Last week we visited landowners and scouted land in Kansas from Nemaha to Norton County. The Midwest is dry but the level of intensity varies considerably from region to region.
Plenty of quail and pheasant favorite food planted this year.
As of June 28th both the water levels and crops looked pretty good in Nemaha, Potawatomi, Riley, Ottawa, Washington and Republic Counties. We moved through this region fairly quick, but while posting a few farms saw and heard several quail whistling and pheasants crowing.
To see quail on a fast road trip is a bonus.
This Bob appeared to be alone, but who knows what else was in the grass behind him. Our observation over the past 30 years is ground nesting birds do better during dry years versus wet.
Rooks and Graham County are dry. Last year, in Graham County all of the remaining crop land (800 acres) was planted to CRP grass.
They planted a cover crop of sorghum which was 10 ft. tall and tough hunting. This year those same fields are thick with weeds and mixed native grass.
This lease has new CRP, old CRP, over a mile of shelter belts adjoining wheat stubble. We did see a recent hatch of young pheasant following mom into the grass, but they were too quick to catch with camera.
In NW Kansas when the sun starts to drop it’s amazing to see how many Mule Deer pop out of nowhere.
Norton County was not as dry as Graham or Rooks County. The photo above was taken of one of our fields in Norton County. Most of the landowners were optimistic about the pheasant and quail population.
These two quail were alone. Two fields earlier we flushed a young covey. They were barely able to fly. That was encouraging and we still have plenty of time.
Field being worked for a fall wheat planting.
This flock of young turkey crossed the road from one of our leases to feed in a worked field across the road. There are at least 13 poults in the photo. That's a tremendous hatch and proof that ground nesting birds do well during dry conditions.