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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU co-sponsors Quail Appreciation Day

Quail are popular game birds throughout the Southwest, and more and more people are "appreciating" their needs. A Quail Appreciation Day will be held at the Double H Ranch Torstenson Wildlife Center located between Datil and Magdalena, N.M., on Aug. 11 to help foster quail management practices.

Dale Rollins, Extension wildlife specialist at San Angelo, Texas, and Jon Boren, Extension wildlife specialist at New Mexico State University, said the field day is designed to update quail enthusiasts on matters now facing the popular game birds. Rollins, who has conducted more than 40 such field days in West Texas in recent years, says the theme is "to appreciate how various land management impacts quail habitat."

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the program will start at 10 a.m. The program will conclude at 4 p.m. The field day is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, Quail Unlimited and Purina.

"Landowners are becoming increasingly aware of how their management affects quail, plus or minus, and thus are becoming better able to weigh the consequences of their land use decisions," Rollins said.

"This field day will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss range management and livestock grazing practices to improve quail habitat in New Mexico," Boren said. "Information on how to improve private rangelands for quail and how to gain economic benefits from wild quail on private rangelands will be discussed."

The mission of the Double H Ranch is to conserve habitat for wildlife and preserve the hunting heritage. The Double H Ranch has a keen interest in quail, and the ranch supports good populations of both scaled quail and Gambel's quail. The field day will emphasize habitat management for quail as well as quail biology. Other topics include hunting dog nutrition, training and demonstration as well as selection and care of shotguns, and firearm safety. Children are welcome; there will be several youth learning activities including a laser shot hunting simulator. Demonstrations on field dressing and dissection of quail will provide the opportunity for youth to learn about the anatomy of quail.

NMSU's participation is an example of the university's continuing outreach efforts to help educate and improve the lives of people around New Mexico and the region.

Registration is $30 per person and includes a barbecue lunch and T-shirt. For more information about the 2007 Quail Appreciation Day please contact Jon Boren, Extension wildlife specialist at NMSU, at (505) 646-1164 or by e-mail at jboren@nmsu.edu.