PRATT – It’s a Kansas tradition to open the pheasant and quail seasons on the second Saturday in November. If you’re a bird hunter, you’re already losing sleep thinking about opening day. The Kansas pheasant and quail seasons are Nov. 11, 2017-Jan. 31, 2018.
It’s a big deal, both to hunters and to the state’s economy. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, hunting pumps more than $400 million into the Kansas economy each year, and while hunters find a myriad of game species to pursue in Kansas, pheasant and quail are high on the list. Year in, year out, Kansas will rank among the top three states in the nation for harvest of pheasant and bobwhite quail.
Based on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Small Game Harvest Survey data, more than 80,000 hunters will hunt pheasants in Kansas this year, and while there is some overlap, more than 62,000 will hunt quail. Approximately 40,000 of those hunters will be nonresidents. If you don’t believe it, try to reserve a motel room in any small town in western Kansas on Nov. 11. Conservatively, nonresident bird hunters will spend more than $150 per day on lodging, fuel, food and supplies while hunting in Kansas, adding much-needed dollars into the small communities that dot prime Kansas hunting regions.
Pre-season reports predict good hunting in many areas of the state for both pheasants and quail. Precipitation patterns in much of Kansas in recent years created ideal nesting and brood-rearing conditions, and hunters will find heavy cover this fall. The 2017 Upland Bird Hunting Forecast is available online at www.ksoutdoors.com, and provides details about expected bird numbers by region. The 2017 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary is also a must-have for hunters because it includes all season dates, bag and possession limits, as well as license requirements and fees. And hunters should also consult the 2017 Kansas Hunting Atlas, which has maps showing all state, federal and Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA) public hunting areas. More than 1 million acres of private land are enrolled in the WIHA program. The regulations summary and atlas can be downloaded or picked up wherever licenses are sold.
In addition to long seasons, Kansas also offers generous bag and possession limits for pheasants and quail – four rooster pheasants per day and 16 in possession and eight quail per day and 32 in possession. Much of central and southwest Kansas provides excellent pheasant and quail combination hunting opportunities.
November is a great month to be in Kansas if you’re a hunter because in addition to pheasant and quail, other seasons open include greater prairie chicken, ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, deer, and wild turkey. The only downside is that November is only 30 days long.