QuailMasters 2009 dates set
"Understanding the Quail Equation" is the recurring theme of four quail management workshops starting March 29 at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch near Roby.
Organizers say the workshop series, co-sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Wildlife Association, is designed for serious students of quail management.
The workshops will be coordinated by Dr. Dale Rollins, San Angelo-based AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist and lead instructor for the workshops, and Jenny Sanders, an educational consultant with the Texas Wildlife Association.
Rollins said like past workshops, this year's program will target landowners interested in quail management, quail hunters, Master Naturalists and college students seeking up-to-date quail information.
"These workshops aren't meant for the arm-chair student of quail," Rollins said. "The topics, exercises and homework will be rigorous, thought-provoking and taught at a college senior level."
He said hands-on exercises and a mix of lectures and field trips will round out the curriculum.
"Our goal is to make the students quail experts," he said. "We want graduates to be comfortable in speaking knowledgeably on quail biology, ecology, technology and sociology once they complete these workshops."
Though Texas is home to four quail species, the main focus will be on bobwhite and scaled or "blue" quail.
"Students will travel to some of the top quail ranches in the nation to experience firsthand how good management can enhance quail numbers," Rollins said. "And now with the recent addition of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, we have an excellent laboratory for our workshops."
Participants must attend all four workshops. The dates are March 29 to 31 and May 3 to 5 at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, Aug. 23 to 25 (location to be set that best accommodates the majority of participants), and Oct. 25 to 27 at Kingsville.
Rollins said the intervals between workshops will give students time to conduct the various homework assignments the workshop series requires.
The series is limited to 35 participants, so early sign up is advised.
Individual tuition for the workshops is $400, which includes several meals and educational support materials. Three hours of graduate college credit is available for an additional charge through Texas A&M University's wildlife and fisheries sciences department.