Missouri Quail Hunting Forecast 2020

7d7f6a33-89c5-4986-8eb7-4782d73e1c21 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

Missouri, like many midwestern states, can experience a variety of winter conditions and fluctuations. Fortunately for bird hunters, the winter of 2019-20 in Missouri remained mild, which likely contributed to better overwinter survival for the birds. Spring began with cool and wet conditions; however, challenges would arise later in the spring and summer with drier weather, which prevailed during the primary nesting season. All conditions considered and aside, it appears to be good news for quail in Missouri this upcoming season.

Habitat, Broods and Counts
The majority of quality quail habitat remains located in north, west central and southwest regions of Missouri. “Based on our August roadside surveys conducted each year, bobwhite quail populations are up approximately 33% from last year,” says David Hoover, Resource Management Supervisor for the Northwest Region with Missouri Department of Conservation. “Most areas of the state showed moderate increases in quail numbers this year.” Upland hunters will want to note that the bootheel counties (Mississippi Lowlands) were down more than normal this year. Additionally, the Northern Riverbreaks saw a slight decline this year as well, with the remaining six regions all showing promising increases in quail numbers.
 

Top Spots

We asked Hoover to provide the inside scoop for readers on where to target their efforts this upcoming season. “The best quail hunting can generally be found north of I-70 Highway and west of 65 Highway in areas with a good mix of diverse native grasses (lots of broad-leaf plants and open at ground level), shrub cover, and intermixed or adjacent to some cropland.”
And don’t forget to check out Missouri Department of Conservation’s Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program where privately-owned properties are open for walk-in public access.
 

Insider Tip

Looking for more? We’ve got you covered with an insider tip from our source. “When scouting out areas for bird hunting, habitat is still the key for finding good numbers. Quail tend to be in areas with diverse plantings such as native grasses and forbs with plenty of shrubby cover.”
 

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