I found the best Mearns Quail hunting to be down along the Mex border, in fact the largest Mearns Quail population according to Don Lee, who is the expert on Mearns Quail, is just over the AZ border in Mexico. According to Don nobody really hunts in that area of Mexico and the birds have increased in numbers thru the years. Do not cross the border and try to hunt in Mexico, or you may end up in Jail. Hunt along the border in the mountains, look for the scrub oak trees and the springs that seep water, have your dog do all the work, move slowly and pay attention to your dog.
Mearns Quail will hold nicely around their feeding and watering areas, at times you can almost step on an entire covey before it flushes, when they do you are in for some of the greatest gunning you will ever experience. In fact you can walk past a big Covey quite easily, and have the Covey flush after you pass bye, setting up some amazing gunning opportunities.
Having a good Mearns Quail dog is like having a good Grouse dog, many times a great Grouse dog will also be a great Mearns Quail dog. I had a real German Weimar dog who was incredible at hunting both kinds of birds, back in the late 60' early 70's. I will not give you my exacting Covert Locations, however hunt the mountains along the Mex border and develop your own covey locations, with the help of a good dog. The contact info for Don Lee is in one of my prior posts. I always recommend his service for learning to hunt Mearns Quail, he knows more about Mearns Quail than anybody alive today.
all the best,
L.C. Smith Man