Kansas Pheasant Hunting Season
Unrealistic Hunter Expectations
Crop Stubble Kansas Pheasants Hunting - The Toughest Kansas Hunting
Kansas wheat stubble. The toughest wild pheasant hunt of all. Only the best dogs can hold a pheasant point to hunter flush in this cover.
Wild Pheasants Will Show The Dog's True Hunting Power
A dog with longer point stand off will likely not to be able to see the pheasant. The longer point stand off also allows that if the pheasant does run to be further away from the dog and less likely to trigger the chase response.
Kansas pheasant hunting includes private land cover that only the best pheasant dogs are successful at hunting. Such as the pictures on this page. These pictures of crop stubble hunting are those that build the most unrealistic expectations of self guided Kansas wild pheasant hunts. The root of it is:
Hunters believe their dogs can hunt pheasants in all terrain. That is not true. Failure to understand that dogs are not perfect under all conditions is to set one's self up for disappointment.
Unrealistic expectations include that all dogs are crop stubble capable pheasant dogs of putting birds in the bag. Those that have such dogs smile each dog point and pheasant. Those that do not have this level of dog power will find crop stubble fields a plenty and no birds in the bag.
These Top Pictures Are From Don, Another Hunter Of Top Dogs Follows
Don's dogs hunt crop land. A simple statement to those with experience that means much.
Milo leaf gives plenty of cover. It still requires a dog steady to direct observation of a nearby running pheasant. More pheasant will run than freeze for point in such cover. Dogs that chase pheasants will have much opportunity to do so in cut cropland. Dogs will have long range vision down the rows and down along equipment wheel tracks. Dogs conditioned to point on sight of a pheasant in addition to scent make the better dogs for open cover.
Wheat stubble with weeds.
Thanks to Don for this excellent dog in action series of field shots. Dogs such as these will find pheasants in all other forms of cover as well. To have such dogs in a hunting career is a joy. None should expect to have such dogs their entire hunting career.
What Hunter's Say
We do have inquiries from pheasant hunters that have the belief that only native or high grass pheasant hunts are possible. These hunters are typically the ones least satisfied with their hunting experience for many reasons other than the availability of much native grass acres. The hunters with multi-cover capable dogs report the most satisfaction with their hunts.
Mike Seconds Thin Cover
Mike has probably more time chasing Kansas wild pheasants than most others. His generosity at sharing his hunting pictures should help many to examine whether their dogs are capable of working pheasants in such low Kansas cover, most cannot. Each picture is of a pheasant point.
...What a spectacular time of the year. Just got back from 3 days of bird hunting. I did not hunt any section more than two or three hours and encountered birds on each farm. Even ran into a couple nice coveys of quail....
Rare honest, objective, comment from a hunter about his own dog power.
On day one, my 6 year old female brit (Storm), whom is great on quail, did her normal far ranging wild flushing of every bird within the section I am hunting, in a matter of minutes....
The most successful pheasant hunters repeat the same ideas about their dogs.
I was hunting with my 7 month old French Brit Monty Jackson and my old buddy 13 year old Scudder Scout. What a pleasure hunting with dogs that hunt with you and for you...
she pointed 7 roosters in which I harvested three...She also pointed about 1 dozen hens. No wild flushes though....
Never enough pictures of those great dogs in our lives.
Satisfaction Of A Good Kansas Hunting Trip
For those that enjoy being outside, like to walk, have the energy to shoot accurately and the wild pheasant dog power will find plenty of lonely hours in the Kansas fields free from other hunters. The occasional encounter with another while hunting is typically a good conversation.
Grass next to crops means pheasants are present. What the hunter can do with the is another matter.
Then there are the big fields. Fields that no one hunts all at once.
This one is 1-1/2 miles by 1/2 mile.
The Average Self Guided Hunter
This is one of those fields that has multiple poor to average to great protective cover spots. About a third of it is an irregular shaped crop field that follows the high ground. Large enough that when pheasants do flush for any reason they come back somewhere into the field. Once energy is spent on flight they are more likely to hold the second time encountered. This is one of those fields that if hunted the potential for a limit is as high as it gets. It requires more energy than most have to hunt.
Kansas Hunting In Native or Tall Grass
Yes, we beat this dead horse. It seems we cannot talk enough about it.
Kansas hunting means to spend a lot of time hunting pheasants in the tall grass. The terms tall, high, native and warm season mean the same type of grass. Largely Big Bluestem, Indian and Switch Grass. That which grows with a deep root structure, in warm dry conditions, ranging up to six feet and more in height. Kansas more so than that of Iowa or Missouri has the most native grass hunting.
Tall grass comes in different forms. The contiguous large stand as above, the grass waterway within a crop field below and the earlier pictured filter strip. This grass pheasant habitat is in addition to the crop field edges and brushed in draws. Hunting a variety of such cover will show dog power and hunter preferences for one type over the other based on either pheasants in the bag or the quality of dog work.
The most common Kansas snow ground accumulation to be found throughout the late season to include the end of January.
Kansas late season hunt that includes Bobwhite Quail cover. The same field above and below. Hunting a grassed waterway cutting into the grain field above. Moving from the native grass field to the brushed in farm lane and fence line.
Not All Of Kansas Hunting land Is The Same and A lot Of It
Native grass has much variability in terms of height and thickness within any of the fields.
Tough to capture in a single picture just how large Kansas hunting fields are to hunt. That dot right of center is a hunter.
We are criticized by the unknowing when we say a typical hunting day is three to four stops. The criticism is that having only 3 to 4 hunting spots in a day is far too limited for a full day's hunting. That is not the case when each of those fields range 160 to 640 acres each. These hunters that offer this criticism are typically from states where any field they are hunting is a great field if it is 40 acres.
Kansas fields are large that no one hunter has the time to walk the entire field.
Gaining an appreciation for hunting cover within a field as well as wind direction and location of crop food sources narrows down where to hunt and what to pass on.
That cover calibrated eye is of what part of any field to hunt and that which is to be ignore. This is an acquired skill. That acquisition will require more than a couple of hunts.
Pheasant Hot Spots, Sweet Spots, Golden Nugget Spots
Each hunting spot will have concentration of pheasants based on protective cover and food. Learning to identify those spots gives much toward those limit days. At the least such understanding limits walking.
Kansas flat lands is a myth. There is contour. Kansas is a "drainage State". Drainage's have more of the better grass, however not always the birds.
Drainage's typically have better soils and increased water retention, better hunting. Higher elevations may have thinner top soil above the clay that seems to permeate this region, less hunting value.
Just as drainage's will attract the hunter so will grain crops along tall grass field edges. This is hunting from bird a holding quality point within any one field to the next. The opposite would be hunting a square pattern in a square field and a rectangular pattern in a rectangular field. Pheasants do not recognize geometric shapes. Neither should hunters attempt to put such a box on nature. Protective cover and food source combinations are what is important.
End of this Kansas hunting series.