Data on the behavior of walk-hunters and pointing dogs aids in understanding and managing quail harvest. We collected Global Positioning System track logs and recorded behaviors of hunters and dogs on northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) hunts in Oklahoma (n = 43), Texas (n = 43), and Missouri (n = 7), USA, during the 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 hunting seasons. Hunter velocity averaged 0.8 ± 0.03 (SE) m/second both seasons (n = 85) and pooled (95% CL overlap) velocity of bird dogs was 2.5 ± 0.07 (SE) m/second (n = 154). Hunters spent 60.5 ± 2.4% (SE) of their time walking in 2005–2006 (n = 45) versus 75.2 ± 3.5% (SE) in 2006–2007 (n = 48); respective figures for ranging by dogs were 50.2 ± 2.2% (n = 57) versus 82.0 ± 1.3% (SE; n = 97). Mean duration of a hunt declined from 82.3 ± 8.16 (SE) minutes (n = 45) to 50.2 ± 5.1 (SE) minutes (n = 48) between seasons. Variation in bobwhite abundance was the primary cause of seasonal variation in hunter and dog behaviors because covey-associated activities declined as quail abundance declined. With our results and those of previous workers, managers have first-generation estimates of all variables in hunter–covey interface models for managing bobwhite harvest on discrete areas.
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Vol. 72 • No. 6