Summer Quail Report: Kansas

f160d84a-474d-481f-a2dd-dcc3d7a5620d  By Chad Love - Editor
 

Weather

"Kansas had very little winter precipitation October through April, and as such wheat was relatively short and pastures greened slowly, causing concern at the beginning of the nesting season,” reports Jeff Prendergast, small game biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. “Late April precipitation picked up in western Kansas and greatly improved nesting cover coming into May and has continued through the last few months. There has been some flash flooding associated with some heavy rainfall that may impact localized areas, however the rainfall has greatly improved habitat. The eastern one-third of the state has remained dry ,which is normally better for production in these regions where excessive rainfall often limits production more than lack of cover.”
 

Habitat

“The heavy rains through May and June encouraged trhe growth of annual broadleaf weeds and slowed down wheat harvest,” says Prendergast. “This created excellent brooding conditions across much of the western part of the state.”
 

Programs  

“KDWPT recently more than tripled the amount of money in the statewide private-lands habitat program under the new "Habitat First" program, says Prendergast. “In combination with this program KDWPT has recently entered into a partnership with Habitat Forever to hire three habitat specialist in key locations to complete projects on private lands. These projects are on properties where the KDWPT biologist have developed a management plan and the landowner has the interest but doesn't have the ability to complete the project on their own. While the program is not restricted to Walk-in hunting properties, properties enrolled in the program receive priority. The program has been so popular in the first few months that some landowners have been offering to enroll in multi-year WIHA contracts to participate.”
 

Prospects 

“Spring whistle counts dropped slightly after reaching 20-year highs last year. There was a large increase in the spring survey in the southwest region recovering from losses after a late blizzard in 2017. With the summer weedy cover, we are optimistic we can maintain densities observed to last year. Brood survey begins next week and will provide better prospect info.”