Kansas – Central, South Central and Southwest Look Good

Forecast: The best quail hunting in Kansas will likely be in central and south central where numbers should be similar or slightly improved to last fall, according to Jim Pittman, Small Game Coordinator with the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks.

The bobwhite breeding population is similar or improved from 2010 in every region of the state with the exception of northeast Kansas. Much of the northeast was blanketed by more than 12 inches of snow for at least three weeks this past winter. Such weather is much more detrimental to bobwhites than other upland game birds because quail are less capable of locating food in deep snow. As a result of the prolonged snow cover, the bobwhite breeding population was down more than 40 percent from last year in northeastern Kansas.

Throughout most of the state's quail range, habitat was good for nesting and brood rearing due to plentiful moisture last fall and early this spring; although heavy precipitation and flooding associated with summer storms hurt bobwhite productivity in a few areas. Within primary bobwhite range, productivity was below average in all or portions of the following counties: Jewell, Republic, Greenwood, Lyon, Osage, Coffee, Woodson, Butler, Chase, Marion, Harvey, Norton, Phillips, Rooks, Smith, Osborne, Reno, Harvey, Sedgwick, Labette, Wilson, Montgomery, Neosho, Elk, and Allen. Bobwhite productivity was good throughout the remainder of Kansas' quail range, which should lead to improved bird numbers.

The best quail hunting will be found throughout the central part of the state from the Oklahoma state line northward to about U.S. Highway 24 and eastward to about U.S Highway 77. Quail numbers will also be improved in southwestern Kansas, offering some very good hunting opportunities in that region. Compared to last fall, quail numbers will be down in far north central Kansas and generally across the eastern one-third of the state. However, there are a few areas within the eastern one-third of the state that were unaffected by any major storms. Bird numbers in those areas will be improved from last fall but still far below the numbers observed 20-30 years ago in that area. Bobwhite numbers in far northwestern Kansas will also be improved from last fall, but that portion of the state is at the fringe of quail range.

All that said, Kansas will remain in the top three of quail harvesting states for the 2010/2011 hunting season.

Season Dates: November 13, 2010 through January 31, 2011
Daily Bag Limit: 8
Possession Limit: 32
Field Notes: Kansas' popular Walk-in Hunting Access Program contains lands in CRP, native rangeland, wheat or milo stubble and riparian or wetland areas, with many of the approximately 1 million acres in the program providing excellent upland hunting opportunities.
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