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Lots of quail, but where are the roosters?

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Lots of quail, but where are the roosters?

Old 01-10-2011, 11:26 AM
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Default Lots of quail, but where are the roosters?

I am hunting around the milford lake area north central Kansas and I know that our pheasant numbers are supposed to be down due to last year's snow and the summer's hail storms. So far I have seen only about 3 roosters in 5 days of upland hunting and I've probably seen another half dozen while deer hunting; which is about what I expected. What puzzles me is how so many quail survived. Even when I'm by myself, without dogs, I manage to scare up a few large coveys--sometimes more than 15 birds at a time. How did these smaller birds survive so much better than the supposedly rugged pheasant?

I hear that pheasant populations up north of Milford and Tuttle Creek reservoirs are supposed to be better. Has anyone hunting this area of Kansas had any luck closer to Nebraska?

~~Brasky
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:03 PM
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Quail have multiple clutches.



.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:34 AM
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We hunt between Hutchinson and Sterling. Quail and pheasants are way up this year. We have seen more birds this year than we have probably ever seen before. I have not heard anything about the northern part of the state though.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:26 PM
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We hunt Northeast KS (Troy) and the quail numbers have been way way down since the last two years since the hail storm. We used to jump 7-8 covey per day and now we are lucky to get one covey over 2-3 days.

Lots of Pheasant 5hrs west though in Ness City
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:54 AM
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Hey Cowboy & hunter, are you guys hitting up public ground or do you have access to private land? I would love to hit up land west of Ft. Hays but I don't always have the time and I'm not as familiar with the land.

I've been hunting around Milford because I have access to a little less than a section of private ground and there is a ton of public land around there, but as it has been said, the hail storms this summer really hurt the survival rate for upland birds. Last weekend, though, I took a buddy of mine hunting for his first time and we scared up probably ten coveys of quail and two hens over a full day of hunting. I have been hearing that the land west Marysville is supposed to be pretty good, so I think we may try that this weekend. Hopefully it didn't snow any harder up there than it did here.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:24 PM
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We hunt all private ground. There is not very much public ground where we hunt. There is alot of walk-in ground around Cheney lake south of us, but it is usually hunted hard. Private ground is getting hard to find because of the increasing numbers of outfitters paying big bucks to lease everything.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:29 AM
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Update:

I went up to the areas around Marysville and Washington last weekend with a few friends and two dogs. The public ground was the most desolate thing I have seen in a while--and I've spent a fair amount of time in the Nebraska sandhills. West of Washington, however, the opportunities looked better, though we never really found too much on public ground (just a few hens, no quail). We did knock on a few doors and found the land owners to be quite accommodating.

The first house we knocked on let us right into a chunk of land that we were drooling over when we were cruising for spots. They said "you ain't gonna find nothing, but have at it boys" and luckily for us, they were wrong. We scared up a massive covey of quail within the first 50 yards of walking and in their field across the road we kicked up 5 roosters. Not phenomenal for 100 acres, but not at all bad.

The second house we knocked on had approximately the same amount of land (all thick CRP surrounded by milo, with a few small water draws) but after scouring the whole plot we only kicked up one rooster. So our trip wasn't a total loss, but for how much we walked for those few birds I wish we would have seen more. Oh well--there's still two weekends left to hunt. Next weekend may be a trip out the land by Ft. Hays.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:59 AM
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We used to always hunt north of hays and found alot of birds. I have not made it up there for two years though. Parts of western Kansas seem to have good numbers this year, and others are low. I am going to school in the Oklahoma panhandle and our bird numbers are way down this year. I did some hunting around Ulysses and we saw a fair number of birds though. It seems to be pretty hit and miss for the western part of the state this year. Good luck though.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cowboycrittergitter View Post
We used to always hunt north of hays and found alot of birds. I have not made it up there for two years though. Parts of western Kansas seem to have good numbers this year, and others are low. I am going to school in the Oklahoma panhandle and our bird numbers are way down this year. I did some hunting around Ulysses and we saw a fair number of birds though. It seems to be pretty hit and miss for the western part of the state this year. Good luck though.
Thanks for the well wishing. I have family in Lakin and have heard that the bird numbers have been pretty good in that area, but I hear the southwest corner has always been a bit less consistent than the northwest counties. I'm not sure how heavy this new layer of snow is going to be out west, but around here the weather stations are talking about 5-8 inches before Friday. It may be a good weekend to head to the rifle range or bust some clays.
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