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Escape Cover Management

A thicket of native shrubs which provide escape cover for quails

Nice native shrub thicket for escape cover.

Good escape cover develops slowly, sometimes taking years of growth. Preserve existing areas that are suitable for this purpose. Fire should usually be excluded. Good escape cover should be the centerpiece of other habitat components. Where this type of cover is absent or additional is needed, it can be established in several ways. One is to totally ignore certain areas and let nature take its course. Most existing escape cover has developed in this manner. Good escape cover can be developed along fence lines, drainages and woodland edges, where full sunlight encourages the rank growth required. For natural escape cover to develop more quickly, destroy any grass sod to hasten weedy and, eventually, viny and woody growth. Brush piles, particularly those that have become vine covered, can enhance otherwise good escape cover. Brush piles should be supported by hinge-cut trees or logs large enough to keep them open for passage at the ground. Other ways to provide escape cover include shrub plantings of hedgerows and field borders, and cutback edges, previously discussed in the techniques section.