Upland opportunities still abundant through month's end
PRATT -- Many avid Kansas upland bird hunters take advantage of light hunting pressure and colder weather to pursue their favorite game in January. However, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) reminds quail hunters that this year, the last day of the statewide quail season is Sunday, Jan. 21. In previous years, the season has run through Jan. 31. Pheasant season remains open statewide through Jan. 31, as does prairie chicken in most of the state except the Southwest Unit -- west of U.S. Highway 281 and south of I-70.

With an upland bird season that runs almost three months in much of the state, many upland hunters have put away their shotguns for the year. However, late-season upland hunting presents a great opportunity for hunting without crowds. As chilly January temperatures sweep across the plains, birds tend to bunch up, making hunting even better. Birds may hold in heavier cover, making dogs a real asset. Cold weather and snow may prevent birds from flushing early, providing closer shots, and in many areas, birds concentrate in draws and thick grassland, such as CRP.

In addition, early season pressure may have moved birds from public hunting areas to adjacent private lands in November. But wildlife management practices on public and Walk-In Hunting Access lands usually provide excellent habitat, drawing birds back once hunting pressure subsides. Late-season hunting may also create opportunities for hunting private property because landowners may be more receptive to granting access after early-season crowds are gone and deer seasons have closed.

For more information, contact the nearest KDWP office or visit the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us.