Idaho Quail Hunting Forecast 2017

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It should be another good quail hunting season in Idaho

Jeff Knetter, upland and migratory bird coordinator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, isn’t totally certain what hunters will encounter when the quail season in his state kicks off.

Bird numbers seem to be stable in the southwestern part of the state, while bird numbers in the Magic Valley region of the south-central portion of the state are up. In the northern part of the state – the Clearwater County area – bird numbers seem to be down.

“Usually in the arid West when you get water – even though it may be timed improperly – it’s usually tied to more birds on the landscape,” Knetter says. “We are not seeing that right now.” 

“But Idaho is extremely geographically diverse,” he adds. “There are going to be pockets all over the state that are going to be good for quail. And some areas are going to be crummy even in good years.”

Still, quail hunting in Idaho has been solid in the past few years, and Knetter expects that overall, it will be another good year.
 

IDAHO QUAIL HUNTING TIPS

* “Water is the key with quail, so riparian areas are the best – tangled willows and that type of habitat,” Knetter says. “Lots of times in Idaho, quail tend to be found on private property because that’s where the water is. And if you find water, you are going to find quail.”

* Knetter says hunters should keep an open mind this fall, and plan a multi-species upland trip. “Diversity is the key here,” he says. “There are 10 upland species you can pursue, if you include turkeys. The attraction is really about variety and opportunity in Idaho.”
 

LINKS

Idaho Fish and Game 2017 Upland Forecast

Idaho Public Access Guide

Idaho Quail Season Details