Opening Weekend in Kansas

Matte

Member
Ok I am for habitat but I have to question the mindset. I hunt mostly Grant Co and The National Grasslands. The areas I hunt have not changed much in my time especially the Grasslands. Water, it as all about water. In the past you could find working water guzzlers about every section and tailwater pits full of water. This year about every guzzler i have been to is in need of repair. We need these in about every crp field to get birds back and the resident hunting population back to 300,000+
 

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LC Smith

Active member
Ended up with 4 birds in 2 days. Not going to hunt tomorrow but might do a little on the way home Friday. The dogs and I had a blast. Never thought I would spend $4500 on a dog but it was worth every penny. I love the British lineage of dogs. So much that I am going to buy another. Love the solo hunts with me and the dogs. I was going to try and go to North Dakota over Xmas break but may just come back up here.
Between the initial cost of the dog, his training, and hunt testing costs I am probably north of $6000 and understand what you are saying. I am fortunate to having two hunting preserves, an hour from my house, and they allow me to get the dog on birds. My pup is from Hunters Point Kennel.
 

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Dixieman

New member
The reason I was asking is that I made a decision to pull the plug on my trip to NW Kansas this week. I have many friends out there and they said the bird numbers were maybe the worst they could remember. Plus the weather bone dry and really to hot for dogs to hunt for long. I might still consider a hunt after the first of the year if things seem to improve. To put things in perspective my hunting partner and I limited out three years ago on both quail and pheasant. It was like a chicken house with a different covey of quail every 400 yards or so. Things took a turn the last couple of years with much fewer birds on the same ground. It seems the weather has played the biggest role with the decline with a few bad winters and dry nesting conditions. A real double whammy. Anyway if I am missing something let me know folks. If the weather conditions improve after Christmas I might still load the setters in the trailer and head out. I haven’t missed a season in 30 years and it is a bummer if I don’t make it this year. Thanks
 

Chessie 67

Active member
Don’t miss the season. Tons of birds or fewer birds, you will most likely have a great time either way. Regardless of the reports, if you don’t go you wont know.
 

UplandHntr

Well-known member
The reason I was asking is that I made a decision to pull the plug on my trip to NW Kansas this week. I have many friends out there and they said the bird numbers were maybe the worst they could remember. Plus the weather bone dry and really to hot for dogs to hunt for long. I might still consider a hunt after the first of the year if things seem to improve. To put things in perspective my hunting partner and I limited out three years ago on both quail and pheasant. It was like a chicken house with a different covey of quail every 400 yards or so. Things took a turn the last couple of years with much fewer birds on the same ground. It seems the weather has played the biggest role with the decline with a few bad winters and dry nesting conditions. A real double whammy. Anyway if I am missing something let me know folks. If the weather conditions improve after Christmas I might still load the setters in the trailer and head out. I haven’t missed a season in 30 years and it is a bummer if I don’t make it this year. Thanks
Dont know where youre from but just go somewhere else. As I get older I cant give up trips/seasons anymore. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
 

Dixieman

New member
Thanks guys all true. I’m from Georgia. Yeah I have hunted lean years and banner years. I am hoping things are a little better when the weather cools off and I might hit the road. I have hard charging Gordon Setters that will hunt till they drop. The main reason I’m not going this week is the hot dry weather. Eighty degrees is is just too hot to put black dogs down. Like I said I might give it a shot after Christmas. Thank you guys for your response. Very appreciated.
 

LC Smith

Active member
The reason I was asking is that I made a decision to pull the plug on my trip to NW Kansas this week. I have many friends out there and they said the bird numbers were maybe the worst they could remember. Plus the weather bone dry and really to hot for dogs to hunt for long. I might still consider a hunt after the first of the year if things seem to improve. To put things in perspective my hunting partner and I limited out three years ago on both quail and pheasant. It was like a chicken house with a different covey of quail every 400 yards or so. Things took a turn the last couple of years with much fewer birds on the same ground. It seems the weather has played the biggest role with the decline with a few bad winters and dry nesting conditions. A real double whammy. Anyway if I am missing something let me know folks. If the weather conditions improve after Christmas I might still load the setters in the trailer and head out. I haven’t missed a season in 30 years and it is a bummer if I don’t make it this year. Thanks
I hunted three weeks ago in Norton/Decatur counties and birds were hard to come by. It is really dry and warm. I have hunted the same private grounds for the past 18 years or so, and it was the worse we have seen. Hunted a mix of corn, wheat stubble, milo, and CRP.
 

