Kansas – Central & North Central Look Best
Forecast: According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the bobwhite breeding population in 2012 was generally stable or improved compared to 2011. While areas in the northern Flint Hills and parts of northeast Kansas showed much improved productivity this year, much of eastern Kansas has seen consistent declines in quail populations in recent decades. After many years of depressed populations, this year’s rebound in quail reproduction in eastern Kansas is welcomed, but overall populations are still below historic averages. The best quail hunting will be found throughout the northern Flint Hills and parts of central Kansas.
In the Smoky Hills (north central), breeding populations increased nearly 60 percent from 2011 to 2012, increasing fall population potential. However, drought conditions were severe, likely impairing nesting and brood success. Some areas, such as Cloud County, showed good potential, while other areas in the more western edges of the region did not fare as well.
The Flint Hills region, containing more than 128,000 acres of public land and 63,000 acres of Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) open to hunters this fall, contains some of the highest densities of bobwhite in Kansas. The breeding population in this region increased 25 percent compared to 2011, and the long-term trend (since 1998) has been increasing over the last five years. High reproductive success was reported in the northern half of this region, and some of the best opportunities for quail hunting will be found in the northern Flint Hills this year. In the south, Cowley County showed good numbers of quail this summer.
Because of drought, all counties in Kansas were opened to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) emergency haying or grazing. CRP emergency haying requires fields that are hayed to leave at least 50 percent of the field in standing grass cover. CRP emergency grazing requires 25 percent of the field (or contiguous fields) to be left ungrazed or grazing at 75-percent normal stocking rates across the entire field. Many CRP fields, including Walk-In Hunting Areas (WIHA), may be affected across the state.
The above is according to Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism. For a detailed report CLICK HERE.Season Dates: November 10, 2012 through January 31, 2013
Daily Bag Limit: 8
Possession Limit: 16
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.