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Quail in South Carolina’s Coastal Plain

Lee and Anne Ballard own 328 acres in Williamsburg County, South Carolina.  Historically, the property was farmed for cottonLee Ballard At A Quail Buffer Strip before Mr. Ballard purchased it in1993.  After 1989’s Hurricane Hugo the majority of the timber was cut leaving sparse trees throughout the tract.  From 1993-1995 there were 12-15 northern bobwhite coveys and then the number of coveys decreased markedly as plant succession progressed.  In 2000, Mr. Ballard retired and began managing the property for wildlife, especially quail.  After 2001 coveys again began increasing to 12-15 coveys across the property.

Mr. and Mrs. Ballard have been avid hunters and are wildlife enthusiasts so they understand the importance of managing habitat for wildlife.  In 2005 they enrolled 33 acres of the property’s cropland into the Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) CP33 Upland Quail Buffers.  These field borders have provided valuable nesting habitat and cover on field edges.  Mr. Ballard has found up to three different brood coveys in one buffer.  Only one year after the installation of field borders three times as many quail were reported calling in these areas during the annual quail call counts.