matto

Active member
Birds are out there. I hunted both days opening weekend, Monday the 22nd, Friday the 26th, and Sunday the 28th. I pulled the trigger every day. Yesterday better shooting might have netted me 3 birds, all on WIHA, hunting by myself. Quail are out there too.
 

s.davis

Active member
I skipped KS opener this year for the first time in at least a decade. I've been out twice since, to 2 different regions, almost all private ground with very low pressure, only stepped foot on 1 WIHA (but it produced). Hunted 3 days wheat and milo stubble in western KS. Pheasants were definitely down significantly. Did see a couple coveys of quail, however, in a region I have never, or exceedingly rarely, seen quail before. Hunted 2 days in central KS and got into a lot of pheasants and multiple big coveys of quail. Excellent habitat - grass, cattails, treerows. Seemed like birds were up in that area from the last time I hunted it (probably 3-4 years), but it may just have been the properties, they were bird paradise. 5 days total in KS this year so far, 15 pheasants and 4 quail.

I don't ever really judge bird numbers until the season is done, especially early season when it is nearly always warm and dry now.
 

KsHusker

Active member
I think a lot of the hay is going south into the Texas panhandle to the massive dairy farms that have sprung up there in the last 10-15 years. Those dairies are 100% confinement, and all of the cows in the milking herd, the dry cows, and the replacement heifers are fed every bite they consume. They mix the “prairie hay” into the rations as a cheap source of dry matter. I believe this is also why you see milo and even corn stalks being baled up.

When I left southwest Kansas opening weekend, I saw several loads of prairie hay and milo stalks headed toward Elkhart, and then on to Stratford, Texas.

I live about an hour and a half southeast of Lubbock, and I never see truckloads of milo stalks or prairie hay come through this part of the world. To me, that means it’s being offloaded somewhere between western Kansas and here, which leads me to believe it’s being fed at dairy farms.
You forget about those pig barns that litter the land from Texas to around N of Garden City when they stop again.
 

Dixieman

New member
Hey guys for you guys hunting in western Kansas let me know if things improve after the weather turns cold and we get a little moisture out that way. I hunt every year , sometimes twice a year in Montana North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Been doing it every year since I was ten and now I’m 65. Go figure. That said I am in great shape and got great dogs. I just hate to drive 1200 miles if the birds are really in bad shape. I can go up in the north Georgia mountains and hunt grouse. Now a days after all the bans on clear cutting most of the grouse are gone and it’s just exercise you know. You boys take care.
 

Dixieman

New member
Quail hunting in North Georgia was as good as it could be anywhere in the country at one time. That is gone with the wind. Too much development no small farms, no habitat for anything but deer. It’s really not worth me keeping high end setters and spending all the money I do fo a couple trips out west everyyear but I grew up doing it and can’t live with out it. I appreciate you guys. Love reading your post!!
 

KsHusker

Active member
Quail hunting in North Georgia was as good as it could be anywhere in the country at one time. That is gone with the wind. Too much development no small farms, no habitat for anything but deer. It’s really not worth me keeping high end setters and spending all the money I do fo a couple trips out west everyyear but I grew up doing it and can’t live with out it. I appreciate you guys. Love reading your post!!
KS is unfortunately slowly turning that direction - it's really sad.
 

MAB7799

Member
Had 2 diff farmers in SW KS tell me not to come. 1 had a group of 11 guys go out and they shot 2 roosters in 2 days. The other went out and they saw 1 rooster. Said they aren't allowing hunting this year in hopes to leave some birds for seed, which I think is a good idea. Both of these farmers "farm for the birds" and have tons of prime habitat/CRP/thickets.
 
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