Thursday, September 13, 2012
State officials said hunters will likely experience a below-average upland bird season this fall due to the continued drought.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reduced the 2012 upland bird forecast. The agency said the summer’s heat and drought in parts of the state have not improved upland bird prospects.
The department said a mild winter last year and early hot spring affected pheasant breeding. The state also experienced record heat and drought through the rest of the reproductive season.
Early nesting conditions were generally good for prairie chickens and pheasants. However, the primary nesting habitat for pheasants in western Kansas is winter wheat, and in 2012, Kansas had one of the earliest wheat harvests on record. The early harvest likely lowered pheasant nest- and early-brood success.
The best areas this year will likely be pockets in northwest and northcentral Kansas.
The regular opening date for the pheasant and quail seasons is Nov. 10 for the entire state.