Illinois Quail Hunting Forecast 2018

  • 10/3/2018 1:14:35 PM

Weather and Conditions

"The weather this year in Illinois has been all over the board," reports Wade Louis, habitat team program manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "Record cold in April, to record heat and rain in May and June. Some areas of the state had very heavy rain events and some flooding during late May and early June which could have been trouble for birds in low areas and for recently hatched broods. However, July, August and September weather was dry and relatively mild, which bodes well for chick survival."

Hatch and Broods

"2018 bobwhite call counts were virtually identical to last year with a less than a one percent increase statewide," Louis says. "Preliminary numbers from the 2016-17 season show 7,350 wild quail hunters harvested an estimated 35,900 quail. Both the number of quail harvested and the number of hunters were all-time lows since Illinois has been keeping records." 

Habitat and Programs

"CRP is the biggest player for quail habitat in Illinois," explains Louis. "Where there is any, the habitat that has not been under water is looking good."

Top Spots

"For quail, west-central Illinois seems to be the best area at the moment]," says Louis.