Mid January '21 hunt

birddogs4evr

Active member
I'm considering a early to mid January '21 quail/pheasant hunt. Either North Central Kansas ( Russell Cty and surrounding area or Southern Nebraska. Any thoughts or advise ? Traveling from Southwest VA.
 

hunter94

Well-known member
I'm considering a early to mid January '21 quail/pheasant hunt. Either North Central Kansas ( Russell Cty and surrounding area or Southern Nebraska. Any thoughts or advise ? Traveling from Southwest VA.

January is tough hunting, birds are really wild by then, early Dec. is much better time to go.
Nebraska sucked last year, don't expect much improvement.
 

birddogs4evr

Active member
January is tough hunting, birds are really wild by then, early Dec. is much better time to go.
Nebraska sucked last year, don't expect much improvement.
Where we're coming from we have literally no birds so tough hunting is not a problem. We have no plans except to watch the backend of 3 Brittany's for 5 days so no place to go but up !
 

Bamaquail

New member
If there is any kind of snow/rain in southern Nebraska or north Ks forget about getting on the dirt roads. You will be stuck in a heart beat.
 
he is right about the roads, they can be unpassable. we hunt north central ks every year. last year was not good at all. reports are looking better for this year. you can phone me if you would like to talk 276-920-4893. jim
 

Miforester

Well-known member
As many have mentioned weather will be the big factor here especially snow and or roads that have drifted shut or if rain are not really passable. That being said you will get opportunities for birds and depending on the location may run into more quail than pheasants. South Central Nebraska is good for 50/50 split, if you are more easterly then it leans more towards quail and west more towards pheasants. There is ample public and walkin areas throughout that area. Nasty roads are an inconvenience and does limit many from hitting some hunting areas, that being said if you are willing to walk/snowshoe to the isolates spots it can really be a great time. I love hunting Nebraska just for the mixed bag opportunities and it doesn't hurt i have a lifetime license too.
 

birddogs4evr

Active member
As many have mentioned weather will be the big factor here especially snow and or roads that have drifted shut or if rain are not really passable. That being said you will get opportunities for birds and depending on the location may run into more quail than pheasants. South Central Nebraska is good for 50/50 split, if you are more easterly then it leans more towards quail and west more towards pheasants. There is ample public and walkin areas throughout that area. Nasty roads are an inconvenience and does limit many from hitting some hunting areas, that being said if you are willing to walk/snowshoe to the isolates spots it can really be a great time. I love hunting Nebraska just for the mixed bag opportunities and it doesn't hurt i have a lifetime license too.
Thanks ! Never been afraid to walk. We have lodging in Lucas but kind of watching bird reports since it really makes no difference to us ( Kansas or Nebraska )
 

birddogs4evr

Active member
he is right about the roads, they can be unpassable. we hunt north central ks every year. last year was not good at all. reports are looking better for this year. you can phone me if you would like to talk 276-920-4893. jim
Much appreciated, I will certainly be in touch...
 

s.davis

Active member
There's not any real difference between the 2. Kansas has more huntable land, but it gets more pressure, and by January most of the birds have moved off to private land.
 
I hunted walk-in SW of Holdrege NE last year December. Killed a couple of pheasants. Missed a couple. Shots were generally LONG. I wish I brought a tighter choked gun. Generally speaking most of the CRP fields I hit had a bird or two - whether a couple birds per field is "worth it" is a matter of perspective. Getting close to them was mostly impossible unless you were willing to bust chest high CRP where they held tighter. Never did see a quail, I and hit a bunch of ground that looked like quail ground. When you come from a place with near zero chance of seeing a bird on public ground it's worth the trip to me, but I surely did not see a lot of birds. Roads can be fine or a disaster. If you can be flexible on dates and location so much the better. If not you just have to be satisfied with hunting near highways and be careful.
 

JohndoeboyNE

New member
I gotta admit, I'm a fan of the late season. Tough hunting, but makes getting birds that much more rewarding.

Makintrax was pretty spot on about the area. I've hunted the NW corner of Harlan County (just southwest of Holdrege) and the bird numbers aren't' as good as they are closer to the Kansas-Nebraska border. Some heavy snows seemed to drop the quail numbers last season and walk in is pretty well worked over by the end of December. He's also right about the tough walks, but that's where you'll find them. There is public ground the further west you go of Harlan, but there's a lot of good private ground out that way too. The best is to knock and talk with some farmers. You might get a few no's, but most just appreciate having people ask before hunting. If you do decide to head up around the Harlan/Furnas area in January, shoot me a message and I can get you some contacts for some good private ground.
 
