Jump to content
OzarkAnglers.Com Forum
Phil Lilley

Pheasants & Quail Make a Big Comeback in SW Kansas

Recommended Posts

tractor pheasant.jpg

Mullinville, Greensburg, Kansas

Drove out last Wednesday with 2 nephews, Ryan and Levi with son in law Jimmy driving separately.  Marsha's family is from the Mullinville area, both parents grew up there so I've been hunting out there since joining the family in the early 80's.  Back then there were lots and lots of pheasant and decent quail numbers but both birds started to decline about 8-10 years ago.  So I haven't been back to hunt... giving the birds a break.  I guess other hunters have too, including locals, so I'm told.

We're hunting on private ground, mostly belonging to a good friend of the family's who lives in Mullinville and works in Greensburg.  His family farms, owns cattle and auctions on the side.

I took my black lab out, Jackson.  He's not trained but loves to retrieve.  And he minds pretty well.  He did good on dove and loves to "go".

I could go into a lot of detail but will keep it short.

Bird report -

Quail:  Excellent!  Better than excellent... unbelievable.  First day we saw 14 coveys.  Good numbers of birds in the coveys too.  They were everywhere... grass draws, milo stubble, tree belts.  In one spot, close to milo, in the middle of a plum thicket, we s got a covey up with a huge number of birds.  Putting our numbers together (because they went all different directions) our guess there were 60-80 birds.  I've never seen anything like that...  from my spot, I just stood and watched them blow out... never fired a shot.

Pheasants:  Good numbers but not everywhere.  They were in milo stubble and crp  but they had to be together.  Fair in draws with sunflowers - but the quail were there too.

Dog problems:  It is super dry and dusty out here.  No rain since early September.  Dogs had a real hard time smelling anything - dead or alive.  But they did point some birds and found some hard to find ones. 

Losing birds:  I don't ever remember losing as many birds as we did.  We bagged 30 pheasants for the trip (7 hunters, 3 days) and about the same number of quail but knocked down I bet 17 roosters we didn't find.  Most weren't hit hard and ran.  Some are what we called ghost birds because they'd flat disappear on us.  Jimmy had one under his hands pinned to the ground- both of us on our knees in the grass and the bird somehow got away from us and was found 15 feet away.  Crazy.

IMG_3898.JPG

IMG_3900.JPG

IMG_3899.JPG

IMG_3895.JPG

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good report! Glad to see you had such good luck.

As you know Phil, I hunted private ground in the Greensburg area opening weekend. Scouted properties Friday morning, but the only stubble I had access to was fenced off for cattle. Saw lots of birds early Saturday morning, but the dogs bumped a bunch of them out of range. And, then I missed on a couple shots I should have made. All in CRP. It really slowed down in the afternoon. Saw two good-sized covies of quail, but again they got bumped. I did manage to find and shoot a couple singles. The numbers of birds were encouraging for sure. I hope to get out again before the end of the season.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are days a bird hunter never forgets. I've been an avid bird chaser most of my teen and adult life. The days that we not only spot, but get to harvest a few are special. Glad you had a great trip Phil. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report Phil,

   Question, What kind of field loads do you use? I think of #5s for pheasant and #7.5 or 8s for quail. But if you never know what you are going to get up. Will the 5s make mince meat out of the quail. Will the 7.5s have the knock down power to take a pheasant out?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's every upland bird hunter's dilemma... I find myself watching quail fly away without a shot when I'm toting #4's in my chamber.  But then when I drop a quail with #4's, they're not tore up too bad at all.

One of the land owners hunted with us, and he uses high brass #7.5's and says he doesn't have much trouble dropping pheasants.  The key is hitting them close and not taking the long second shot.  Could meet in the middle and use high brass #6's and feel more confident on the pheasants.

Up until this year, we didn't have this problem - quail and pheasant - but it's a good problem to have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a few years since I hunted them, but I ended up keeping the shotgun loaded with my own reloads of an 1 1/4 oz. of # 6's,  killed pheasants wonderfully, even some that were a long way out.  On quail, it didn't tear them up too bad (probably because I was usually behind them and they only caught part of the pattern), but yeah if we got into a bunch of quail I would replace the first 2 rounds in my 1187 with 8's.  And a few times they did just find on pheasants when the unexpected bird jumped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.