Oklahoma Quail Hunting Forecast 2019

cab41644-be6f-4ced-8dc4-41f9a1b31b1a When it comes to quail hunting, the Sooner State may get overshadowed by its next-door neighbors to the south and north, but Oklahoma has long been an under-the-radar destination for quail hunters in the know. With a number of quality public hunting areas combined with a new and popular walk-in hunting program that has opened up even more access, Oklahoma has definitely seen a rising national interest in its quail hunting opportunities.
 

WEATHER AND CONDITIONS

“Oklahoma had a fairly moderate winter, with limited snowfall and shorter-than-normal periods of below freezing temperatures,” says Tell Judkins, upland game biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Our biggest issues would come later in the spring, which turned out to be rough on our quail.”
Judkins says heavy rainfall amounts and flooding delayed peak nesting from mid-June into July. “In the summer, rainfall timing continued to be an issue, with droughts in the southwest part of the state.”The one silver lining to all that ill-timed rain that delayed nesting, says Judkins, is that vegetation has flourished, providing a plethora of insect life, which has resulted in decent secondary and tertiary nesting success.
 

HABITAT, BROODS AND COUNTS

“Quail are found statewide in Oklahoma, which includes more than 10 different ecoregions, so each region in the state has its own habitat concerns,” says Judkins. “Most habitats in Oklahoma could use invasive woody plant management to improve grass/forb biodiversity. That being said, this year’s heavy spring rains have led to abundant vegetation and insect populations.” Accordingly, Judkins says the 2019 August roadside quail survey showed the statewide quail index more than doubling over last year, from 1.41 to 2.88 quail per route, with all regions showing an improvement over 2018. 
 

TOP SPOTS

“Quail hunting in Oklahoma is a broad statement, as quail are generally found in most counties. However, the northwestern part of the state is well known for good quail hunting on WMAs such as Cooper, Beaver River, and Cimarron Hills WMAs,” says Judkins. “But southeastern WMAs like Three Rivers can provide a decent opportunity for a challenging hunt in the difficult terrain of the pine forests.”
  

INSIDER TIP

“The main tip I would provide is to enjoy yourself. Oklahoma is full of unique landscapes and history. Quail can be pretty sneaky, especially late in the season, so work some ground, trust your dog, and make a memory!”

 

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