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Thread: NEWS FLASH: Drought ends at Ponderosa

  1. #1481
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    Dec 2006
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    I was out and about the Ponderosa yesterday. Probably saw close to a hundred quail chicks from just hatched to nearly full grown. Only saw two 3/4 grown pheasants. No lesser prairie chicken broods have been seen yet, but maybe today.
    Maynard Reece Byrd
    Dodge City

  2. #1482

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    That's great to hear Maynard. given that both pheasants and quail nest through the same conditions is there something in particular that would adversely affect pheasants vs quail? I don't know a ton about the details of nesting but I would think that as hardy as pheasants are they would at least be as successful as quail when it comes to the hatch. If weather impacted the nesting success maybe it's just that quail tend to be more successful renesting.?.?.? Hopefully it's just by chance you are seeing a higher number of quail vs pheasant broods.

  3. #1483

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    It is my understanding that pheasant do not re-nest unless the entire nest is destroyed. If they successfully raise 2 chicks then that is it. Quail will raise several broods.

  4. #1484

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    Quote Originally Posted by onealmck View Post
    Interestingly enough I travel a loop from NE KS where I live out to central KS along the I135 corridor and then down to OKC and over to Tulsa and then back north to home. I lived in Central KS from 2001-2013 and don't remember ever seeing a rooster fly across 135. I've seen at least 1 pheasant fly across the highway on every trip this summer. I have a fair number of friends still in the region and the reports from central KS are encouraging. The truth is I look pretty hard for pheasants as seeing them in my neck of the woods has gotten to be a rare treat. I'm hoping that what I'm seeing is a reflection of improved populations and not wishful thinking. I was seeing a few more birds in NE KS the last couple of years but I haven't seen any this year. The cover is ridiculously thick this year so it's hard to tell if that's because the birds aren't there or if there just isn't a reason for them to be out. I'm hopeful for the latter. In any case, I absolutely love this thread. Thanks guys!
    In Rush county it doesn't look good. I have seen 1 pheasant brood and a hen pheasant with 2 chicks. Lots of quail but the pheasant hatch was poor. In April, May, and June there were roosters along the ditches looking for hens and I am afraid this is the report people are getting. That doesn't translate to a good hatch, and the hatch is the key to a good season.
    Last edited by westksbowhunter; 08-10-2017 at 01:21 PM.

  5. #1485
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    Mar 2009
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    Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by westksbowhunter View Post
    In Rush county it doesn't look good. I have seen 1 pheasant brood and a hen pheasant with 2 chicks. Lots of quail but the pheasant hatch was poor. In April, May, and June there were roosters along the ditches looking for hens and I am afraid this is the report people are getting. That doesn't translate to a good hatch, and the hatch is the key to a good season.
    I am hearing a very similar report from our friends in Ness County. Only thing is they aren't seeing the quail either.

  6. #1486

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubilee View Post
    I am hearing a very similar report from our friends in Ness County. Only thing is they aren't seeing the quail either.
    Too much rain, to much hail, and cold temps towards the middle and end of May. We are getting pounded with hail again today. A lot of the wheat here was hailed out 100%. I have not seen any broods in Ness County.

  7. #1487
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    Kansas
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    Yep, back to square one. That is exactly what our friends said when they were back this way a couple weeks ago to do some fishing. Told us we could bring our guns if we wanted when we came out in the fall/winter, but wouldn't worry about shells. That will just make them unnecessarily heavier. We aren't going to have anything to shoot at anyway. That made me chuckle a little bit.

  8. #1488
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    Jan 2009
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    NE Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooster82 View Post
    Given that both pheasants and quail nest through the same conditions is there something in particular that would adversely affect pheasants vs quail?
    The difference is timing. While the nesting and incubation periods are nearly identical, they occur at different times. For example, crudely put, the peak of the pheasant hatch is roughly June 6th. This varies from year to year but the 6th is the average. The peak of the quail hatch is around the 17th (think Father's day). This doesn't mean that hatches don't occur much earlier or later, but it does mean that more chicks hatch near these dates than at other times of the year. If nesting is unsuccessful, renesting takes place until Mother Nature tells the hen she can no longer pull off a brood. This is why so many folks think that there's such a thing as a "double hatch" for pheasants. What they're really seeing is a successful renesting attempt.

    A couple of weeks in the spring can make a significant difference. I think we'd all agree that if nesting hadn't begun before the April 30 snowstorm, things would be different. Two weeks later (even two days later) made quite a difference in nesting conditions.

    Overall, although the jury is still out regarding populations this year, it looks pretty tough in some, or even most, locales. We've had a lot of rain, and lot of hail. However, there's always a few spots that have good numbers. I must say that the last few years have been tough and those "spots" are becoming fewer and farther between.

    Even so, I'm sure the hunters will flock to the fields in hopes of quick limits. As a general rule, those days are long gone.

    Point

  9. #1489
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    Given the right conditions the quail population can explode. The early spring rains the past three years in southwest Kansas have created some early weed, forb and vegetation growth that has been beneficial to the quail. Also the fact that male quail may be willing to take over a hen's nest and incubate it allows the hen to lay another. In the past few years Oklahoma biologists using radio collars have seen cases of one hen responsible for up to three hatches with the help of surrogate males. Oh, how I love those quail birds.
    Maynard Reece Byrd
    Dodge City

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