OK Pheasant Forecast Good, Opens Tomorrow

November 30, 2010 | By | Reply More

Quail Maybe Not So Hot

The Oklahoma pheasant season opens tomorrow, Dec. 1, and runs through the end of January. Good news for Okies because the forecast is good.

(Incidentally, the OK regs say that “legal means of taking” ditch chickens include “shotgun (conventional or muzzleloading), archery equipment, legal raptors, hand-propelled missile, slingshot…” so get out your falcons and rocks!)

Here’s some forecast info, taken from this article and this one:

> Indications are this pheasant season will be a good one. “People are seeing more pheasant this year. I hate to go out on a limb, but I think it’s going to be a pretty good season,” said Doug Schoeling, Oklahoma upland game bird biologist.

> This season marks Oklahoma’s second with a three-cock limit, and the added pressure seemed to have little effect on the population…. Surveys to monitor winter survival and reproduction both showed good results, and recent field reports have the population in good shape, said Schoeling. “Crow counts were virtually the same as last year’s, and production numbers were up 30 percent,” he said.

> The hunting is best in Texas and Beaver counties, but Schoeling said Grant and Alfalfa counties also produce a good number of ringnecks.

> Of western counties that may have fewer birds, Cimarron was one that came to Schoeling’s mind. “It’s still recovering from a big snowstorm a couple years ago,” he said. “And pheasants really like those row crops, and Cimarron doesn’t have quite as many of those as Texas and Beaver.”

> A later wheat harvest was good for the pheasants this year, he said. Pheasants often nest in green wheat, and harvest means the young are just that much farther along. [And] the damp, early summer that was hard on quail may not have had such an impact on pheasants. “I think we had a good first hatch,” he said. “They’re a little bigger and a little hardier than quail.”

> Pheasant season is open through Jan. 31 in the counties of Alfalfa, Beaver, Cimarron, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Noble, Texas, Woods and Woodward. Pheasant hunting also is open in a portion o fOsage County (west of SH 18 only) and portions of Blaine, Dewey, Ellis, Kingfisher and Logan counties (north of SH 51 only.)

> The limit is three roosters per day.

Quail Not So Great…Maybe

> As for quail, which opened Nov. 13, Schoeling said he hasn’t heard a lot of reports, and that may be good thing. “Sometimes people don’t call when it’s good. When it’s bad, that’s when they really call.”

> Wildlife Management Area biologists are reporting that quail hunter numbers are down, however, so that may be part of the reason for few reports. “Definitely, there have been fewer hunters, but the number of coveys per group has been two or three per day. If they hunted a full day, they were moving a few more.”

> “How the quail season is going is just a hard question to answer right now,” he said. “Not a lot are being hunted yet, and I’m thinking some guys might just be waiting until after deer season.”

> “Quail season is probably going to be a little below average,” he said. “Hunters are finding quail but not a lot of coveys.”

Category: 2010, Forecasts/counts, OK, Pheasants, Quail

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