Missouri Quail Hunting Forecast 2018

  • 10/1/2018 2:09:27 PM
The Show-me State should show quail hunters another good year in areas of suitable habitat, according to Missouri Small Game Coordinator Dave Hoover, who reports that spring and summer drought conditions had minimal effect in areas with enough cover and habitat to weather the drought.

Weather and Conditions

“Much of Missouri experienced drought this summer with northern portions of the state seeing the most severe conditions,” says Hoover. “But overall, nesting and brood-rearing conditions were good this summer where habitat is suitable.  “Given the positive survey results in some of the regions and positive field reports, overall, 2018 season should be slightly better than 2017.”

Hatch and Broods

“Missouri conducts annual roadside surveys in August and brood surveys throughout the summer,” says Hoover. “Roadside survey results are in, and brood survey results are being summarized now.” According to the survey results, northwest Missouri is up 3.5 percent over last year and 71 percent above the 10-year average, northeast Missouri is unchanged from last year at 15 percent above the 10-year average, while north-central Missouri is down 26 percent from last year but still 23 percent above the 10-year average. West-central Missouri is up a whopping 89 percent over last year, but still 47 percent below the 10-year average.

Habitat and Programs

Hoover says the factors in driving quail numbers include Favorable weather conditions during the winter and summer months over the past 4 years, the amount and distribution of wildlife-friendly CRP acres across much of north and western Missouri, and active promotion of wildlife-friendly cover types by multiple conservation agencies and partners.
“The Missouri Department of Conservation is revising its strategic quail management plan to promote quail management in the largest most suitable landscapes of the state and to benefit multiple species, many of which are species of conservation concern,” Hoover says. “Also, through the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP) hunters, anglers, and wildlife viewers now have access to new places. These lands are privately owned properties that the landowner has allowed walk-in public access.”

Top Spots

“Top regions in Missouri this year will include the northwest, west-central, and northeast parts of the state,” says Hoover.