What quail in Montana?

berettadouble

New member
So I was hunting bears in Hamilton recently, and there were quail running around in town. What were they and were they supposed to be there?

They had topknots like Gambels, etc...
 

2point

New member
I live in Hamilton and they are California quail from what I have heard. Game wardens said they are an invasive species shoot them. Then the higher ups at mfwp said you can't and so now there is no season. They are getting very populated, I have them by my house in town and have seen them up on forest service land. Did you get a bear???
 

quail hound

Moderator
You guys got some quail up there huh? That's pretty cool, I wonder how they got there? They can establish in very high density in the right habitat and covies of hundreds upon hundreds form in towns and around feed lots in the winter when snow limits their range.
 

mlf3882

New member
CA quail in MT huh? Just what you guys need...another species of bird to be able to hunt!
Not trying to sound critical but how could they say the CA quail is invasive when it is native to North America? Chukers and pheasant it seems would be more the invasive species type.
Hope you guys get a season on them, would be a fun addition to your fall. Hunted them years ago in OR.
 

koja48

New member
I wonder how they got there?
The same way tree destroying Fox Squirrels got here & sunfish get into quality trout lakes - people who thought they were "cute" at their former homes or want them around for personal reasons, aka "Bucket Biologists." In WA state, invasive species are identified and NOT protected.
 

berettadouble

New member
Huh, CA quail were my guess. They must not be too tough to get established? not like bobs anyway?

Invasive or not, that one is tough when most of their gamebirds were imported, (phez, chukars, huns). I wouldn't mind tearing into them though, a lot of bird diversity around there.

And no, 2point, no bear for me. I had one run up a tree in front of me on day one and huff and snap jaws at me, but I didn't come all that way to blast one out of a tree with a 300 mag. Of course, then that was the only opportunity we got. I think we were just too early (?), game warden reported he didn't really start getting calls to check bears until a few days after leaving.
 

Jonathan

New member
I have seen them in the same area as well. Looking at the Idaho distribution maps isn't it possible that they have just spread into suitable habitat?
 

2point

New member
Huh, CA quail were my guess. They must not be too tough to get established? not like bobs anyway?

Invasive or not, that one is tough when most of their gamebirds were imported, (phez, chukars, huns). I wouldn't mind tearing into them though, a lot of bird diversity around there.

And no, 2point, no bear for me. I had one run up a tree in front of me on day one and huff and snap jaws at me, but I didn't come all that way to blast one out of a tree with a 300 mag. Of course, then that was the only opportunity we got. I think we were just too early (?), game warden reported he didn't really start getting calls to check bears until a few days after leaving.
Wow good for you, hunting isn't all about the killing. Spring bear hunting around here can be fickle. On a good snow year it is easier to follow the snow line and see bears. This year bears came out real early and dispersed everywhere and were harder to find. If you come back to Montana I would suggest going further north around Troy in the middle of May and you should see way more bears.
 
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