Every year from the second week of November through the last day of January, bird hunters from all over make their way to rural Kansas to take part in hunting pheasant and quail. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, more than 80,000 hunters (about 40,000 of them non-residents) will hunt pheasants this year in Kansas with some of them being part of the 62,000 who will hunt quail.
According to the KDWPT, pre-season reports predicted good hunting in many areas of the state due to rain patterns creating ideal nesting conditions and cover from predators like chicken hawks, coyotes and bobcats. Local hunters in the area have noticed the dramatic increase.
“There are a lot more pheasants and the quail have multiplied by what seems like 100 percent. They are everywhere,” said Dean Gottschalk, an avid bird hunter from Ellis. “I think the rainfall we had helped a bunch. They can hide anywhere.”
The heavy precipitation in the spring and regular rainfall throughout the summer created a lush landscape for the quail to take cover during nesting. The predicted abundance of birds created a “gold rush” scenario for bird hunting in Kansas. Gottschalk said he has noticed a lot more people out there than in previous years.
“I usually have a big group that comes in from Kansas City and actually, the last two or three years, we have not done much hunting because there was not an abundance and we were trying to let them repopulate,” Gottschalk said. “It is nice driving out in the country and seeing wildlife in abundance instead of hardly seeing any at all.”
As you continue to enjoy pheasant and quail season, keep in mind that the bag and possessions limits are generous in Kansas, the KDPWT reminded — four rooster pheasants per day and 16 in possession and eight quail per day and 32 in possession.
For more information, visit the KDWPT website.