Kansas Quail Hunting Food Source
Kansas crop field hunting has more corn and soybean in central and east Kansas. More milo and wheat in west Kansas. The short answer is hunt all grain fields with any cover, hunt milo fields harder.
This could be a picture from anywhere in north or east Kansas. It happens to be in an area allowing for mixed bag pheasant and quail hunts. Pictured is a cut soybean field and a filter strip heavy in weeds. More likely a quail than a pheasant spot. Pheasants require large acreage tall grass and less trees.
A long walk on a half section (320 acres) with a mile of more each side of the creek mainline plus tributaries, infield waterways and fence lines. A good spot to hunt as one side of this wide drainage can be walked out and the other back without retracing over the previous boot prints.
As seen from the road.
A Kansas wheat field left fallow for a different crop spring planting.
This fall season picture allows for the illustration of the weeds that grow up in fallow wheat. All the green to be seen in the field. That cover plus the edge cover of the wooded creek bottom would be a quail spot. That is for this year and next. Next year as this season wheat has been let go will probably find this field in another grain followed likely by wheat again. When in winter or green wheat that covey may not remain where previously found.
The same Kansas farm as the picture immediately above one field over. A milo field separated by weed filled waterway leading down to the fallow wheat and wood edge. A long hunt/walk.
Another view (below) of the same Kansas lease making the point that wild Bobwhite Quail so love milo that any milo field even with the barest of cover should be hunted.
During The Season Kansas Quail Hunting Snapshots
Pictures from southeast Kansas. Hunting with two hunters and two dogs.
A hunter with life long pointing dog training experience.
Take away from these Kansas hunting pictures the habitat showing where the dog is on point. Standing beans in the field at right, grass strip between the field and the fence line (easily recognized property line) partially out of sight to Jerry's right.
The covey flushed from the rear of the pictured hunter about 150 yards earlier. The water way seen as a grass strip in the upper left of the picture splitting the crop field absorbed the rest of the covey save the couple of singles that went to ground quick.
This Kansas farm is a half section or 320 acres at one mile by one half mile in size. It held two coveys for two hours plus hunting on a warm day with less than ideal wind and dust scenting conditions. While points were not counted during the hunt, in reflection afterwards the covey point plus what was believed to be a minimum of six singles. Bad luck and wind pushed the majority of birds over the property line.
Short grasses, scattered and minimal brush and woody growth are all components of good Kansas wild Bobwhite Quail habitat. That is if running along a grain crop field. The challenge is that such habitat runs for miles on many farms. It is up to the self guided quail hunter to decide which ones to hunt.
First Hunt Harder Than later Hunts
A successful approach for the first time Kansas hunter is to hunt the entire farm.
Hunting all private land on the upland bird unit map sheet to see where the quail are and are not. Not all will hold any coveys, some will have more than one covey. When a covey or more is found that hunter marks his maps. As he hunts from trip to trip, season to season he will soon have more coveys identified on his maps than time. That will allow that same hunter to get his next first year hunting dog into a lot of coveys fast. That critical first season of much covey contact makes for a better lifetime of hunting.
Conservation In Practice
The hunting approach that will insure that any one quail hunter has seasons of good hunting is not to exterminate a covey.
If each quail hunter when finding a covey takes one bird from each covey for each dog hunting for a maximum of two and hunts that covey twice a season that hunter will be hunting that covey for years to come.
Conversely is a hunter takes his 8 quail limit from the first covey he encounters. That covey may very well break below the tipping point for successive year long survival. In this case the hunter is making a choice. The options are a short term hunting. Or, insuring that he will have more quail hunts to come in the future.
The hunter that takes one to two birds per covey and subsequent singles hunting will get more points than birds bagged. The dog will remain motivated to hunt. After that limited harvest from the first covey the hunter can move onto his next covey spot and repeat. By this means he gains a full day's hunting each day and will have coveys left to be found the next trip.
To get to the level of having more coveys marked on a hunter's map sheets than hunting time to cover will take about three seasons of two one week hunting trips. After reaching this level continuing maintenance would be to add at least one covey spot each hunting trip. This is required as a good quail lease may be lost over the years due to landowner death, land sales, bulldozer, changing land use and so on. By adding new coveys that hunter insures backup should one farm be dropped from Association inventory.
For those hunters seeking to reach this level it can be done. A mark of that achievement is when the 8x10 pictures appear on the wall. They will be of their dogs in field on wild quail points. These pictures over time will be exchanged for better ones until there is not any more room on that wall for additional pictures. At this point is when the quail hunter has gray hair and fully enjoys his hunting regardless of limit counts.