Read Steve Snell's dog training collar reviews & more See Steve's Hunting Dogs
Gun Dog Supply's Hunting Dog Store
Shopper Award 
FREE SHIPPING on Orders $89+

ARTICLE: Warner Snell on Game Birds

Bill, thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply again. We appreciate your business.

I apologize but our catalog description on the call-back pen is in error (now fixed) in that this manufacturer does not provide the "instructions and suggestions". Our previous supplier of this item did so several years ago and somehow we failed to delete that in the current description.

Fortunately, most pointing dog training books include information about using call-back pens. As I recall, Delmar Smith's and Paul Long's books both provide good information on the use of call-back pens..

Keeping healthy pen-raised quail is pretty tricky. Sanitation is very important as is adequate nutrition, feeding and watering space, temperature and protection from the elements and predators. Whoever you buy your quail from should be able to advise you.

You might also want to buy some quail feed from them as it is usually only available in large bags at the feed stores.

On using the call-back pen, the main point is to always be sure and leave at least one quail in the call-back pen, to call the others back.

Another point is to not flush the birds more than once-especially to start with. If you flush them too far away from the pen, they might not make it back. In fact, I wouldn't flush them at all the first couple of times. I'd just release some close by and let them learn to re-call before working dogs on them.

I prefer to have food and water in the re-call pen and I sometimes place a piece of plywood on the top of the pen to protect the call-bird and any re-called birds from the sun during warm weather.

Also, I suggest that when you do start working dogs on the birds that you stop at least 30 minutes before dark to give the birds time to recall.

If possible, I would pick up the re-call pen and place it "inside"--away from predators--at night. Ideally, you would have a larger cage in which to keep the quail so that they can exercise more when not in use. If not, I would release and recall them often to help keep them strong.

On the breaking scents, my own view is that they should be used as "insurance" in areas where deer are plentiful because it only takes one chase to lose a dog on deer.

Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.


My dogs are trained and hunted on wild quail these days so I am not current on releasing pen-raised quail. Most systems I know of ,however, are based upon providing food and water and a "protected" stationary call bird (or call birds or call bird tape recording) at the site to help the released birds find their way back to feed and water.

There is a relatively new system called the Anchor Covey Release System (or something to that effect) that is advertised in the AMERICAN FIELD from time to time and they have a web site on the Internet but I don't know the address off hand.

I don't know of a book that has a good set of plans (Delmar Smith's and Paul Long's books have pictures) but most trainers were using "johnny house" pens to release and recall pen-raised quail the last time I checked.

I don't know if they are still available but there used to be some "Johnny House" kits advertised in the AMERICAN FIELD.

I can't remember his name (Jack Sanford or Stanford perhaps) but he used to be the Missouri Dept. of Conservation's Quail Biologist and he reportedly had some success in releasing quail on his own property and some trainers release "coveys" regularly for training purposes but most everything I have read over the years showed that most release efforts of pen-raised quail have been unsuccessful in so far as establishing or re-building native Bobwhite quail populations.

Predation, it appears, is a much larger factor in limiting wild quail populations than biologists had thought prior to the last year or two and predation , it appears, would be an even larger factor with released quail.

Send me your regular mailing address and I will see if I can dig up some of the information for you when I get a little time.

Gun Dog Supply

1-800-624-6378 shipping-map free-shipping
GUN DOG SUPPLY - "Serving Hunting & Field Dog Owners Nationally Since 1972."
Order online via Secure Server or call 1-800-624-6378 to order! GDS Warehouse, 17645 U.S. Highway 82, Mathiston, Mississippi, 39752 USA.


Gun Dog Supply's Facebook | Gun Dog Supply on LinkedIn | Gun Dog Supply on YouTube
Gun Dog Forum sponsored by GD Supply | Reseller Ratings: | Gun Dog Supply on SHOPPER APPROVED

All words & pictures are copyright © 1997-2023, Gun Dog Supply or their respective owners. All rights reserved. Buy online with confidence when you order discount retriever hunting dog supplies, canine training equipment, k-9 accessories, and training products for your gun dog, bird dog, or working retriever. Your on-line purchase is protected through secure server ordering. Review our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Shop our canine closeout items, best bargains, k9 discount prices, good deals, cheap stuff and other values for sale. Compare our products in reviews, reports, comparisons, and buyers guides.

Customer Priority Number:

privacy policy | terms & conditions