How to catch quail can be tricky because these birds are fast.
A few reasons for gathering would include gender identification, this would be very common practice for cotunix because they can be difficult to classify by appearance. Additional reasons would include a health checkup, transportation and for processing.
These birds are also smart, once they figure out you’re on a gathering mission they scatter and hide quickly making things a little more challenging.
This means you need to move fast and think one step ahead of your quail.
This is possible if you’ve taken the time to watch and study their behavior.
Supplies for Catching Quail
- A basic fish net, this can be purchased at any outdoor store.
- Some type of box with a lid or crate to place the quail inside.
- Patience, make sure you’re not in a hurry, they will sense frustration.
Before I go into detail about how to catch quail, I want to mention that today’s tips are mainly for the bobwhite quail; this is the quail you’re viewing in the following photos.
The other breed of quail I raise is the domesticated coturnix; they’re also fast but easier to capture with bare hands because they have a tendency to stop moving once they camouflage themselves. For that reason a net really isn’t necessary.
To learn more about raising quail in a natural environment take a peak at my book, Quail Getting Started. This is a beginners guide filled with all the basics.
Catching Bobwhite Quail
Catching your quail is sometimes a matter of setting a trap with your net. An example would include placing the net so the quail walk into it. This is easy to do especially if you use the shelter boxes.
Once they walk into the net you flip it over the bird, when you have a secure handle on things then you can gently take the quail out by hand.
You can also wait until they’re grouped in a corner, lay down the net over the flock and you should be able to capture one or two at a time.
Once the quail are trapped moved them into the box or crate. Continue and repeat the process until you’ve gathered the necessary amount of quail.
Adding a Gathering Pen
If you have a large quail run like our sanctuary it would be ideal to add a gathering pen inside at one end. This allows you to easily guide the quail inside then you can squat down and start grabbing.
I didn’t add this feature because it honestly slipped my mind. When it comes time to catch quail remember patience is really the key to success, and when feathers fly it’s okay.
The quail release them as a defense mechanism, this allows them to fool predators and protect their flock so they can escape danger. You really can’t hurt these birds; they’re stronger than they look.