PRATT – November 14 marks the opening day for Kansas’ regular quail and pheasant seasons, and November 21 marks the opening day of Kansas’ regular greater prairie chicken season. This year, the outlook looks promising, as both popular upland game bird populations appear to be faring well. But when opportunities exist statewide, it can sometimes be difficult for upland bird hunters to narrow down the best locations to hunt. That’s where the 2020 Kansas Upland Bird Forecast comes in handy.
The forecast – produced annually by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) – is compiled from data collected during spring calling surveys for pheasants (crow counts), quail (whistle counts), and prairie chickens (lek counts), as well as late-summer roadside surveys for pheasants and quail.
The 2020 Kansas Upland Bird Forecast, available online at ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Upland-Birds, includes the following highlights:
Data suggests Kansas might again have one of the nation’s best bobwhite quail harvests this season, with dense populations of quail in central Kansas.
“Our quail did amazing things again, especially in north-central Kansas,” said Jeff Prendergast, KDWPT small game specialist. “Some landowners have told me they’ve never seen it like this and some have been farming 40 or 50 years. People need to get out and enjoy this while it’s this good.”
Numbers look especially promising in much of south-central Kansas, too. Southwest Kansas could have some good pockets of birds, and while northeast Kansas saw a significant population increase, it will likely not compete with locations further west.
Northwest and north-central Kansas should have the state’s best pheasant numbers this season. There, populations are similar to last season when Kansas ranked second in the nation for quality pheasant hunting. Though, hunters should note: Great hunting spots may be more fragmented than usual because of summer