Nebraska Quail Hunting Forecast 2018


Weather and Conditions

"Spring was late in coming to Nebraska, with cold temperatures and a late, heavy snowstorm hitting much of western Nebraska in late April," reports Dr. Jeffrey Lusk, upland game program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. "The snow was not long-lived on the ground, but laying hens may have abandoned their nests. We had no reports of mass mortalities from this event and suspect that the late spring may have delayed the start of the breeding season, minimizing the impact to production. Weather improved thereafter with warmer temps and adequate moisture to promote vegetation growth." 

Hatch and Broods

"I’ve had few reports so far specifically on brood observations, but field staff continue to report seeing good numbers of quail, particularly in the southeast through south-central region," says Lusk. "Although our whistle counts and Rural Mail Carrier survey were mixed but overall lower than last year, numbers are generally higher than the 5-year average, indicating a good season ahead."

Habitat and Programs

"Plenty of moisture throughout the summer has resulted in good habitat conditions across much of the state," Lusk says. "The Commission continues to enroll upland habitat across the state into the Open Fields and Waters program to provide hunters with more access and opportunity to hunt quail and other upland game. More information on the program can be found at:, and an online atlas of all lands open to public hunting can be found at:" 

Top Spots

"The Republican, Southeast, and East-central bobwhite management zones will provide the best opportunities this coming fall," says Lusk.

Insider Tips

"For hunters coming from the forested regions of the Southeast US, quail habitat out here will have less woody coverage," explains Lusk. "Brushy cover near crop and CRP fields, or near wooded fence rows and wind breaks would offer good targets for hunters."