Indiana Farmer Targets Deer, Turkey,
Finds Bobwhites a Bonus
When Percy Mossbarger started doing wildlife habitat management work on his farm in Sullivan County, Indiana 10 years ago, bobwhite quail were nowhere to be seen. At that time, agricultural fields and mature woodlands dominated his landscape. Now, according to Percy, “quail are everywhere.”
The quail are a by-product of the quail-friendly habitat that has been created on the property since 2001. Over the past few years, Percy enrolled a portion of his agricultural fields into various Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) programs such as SAFE and CP-33 and then planted the areas to site-specific warm season grass/legume/wildflower mixes.
In addition to the CRP plantings, Percy has strategically created additional quail habitat by planting clumps of shrub seedlings, doing edge feathering along woodland/field borders, eradicating fescue, and incorporating various types of food plots into the mix. On the CRP tracts, Percy has utilized fall strip disking as his mid-contract management technique.
Percy claims to have a minimum of 4-5 coveys on the 100 or so acres where habitat work has been done. He also says his conservation efforts “targeted primarily deer and wild turkeys” but he welcomes the harmonious calls of the bobs that emanate throughout the property. Percy is now a firm believer in the “if you build it (wildlife habitat), they will come” thinking.