I learned to trap quail a long time ago when I was just a boy growing up in Tennessee.
I was poor and could not afford a gun and my dog didn't know how to hunt quail. A man who worked at a natural gas sub-station near our farm, approached me one day and asked me if I ever hunted quail. I told him I wouldn't know how, even if I had a gun. Quail are too fast, I told him. At that time he began to teach me to trap quail. The southern bob white that lived on our farm, traveled in coveys of 15 to 20 birds. The method learned here, will let you capture a covey this size all at once.
The first thing you will need to do is get yourself a wooden box. If you don't have one big enough just lying around, maybe you can build one. The box needs to be about 3ft by 4ft by 18in in height.(see illustration) Cut a square hole in the bottom, bigger than your hand.(approx. 4in.x6 in) Cover the hole with a screened trap door and attach hinges so that you may be able to open and close it. The next step is to find a place where quail hangout. This will be in a deserted field or on a power line where quail have been spotted. Take along some feed to bait your trap, such as crushed feed corn or bird seed.
Find a good location that will be easily accessible but not in danger of being run over by passing ATV's or other vehicles. Place the open side of the box to the ground with the trap door facing up. Sprinkle some feed all around inside the box, preferably several ounces, for the quail to eat while waiting for your return. Also, you need to dig a small trench leading up to the box and dig a hole about the size of your fist under the edge of the box. Sprinkle some seed all around the box, covering a large area about a 20ft. radius. Be sure to put some in the trench in order to entice the quail into entering the box. You are probably thinking. What is going to keep the quail inside the box after they have entered? Good question! Now I'll reveal a secret about quail. Quail are guided by the light. They always look up to the light and and follow it. This is just their nature.
Once they have eaten the feed, they will look for a way to leave. All they will know to do is look up to where the screened trap door is. They will also be nice and plump from eating the seed and it will be hard for them to go back out the way they came in. Quail are also family oriented. One or two will not escape and leave the others behind. They always travel in groups.
When checking your trap, be sure to approach the side where the hole is and lay a rock over the hole to cover it before you start trying to retrieve the quail from the trap door. The rest you can figure out for yourself. (Bon Apatit)