Surragator--Do they work?

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mlrs158
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Surragator--Do they work?

Post by mlrs158 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:12 pm

Does anyone have any experience with surragators? Do they really produce quail/pheasant that will survive in the wild? Any comments will be appreciated.

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oldbeek
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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by oldbeek » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:26 pm

What is a surragator? Saw one for sale on this forum once.

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mlrs158
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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by mlrs158 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:40 pm

It is advertised as a restocking system for wild quail and pheasant. It's a self-contained system (food/water/heat) that you put day old quail or pheasant in and raise them until they are a specified age (around 8 weeks I think) and supposedly be able to open the lid, they will fly out, but stay in the general vicinity that they were raised since the location was "imprinted" from birth. Allegedly the birds will survive in the wild much better than releasing pen-raised birds.

I have tried releasing pen raised birds but the mortality rate is so high that it isn't effective. .

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Firelight
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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by Firelight » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:40 pm

I know some folks who bought a surragator in the hope of re-establishing pheasants on their ranch. I think they gave it a real good effort for 2-3 years and gave up. Their birds just didn't survive very long and disappeared even though they had pretty decent habitat. Will be interesting to read if others have been successful or not.

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BigTub
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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by BigTub » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:42 pm

I know that Quail Forever does not support stocking quail saying it does not work.

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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by ckirsch » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:02 pm

Some folks here in western South Dakota have had success with the surrogaters in establishing pheasant populations where there were none before. Several of these areas are somewhat isolated, making it unlikely that wild pheasants found their way in. Local paper ran an article last fall about an area in the southwestern corner of the state having a reproducing population of the black melanistic birds, which are obviously not the result of wild birds moving in. It will always be an uphill battle to get birds started anywhere, but it has been done in some instances.

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tfbirddog2
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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by tfbirddog2 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:56 pm

I have seen the suregator work but it was about in the 3 and 4th years before the numbers were and you could see it had worked... I've released bred hen pheasants and 8 week old chicks and with pen raised quail 20 weeks old had very good results......BIG FACTOR is predator control and habitat.... without those two your fighting up hill! with quail they have to have water too otherwise they will die out or move till they find it. Just in my experiences in NW Kansas at least.

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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by chwagn11 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:35 am

I had a friend try for a few years, did not work. A few may live, but very few. Biologist would recommend stocking birds if it worked with long term results. Does it work for guided hunting yes. The birds will make it through a chunk of the season. The best method for stocking would be wild birds trapped at another location impossible for most people to do. Chukars would be everywhere in Kansas if stocking worked in any way with all the birds guides release each year. We determined the only way a surragator would work is if you continue to provide food water and shelter for the birds much like a Johnny house.

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DonF
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Re: Surragator--Do they work?

Post by DonF » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:12 am

To create a wild population, I doubt it will work. On Sauvie Island near Portland, Ore year's ago there was actually a small covey of bob white's. Generally though they don't reproduce. As I understand it the problem come's from the bird's not sitting the nest's. instinct has been bred out of them. But for stocking with pen raised bird's, I imagine it would work. One of these days I'm going to get a bunch of bob white's into a brush pile on my place. I'll see that they get water and feed in the pile, that should keep them coming back. I've done it before, stocking them on my place and it kept around a bunch of bird's for quite awhile! The big plus was how much better flyer's they were and how spooky they got. Before I'd turned them loose, I put wild quail and wild huns in a big pen with them for awhile. When I would go in the wild birds went nut's and got the hatchery quail stupid. Last year I moved some to a brush pile, only about four, all I had them. At that time the birds left weren't flying well at all, easy picking for a dog! Well several day's later one of the dog's got on them and not only were they flying well but didn't allow the dogs any leeway, flushed at any little mistake on the dog's part.

using the brush pile gave them adequate cover to be safe from predator's. Never had a predator try to tear up a brush pile. Birds went in and they were safe. Feeder and water'ers need to be in the pile a bit and good idea to move them now and then. Predator's finding a feeding station think the dinner bell has rung, they will wait there for them. I'm not sp sure it would work with chukar, wrong habitat. I have never seen them in a brush pile in the wild. But, I have seen them in a rock pile. Just guessing but if you want chukar, you might try rock pile's. Just leave opening's they can get into that predator's can't follow.

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