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Scholarship Recipient

Donal Abraham Woodard

Donal Abraham Woodard

Donal Abraham Woodard

Texas A&M University - Kingsville

Year Received: 2018

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy, Wildlife Science

Aspects of Hunting on Northern Bobwhite Quail Populations: Temporal and Spatial Analysis

Our objectives are to (1) test whether a 20% harvest rate is sustainable and (2) determine if hunting
influences bobwhite distribution and habitat use. Harvest will be conducted on 15,030 acres. Non-
hunted control areas are located 12 miles west of the harvest site and comprised of similar size, soils,
vegetation, and grazing pressure. The harvest prescription will be by pasture and represent 20% of late
November abundance. This harvest prescription will be distributed evenly across 3 designated periods:
December, January, and February. Line-transect distance sampling using helicopter surveys will be
conducted prior to hunting for estimating bobwhite density (November), once a month during hunting
(December, January), and after hunting (March). Hunting-effort data will be collected using GPS units
on trucks and hunting dogs, along with demographic data (age and sex ratios) from harvested
bobwhites. We will (1) compare variations in abundance estimates between hunted and non-hunted
populations and (2) quantify associations between hunting pressure and potential changes in covey
distributions as detected by line-transect distance sampling from a helicopter. This research will test the
hypothesis that quail harvest is a sustainable element of quail management in south Texas.

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