Kansas Quail Hunting Forecast 2020

551c8596-0c3a-4db9-accc-390294ff65b5 By Marissa Jensen

Editor's Note: If you’re reading this forecast, that means you have a passion for quail. Turn that passion into support by joining, renewing, or upgrading your membership Quail Forever. We are in the business of making habitat for the birds you love. Since its inception in 2005, QF has impacted over 1 million acres of habitat through its chapter volunteers, staff and partnerships. We ARE making a difference, and with your help, we can ensure our children will know the thrill of a staunch dog and a rising covey. Give back to the birds that give us all so much and show your support. Join, renew or extend your membership, and for a limited time get an awesome QF hoodie as our special gift to you!

Weather and Conditions

If you’re considering a quail hunt in the Midwest this season, don’t overlook Kansas for bobwhite and scaled quail. With a mild 2019-2020 winter for the state, coupled with heavy rainfall from the 2019 summer, ample grain and forb seeds provided an abundant food source for the birds to head into this year. Although spring brought dry conditions that caused some concern, rainfall throughout the months of June and July provided reprieve and improved conditions for nesting birds.
“Late summer rainfall has created good fall crops and abundant weedy stubble fields,” shares Jeff Prendergast, Small Game Specialist for Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife, and Tourism.

Habitat, Broods and Counts

Kansas had twenty-eight counties that were released for emergency haying and crazing of CRP, some of which are outside of the primary quail range for the state. This, combined with expiration of CRP and managed haying for contract renewals, have reduced the amount of cover provided by CRP fields this winter.
The 2020 hatch looks good, however, as promising reports continue to filter in and are supported by roadside surveys.
“Statewide quail index was stable remaining and well above average,” provides Prendergast. Readers can find a report on Kansas’ quail at  https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Research-Publications/Wildlife-Research-Surveys/Upland-Bird.

Top Spots

Headed to the sunflower state this fall or winter? Prendergast provides insight on three areas for hunters to consider.
“The Smoky Hills area in the north-central region provides the highest density of quail in the state this year,, while the South Central Prairies saw increases this year,” says Prendergast. “There is a good mix of habitat that provides lots of opportunity on the landscape. The southern High Plains in the southwest provides riparian areas which often hold high densities of quail.”

Insider Tip

“Don’t overlook less obvious cover,” Prendergast advises. “Lots of quail nest in upland prairies and birds will often stay out in the prairie, at least through the early season before colder weather pushes them to heavier woody cover and crop fields. Birds aren’t as easy to pinpoint as they are on crop field edges, but these coveys receive less hunting pressure and can provide for an excellent experience.”


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