Beyond the Food Patch:
A Guide to Providing Bobwhite Quail Habitat


Cutting timber, burning, disturbing the soil, renewing vegetative succession - these are the activities that quail have responded favorably to in the past. Producing quail habitat today demands the same approach. Seldom is the chance production of quail habitat, on which we have primarily relied throughout the past, adequate if we are to continue to enjoy the bobwhite.

Times have changed, but many opportunities remain and much can be done. Among these:

  1. create and maintain as much acreage as possible in the fallow and old field stages
  2. actively manage for quail on existing idle lands
  3. address the needs of quail when cropping and grazing
  4. conduct quail-friendly timber management
Quail sketch by Spike Knuth

Also, avoid cosmetic mowing of weeds and native grasses, and encourage neighbors to join in your effort. Consult the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and other natural resource agencies for technical assistance and cost-share availability.

Providing bobwhite quail habitat will take time, money and acreage. Results will require perseverance and patience, as quail management never ceases to be a work in progress. Those who would have the bobwhite quail share their properties must acknowledge its absolute need - habitat - and apply the management that is required for its adequate and continuous supply.

Copies of this publication may be obtained free of charge from the Wildlife Division, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, VA 23230

All photos, unless otherwise credited, are by Dwight Dyke, Blackhawk Productions©. The quail sketches have been produced by Spike Knuth over the years for various Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries quail publications. We are indebted to these men for sharing their skills with the readers.