Kansas Quail Hunting - The Down Side
Never As Seen In Videos
Kansas wild Bobwhite Quail are this Association's highest risk hunting. That hunting risk is often the difference between expectations and reality. The examples below have been offered by a number of Kansas hunters over the years:
The Romantic Appeal
A successful upland bird hunter of any bird native to his home state such as Ruffed Grouse reads the many Kansas hunting articles. They often promote the romantic appeal of wild quail. That romantic appeal of much dog action on more open ground is highly attractive compared to the very closed in woods of grouse hunting.
Bobwhite hunting in particular works well for pointing dogs. The intensity of the dog on bird action is the most to be found. That intensity is the fast frequency of singles points that occur after the covey point. A type of action more intense than any non-covey bird and all other covey bird hunting.
The assumption leading to a failed Kansas wild quail experience is the hunter believing his dog that is good on grouse will be a good quail dog. That frequently is not the case.
Bobwhite Quail are protective cover specialists. They occupy a very narrow range of cover. A grouse dog given to widely variable circle hunting patterns around its master will frequently be too far into or out of the narrow range edge the quail occupy. This will easily lead to by-passed coveys.
It is the down wind edge running dog that finds the most coveys. A linear pattern absent from many hunting and field trial dogs.
Dog Skill Set
A hunting dog that did well in training on pen raised quail does not live up to expectations on wild quail. The difference comes down to finding less scent intensity coveys on natural Kansas terrain. Contrast this to a training field of pen raised scent heavy birds. Two different hunting dog skill sets entirely.
A less of an issue as dogs will quickly learn the difference. However, that learning may take several hunting trips on wild quail. This is an issue for hunter's patience, not dog learning capability.
Thirty to 80 quail were seen in a day and it was a bad hunt. We have heard this. It is surprising as the daily limit is 8.
Typical to this is the discovery that Bobwhite Quail that hold so well for great dog work are ground loving birds. They often give about 2 seconds of flight time before returning to ground. Tougher shooting than on any skeet or sporting clays range.
Keep a sense of humor to have a better hunting.
That Shooting Thing Again
Anything less than the 25 coveys a day like we had in Texas is poor hunting not worth the trip to Kansas to hunt 8 coveys.
The covey hunting only states require such covey numbers for a good day's worth of hunting. However, in Kansas the more humid, cooler temperatures, allows us to hunt coveys and singles. This is due to that hunting singles is part of every covey.
Our hunting for shot is on singles immediately and long after the covey flush. To shoot into a covey is to wound as many as to bag one. This is given the open chokes of most quail guns and the tight patterns of the covey on the rise. The hunting of singles after the covey flush is to get the dog on many more points and a clean shot at a single quail.
In Kansas on a five covey day of relaxed hunting an average of 8 singles points are gained. That is 40 points. More than plenty even with a greater than 50% miss rate to bag a limit.
The Quail Are There
The final one is that Kansas' hunting is simply bad. Meaning no birds. Due to every reason other than the hunter or the dog.
We will get this from a first year Association hunter on his first Kansas upland bird hunting trip. This has been true even on the years of top 10% forecasts.
There is more good Kansas hunting than bad. There are more good hunters than bad. It will always be true that Kansas wild quail hunters will be a minority as they have been in the past. It will remain true that a Kansas bag limit is as challenging as a trophy whitetail hunt. Our highest risk hunt.
There is more to consider about this Association's Kansas hunting. All should feel free to call with questions. Any one question often brings a detailed answer with additional points to consider.
First the Quail Are Out There
Kansas quail hunting success pictures are fine. They establish the Kansas hunt quality that is possible. It is acquisition of the right combination grain farm and edge cover habitat within the right region of Kansas that has a history of strong quail reproduction that is key.
For The Average Quail Hunter
A second aspect of the pictures is they are of average Kansas hunters.
Basic transportation, minimal equipment. Hunters and their dogs. As self guided hunts have always been. Just the basics.
No mule drawn wagon, hunting lodges or meals provided. All those that have the wherewithal will find the hunt they want.
Key To Success
The Kansas private land hunting we have derives from the combination of protective cover and winter over food source.
The following pictures do as best we can to show where to hunt.
Kansas wild quail hunts as demonstrated by dogs on point.
Belle and Jerry
A singles point well after covey flush.
Another field a different day. What cannot be seen behind the camera man is the grain field on the other side of the wooded drainage.
A third hunt. What these three show is fallow lease land.
Kansas Quail Hunting Proof
The why behind the trust the previous point pictures are worth the time to study. Jerry, his one dog and a partial day's results.
Jerry is one of the Association quail only hunters that has the ability to have had and does continue to have many a good dog.
He is above average in the number of years he has been hunting in his Association. He is below average as he runs one dog at a time. Most Association hunters hunt a brace.
Continuing on through this section contains as much variety to cover to be found in Kansas.