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South Carolina Quail Project

Turkey Invitational fund raiser for the SCQP

Turkey Invitational fund raiser for the SCQP

The South Carolina Quail Project (SCQP) was created in March 2009 on Mt. Pleasant Plantation, located along the banks of the Black River in Georgetown County.  Mt. Pleasant was a timber and cattle property when purchased by the current owners in 2003.  The property went through a major habitat transformation and wild quail translocation under the guidance of Tall Timbers for three years after being bought.  Today the property has seen fall bobwhite populations as high as 2 quail/acre.

The SCQP is developing best management practices for the unique habitats in this area.  We monitor radio-tagged bobwhites year-round to determine their habitat use and limiting factors unique to this area.  A significant obstacle is the presence of heavy grass cover which can reduce quail habitat and make finding them difficult.  This has led us to look at different management techniques to manipulate this heavy cover and test to see if any of these techniques can affect hunting efficiency.

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Heavy grass cover hinders quail management on wetter sites

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The SCQP is dedicated to bringing the same scientific based management practices that have proven so successful in creating record bobwhite populations in Georgia and Florida to the great state of South Carolina.  These techniques have already been implemented successfully across the state proofing that good wild bobwhite populations can still be had and maintained in SC.

Prior to habitat management

Prior to habitat management

One year following habitat management

One year following habitat management

The SCQP has also been testing the efficacy of a novel bobwhite quail restocking technique using wild strain parent-reared quail.  The SCQP is working with dozens of landowners to restore bobwhite habitat and develop management practices to sustain high density bobwhite populations.

During the course of this research we have had the opportunity to help landowners across the state convert close to 40,000 acres to high quality quail habitat with the goal of reestablishing wild quail populations and good quail hunting back on these lands.