish harvest regulations that provide an overarching ...

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Chapter 12. Management Examples

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pp. 193-208

... have done regarding bobwhite management is talk the talk. We have discussed how to manage brush and grazing, how to correct habitat deficiencies, and how to manage harvest. Now it is time to walk the walk. In this chapter we highlight 4 Texas landowners who have used the practices and principles described earlier to create usable space for bobwhites and increase bobwhite populations. Texas is a big state, varied in weather, soils, and ...

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Chapter 13. The Business of Bobwhite Management

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pp. 209-234

... is the seat of Brooks County in the Rio Grande Plains. About 400 miles to the north is Albany, the seat of Shackelford County in the Rolling Plains. Both of these small, rural towns have an air of bustle and prosperity uncommon in other towns of similar size. The residents there owe part of their good fortune to hunting. Landowners’ revenue from hunting in ...

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pp. 235-236

... the first edition of Beef, Brush, and Bobwhites closed the narrative on an optimistic note. The ongoing efforts of landowners, hunters, and researchers foretold great gains in our understanding and management of bobwhites. At that time it was plausible to anticipate “higher lows” and “higher highs” as bobwhite ...


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pp. 237-244

E-ISBN-13: 9781603445870
E-ISBN-10: 1603445870
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603444750
Print-ISBN-10: 1603444750

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 172 color photos. 6 line art. 2 maps. 14 figs. Index.
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Revised

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Subject Headings

  • Northern bobwhite -- Habitat -- Conservation -- Texas, South.
  • Range management -- Texas, South.
  • Northern bobwhite -- Texas, South -- Management.
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