PRATT – Surveys are complete, data is in, and the 2019 Kansas Upland Bird Hunting Forecast is ready for viewing. The highly-anticipated annual forecast predicts what pheasant, quail and prairie chicken hunters can likely expect going into the new seasons. Based on this year’s crow counts for pheasants, whistle counts for quail, and lek counts for prairie chickens, overall upland bird hunting prospects are looking “good” for fall.
hunting in Kansas should be fair to locally good this year. Heavy
winter precipitation made hunting conditions tough in 2018 but provided
ample soil moisture entering the 2019 nesting season. A few late winter
storms raised some concern in western Kansas, but the spring crowing
index remained the same as 2018, indicating there was no measurable
impact on over-winter survival. Heavy rainfall continued throughout the
spring and resulted in high levels of nest abandonment. However, nests
that did hatch appear to have responded to the plentiful cover with
relatively high chick survival, indicated by larger brood sizes. In wet
years like 2019, the nesting season becomes longer, allowing for
multiple re-nesting attempts. Overall, the large brood sizes, combined
with production from re-nesting birds appear to have compensated for the
losses from extreme spring weather.
The counts through much of
central Kansas decreased while numbers farther west increased or
remained similar to last year. Kansas continues to maintain one of the
best pheasant populations in the country and the fall harvest should
again be among the leading states.
The highest densities this year will likely be in the High Plains regions of western Kansas.
Click to read the full article and the forecast for Quail and Prairie Chicken.