Pheasant hunters who Also chase quail

dustin mudd

Active member
Hi long time pheasant chaser in the northern states, but over the last 3 winters made trips to New Mexico, for Scaled quail. I also chased Mearns with my lab this winter for a couple of weeks .
During our pheasant forever fundraiser, we had a Arizona quail hunt donated. I asked the question in my Montana audience who had gone south to chase quail ever, out of 200 people in the room only 5 to 10 raised their hands. I am perplexed, living in the north why wouldn't more OF US, go south to keep chasing birds when it becomes winter in the north.
I would be interested on how may of you chase quail of any type regularly, and what type?
Secondly what percentage of your hunting is pheasants vs quail?
Thirdly how do you dogs adapt to the different?

For what its worth.... I highly recommend it.
Scaled quail are really similar to running roosters They are tough, but a fun challenge. Plenty of Blm land to hunt in the southwest.

Mearns are a pointing dog game, and my lab did find flush, and retrieve a few!

thanks, Dustin

Randy S

I've hunted scaled quail in N.M., Mearns & Gambles in AZ, California quail in NV, OR & ID and bobwhites in the Midwest. All with Labs and Springers. In good quail number years, I've never had difficulty taking daily limits of bob's, scaled and Cali. with flushers. Mearn's are tough with a flusher. I had trouble finding three coveys a day but it was very hot and dry when I was there. I shot a few Gamble's on the same trip but coveys were small and also far between. I would love to get back after them in a good year. I also hope to one day get far enough west to hunt mountain quail.

The best part of quail hunting is that a guy gets to shoot a lot more than when hunting pheasants!

18 car

As a lifetime upland bird hunter in Montana, I have often considered making a trip to the SW for quail. I always talk myself out of it due to not knowing exactly where to go, hunting with dogs not accustomed to cholla cactus and generally not knowing how to effectively hunt quail. Considering I can hunt 3 species of upland birds in MT from Sept 1 through Jan 1, it is easy to become complacent about making a trip to the Southwest for quail. Perhaps I should solicit a "hunt swap" with a seasoned quail hunter(?)
The Magic of Flight


Super Moderator
I often hit a couple of canyons on my way back from hunting pheasants. I live in Fritch, TX and hunt pheasants around Spearman and then on the way home, I have quite a few areas around Lake Meredith to hunt. If the dogs have the energy, I boot them up and off we go. Makes for a long day but it's a ton of fun. There is nothing better than being in a brushy canyon with two GSP's hunting quail. It's definitely therapy for both me and the dogs.

dustin mudd

Active member
18 car and others,

this winter my lab really understood how to handle the running desert quail. we did great for the 2 or so weeks I was there.
it feels great as my old bones age, to walk in warmer temperature's not fighting the aches of cold northern climiate. I only booted up my dog one time this winter in the southwest , during the 2 weeks I was there.

if youre retired or can get away from work for a couple of weeks, it is a great bucket list location, and yes just like roosters there is a learning curve, but not that tough! go while you can. ….


New member
I hunt mearns quail here in Arizona 2-3 days a week all season long. Before that I’m i. Kansas for a month hunting pheasant. Most pointers do just fine. Mine will point a pheasant the same as a quail.


I am was fortunate to be raised in Phx metro area, went to U of A, then moved all over the country until settling in the PNW. I live in northern Idaho, hunt pheasants weekly. In the past 4 seasons, have made it to AZ to hunt quail and visit family.

Some of my most memorable hunts have been for Mearns, accompanied by my wife and nephews.

Regarding your questions,
I hunt chukar/huns/pheasant often along the Snake River in northern Idaho and quail are just opportunistic. I try to hunt AZ quail for 3-4 days in combination to family functions that schedule around the holidays. When in AZ, I do hunt Gambel's quail but I have killed multiple in the past so not a huge desire. Mearns has such great terrain/beautiful bird so I try to focus on that while I am down there.
Regarding Adaptation, Don't have to do anything. Just check their pads. Gambel's terrain, in my opinion, is the worst for dogs pads. Even compared to chukar habitat. But my dogs do great in most environments.


Active member
Mearms might be my favorite quail to hunt...just need a couple good monsoon seasons in Southern Arizona to get the bird populations back up.