Thoughts on 2021 in Missouri

chriswhite22

Active member
We've been too quiet here in the MO forum. I figure I'll start something up.

1. What are you guys seeing in terms of quail and pheasant?
2. I don't understand why the MO Dept. of Conservation offer youth deer and upland the same days?
3. I'm in St. Charles County and am seeing quail on the farm I deer and turkey hunt. It's been some years since I could say that!
4. I'm going to get my kid off the stand on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 31) to chase some birds. I'll let you know how it goes.

Off to SD in a couple days. Looking forward to that. Here's to 2021! 🍻
 

chriswhite22

Active member
My thoughts on Missouri are the same as every year, I'll hunt it till Iowa and Kansas open.
I'm going to hunt Iowa for the first time ever this year. I met a guy that has some private ground to hunt up there. I'll most likely head to Kansas too, but there is something special about bagging a Missouri pheasant. I usually get between 5 & 10 per year in MO on strictly public. It's always a good time. Best of luck to you.
 

s.davis

Active member
I usually shoot somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 pheasants in Missouri, and always do alright on quail. This year is predictied to be particularly abysmal though. I think phez numbers are down 75%, and quail down somewhat too.
 

lonejackfool

New member
Quiet, because there's nothing to talk about on west central side. We have to drive a minimum of one hour to find quail, and two hours to find pheasant. It's a sorry situation when hearing one quail whistle in the spring is the highlight of your year. We lost most of our quail in 1994 after the big flood year of 1993. By 1999 they were pretty much all gone. Back then, i drank the kool-aid and signed up for one of the first MDC landowner habitat plans. The MDC came out with their cute cop out "if you build it they will come". 20 plus years later its just sickening to look around and wonder whats so wrong with this part of the country that quail can't even survive, let alone reproduce and repopulate. I no longer drink the kool-aid. Until the MDC is willing to address predator overpopulation, herbicides, insecticides, or the possibility that a virus or fungus is the actual problem, there will continue to be more quail in the desert than in the once great upland hunting area of west central missouri.
 

chriswhite22

Active member
Quiet, because there's nothing to talk about on west central side. We have to drive a minimum of one hour to find quail, and two hours to find pheasant. It's a sorry situation when hearing one quail whistle in the spring is the highlight of your year. We lost most of our quail in 1994 after the big flood year of 1993. By 1999 they were pretty much all gone. Back then, i drank the kool-aid and signed up for one of the first MDC landowner habitat plans. The MDC came out with their cute cop out "if you build it they will come". 20 plus years later its just sickening to look around and wonder whats so wrong with this part of the country that quail can't even survive, let alone reproduce and repopulate. I no longer drink the kool-aid. Until the MDC is willing to address predator overpopulation, herbicides, insecticides, or the possibility that a virus or fungus is the actual problem, there will continue to be more quail in the desert than in the once great upland hunting area of west central missouri.
Yeah, I don't want to say this as fact, but it seems like MDC have put all their efforts into deer, elk, and turkey. They've made some effort (maybe) on quail, but they don't seem to give a care about pheasant. They've put more effort into the failed prairie chicken project than pheasant. I don't think I've ever heard them say anything about pheasant improvement projects. I'll walk the Missouri fields this year for sure and also will go to Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota.
 

mmashburn

New member
Same here, hunt all over, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, haven't hunted Iowa in 20 years, but might this year. Crazy thing is, we probably do best in Missouri. Just because its easy to concentrate on spots we know quite well. Speaking quail of course. Make a pheasant trip once a year north and usually scratch out 2 or 3. Well earned and greatly treasured memories on Missouri pheasant!
 

smizell

Member
I hunted 4 hours yesterday in west central Missouri at a conservation area. Never saw one bird, three seasoned dogs on the ground. My daughter, seeing all of the deer tracks, says I think this place must only care about deer. This area was at one time, and may still be a quail emphasis area. Missouri is a joke!
 

lonejackfool

New member
A Quail Emphasis Area is a plot of land maintained to attract and hold quail. CRP, overgrown with quail cover (thorns), food plots, crops. they look great, but are near impenetrable until mid season, when they do different forms of disturbance, that open it up, making it huntable. on the west central side, if the quail don't use a QEA as planned, they quietly become just conservation areas for budget reasons. Today, a buddy and i went NW to the greatest QEA of all time. i dont know why its a QEA. it should be called a PEA. we hadn't hunted there early season in at least 10 years, because the quail and pheasant populations have crashed. we haven't killed a rooster up there in 4 years, or a quail in 10 years. 4000 acres of endless CRP type cover, food plots, and crops. way too much for 2 guys and 2 dogs. Buddy scored a rooster. asked the maintenance guy how packed was opening day? i think he said 50 hunters killed 6 roosters. i didn't bother asking about quail. Couldn't see my setter 80% of the time, couldn't get a shot at my only chance at a bird. not going to quit. i like to watch my dog hunt
 

lonejackfool

New member
my dog is in my chair completely tuckered out, his eyes took a beating. he gave it everything today.

If a QEA doesn't attract or maintain a huntable population of quail over a reasonable amount of time, does it mean that habitat is not the main issue in this particular area?
 

bpope

Member
I would really like to get a Missouri rooster - but I live in SW Missouri (Springfield) and if I drive 5 hours to hunt where they potentially are, I feel my time is better spent going out to KS or just on up to IA. Haven't hunted IA, but I would love to give it a try. On a side note, I bought about 40 acres of land earlier this year. It is mainly open pasture with some trees around the perimeter and a line throughout the middle. Anyway, took my Springer out there to just let him run and stretch his legs. Walked about 30 minutes, he got birdy and then flushed a nice covey of 8-10 healthy looking birds. They weren't in season at the time, but honestly - I wouldn't really want to take a shot anyway. I just thought it was so cool to have them on my land.
 
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