Last edited:

birddogs4evr

Active member
I gotta admit, I'm a fan of the late season. Tough hunting, but makes getting birds that much more rewarding.

Makintrax was pretty spot on about the area. I've hunted the NW corner of Harlan County (just southwest of Holdrege) and the bird numbers aren't' as good as they are closer to the Kansas-Nebraska border. Some heavy snows seemed to drop the quail numbers last season and walk in is pretty well worked over by the end of December. He's also right about the tough walks, but that's where you'll find them. There is public ground the further west you go of Harlan, but there's a lot of good private ground out that way too. The best is to knock and talk with some farmers. You might get a few no's, but most just appreciate having people ask before hunting. If you do decide to head up around the Harlan/Furnas area in January, shoot me a message and I can get you some contacts for some good private ground.
I'll absolutely be in touch ! We plan to put in the leg work so any info/advise is very much appreciated ! Have a great season , enjoy the people and the dogs ! Be safe...
 

Munster927

Well-known member
I gotta admit, I'm a fan of the late season. Tough hunting, but makes getting birds that much more rewarding.

Makintrax was pretty spot on about the area. I've hunted the NW corner of Harlan County (just southwest of Holdrege) and the bird numbers aren't' as good as they are closer to the Kansas-Nebraska border. Some heavy snows seemed to drop the quail numbers last season and walk in is pretty well worked over by the end of December. He's also right about the tough walks, but that's where you'll find them. There is public ground the further west you go of Harlan, but there's a lot of good private ground out that way too. The best is to knock and talk with some farmers. You might get a few no's, but most just appreciate having people ask before hunting. If you do decide to head up around the Harlan/Furnas area in January, shoot me a message and I can get you some contacts for some good private ground.
This apply to another out of stater from Minnesota, John Doe? Haha I've hunted the Harlan/Furnas county area once before for Pheasant and Quail. Been there another time for turkey also. Heading down there again this January with my dad. First time he'll ever be hunting quail.
 

Munster927

Well-known member
I'll absolutely be in touch ! We plan to put in the leg work so any info/advise is very much appreciated ! Have a great season , enjoy the people and the dogs ! Be safe...
You decided where you're going BirdDogs? You mentioned earlier about Kansas or Nebraska. I can attest that Nebraska is a great time if you've never been before. I have a young bird dog that I'm getting on as many birds as possible this year. Already bagged sharp tail, ruffed grouse, prairie chicken and pheasants over her so far. Gota add in a quail this year haha
 

JohndoeboyNE

New member
This apply to another out of stater from Minnesota, John Doe? Haha I've hunted the Harlan/Furnas county area once before for Pheasant and Quail. Been there another time for turkey also. Heading down there again this January with my dad. First time he'll ever be hunting quail.
Unfortunately, I spoke with my contacts and most have said they've given out as much permission as they would like to. The other is having health related issues so I figured he could use time to recover. I'm kinda surprised by the response of some as they usually are welcoming enough to those who ask, but I have to respect their decision.
 

Munster927

Well-known member
Unfortunately, I spoke with my contacts and most have said they've given out as much permission as they would like to. The other is having health related issues so I figured he could use time to recover. I'm kinda surprised by the response of some as they usually are welcoming enough to those who ask, but I have to respect their decision.
That's understandable. Thanks for the reply tho! Have you heard about how the numbers are looking this year? I've just heard a few reports and read the rural mail carrier surveys. Sounds spotty but idk what part of the state these reports are coming from.
 

JohndoeboyNE

New member
I still think it's too early to tell. Talking with farmers there were a decent amount of birds in every field they picked. The temps have been up for most of the early season, so they're spread out and running. Last week me and my dog walked a big area and didn't see much in shooting range. Then as we hit the last patch there he flushed a triple in front of me. Today we put in about 5 miles and I didn't get a shot on a rooster. Too far out ahead. That's even on private land in the hidden spots. Opening weekend I hit a spot where I saw 20-30 get up out of some kochia, but once again too far ahead of me. When the weather changes and we get more precipitation and cooler days I think the odds will be better.

Edit:I have seen good quail numbers. Hit a covey today with about 15 in it. If I was a better shot I could have had a meal out of the number that flushed around me.
 
Top