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La Niña would help Texas duck hunters; bobwhite quail wearing gps transmitters


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

The weather forecasts that call for a La Niña winter may be good news for Texas duck hunters.
The La Niña weather effect occurs when temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean cool down. For southern parts of the country, a Niña winter is usually warmer and dryer than normal. The weather phenomenon has the opposite impact for northern parts of the U.S. To push migrating ducks south, hunters need colder weather in the northern portion of the Central Flyway.

The Quail-Tech Alliance, a quail research group at Texas Tech, is doing studies with bobwhites wearing GPS transmitters. Quail-Tech Supervisor Brad Dabbert said he expects the eventual results to unlock the mysteries of the bobwhite's home range and how coveys interact.

"I am very excited about the information this study will reveal," Gabbert said. "These GPS-enabled transmitters can record locations at five-minute intervals, allowing us to examine covey movements and habitat use at a very fine scale."

Gabbert said coveys will intermingle, but preliminary data show coveys can maintain a remarkable separation, almost as if there is a fence or boundary present in the landscape. More information is available on the new Quail-Tech Alliance Facebook page.

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