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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Thursday, 30 October 2014 17:32

Pheasant/Quail Hunt or not to Hunt

Pheasant and Quail in a breeding farm to increase Upland bird populations Pheasant and Quail in a breeding farm to increase Upland bird populations

Pheasant Populations for Hunting are low in the Midwest

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been looking into whether or not to hunt pheasant and quail this year.  Though we love to hit the field and watch the dogs work we might just end up sitting this year out due to the drought and population numbers.  Though populations seem to be on the increase finally the last several years of drought have no doubt had poor effects.  Sitting this year out again, though sad, seems to be the right thing to do as hunters and as conservationists to make sure populations thrive for next year.  Let us know how populations have been doing in your state in the comment section below.

Kansas Upland Bird Populations in Kansas:

A copy of the 2014 Kansas Upland Bird Forecast is now available and from the looks of things, upland bird hunters will see improved populations this fall. Although below-average harvests are expected this year, hunters should see more birds and have more opportunities than the 2013 season. To view the entire forecast, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” then “Upland Birds.”

PHEASANT

After three consecutive years of statewide declines, spring breeding populations for pheasant stabilized in 2014. The only region showing a significant decrease was the Northern High Plains. Summer brood counts show an increase of 70 percent when compared to 2013. This increase should offer improved hunting opportunities, and the best hunting this year will likely be in the Smoky Hills region. Kansas still contains one of the best pheasant populations among states and the fall harvest will again be among the best in the country; however, Kansas will again have a below-average pheasant harvest this fall.

  • Regular Season: Nov. 8, 2014 - January 31, 2015
  • Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014
  • Daily Bag Limit: 4 cocks in regular season, 2 cocks in youth season

Quail

Roadside surveys for quail showed a statewide increase of 50 percent compared to 2013. However, statewide populations are still below historic averages, and Kansas will likely have a below-average quail harvest this fall. Populations in much of the central and western portions of the state have not fully recovered from the drought. While opportunities will be better throughout most of the state this year, the best opportunities will likely remain in the eastern third of the state, particularly in the Flint Hills region.

  • Regular Season: November 8, 2014 - January 31, 2015
  • Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014
  • Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season

Prairie Chicken

Prairie chicken populations are generally up where the appropriate habitat exists. Hunting opportunities should be improved throughout the greater prairie chicken hunting unit; however, the best opportunities this fall will be in the Smoky Hills Region.

  • Early Season (Greater Prairie Chicken Unit): Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2014
  • Regular Season (Greater Prairie Chicken Unit): Nov. 15, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015
  • Daily Bag Limit: 2. Southwest Unit closed to all prairie chicken hunting