Put your travel on for January pheasant hunting

The closing bell rang last weekend for pheasant hunters in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and the majority of pheasant hunting destinations in the Midwest. By most reports, hunters found more birds in the field, warmer autumn temperatures, and an extended season during 2015. In fact, many bird hunters are entering 2016 with their shooting-eyes locked in, their bird dogs in playoff form, and their hearts not ready to hang up the scattergun.

So grab your truck keys and embark on a January rooster road trip of your own to one of the following birdy destinations: 



Forecast: The spring breeding index was up 60 percent. The state’s northeast corner boasts the best habitat, access, and bird numbers in Colorado. There are 200,000 acres of private land enrolled in the state’s public walk-in program. FULL FORECAST

Season Ends: January 31st

Daily Bag Limit: 3



Forecast: After finally receiving some favorable weather conditions for pheasant reproduction, Iowa hunters have enjoyed their best season in many years this autumn. In fact, the August roadside count showed a 37 percent increase over last year and the highest bird numbers were in the state’s northwest. However, the window is closing faster than most other states with only a few days remaining. FULL FORECAST

Season Ends: January 10th

Daily Bag Limit: 3



Forecast: After a multi-year drought, rain returned to the Great Plains in 2014 and the birds bounced back in 2015. In fact, summer pheasant brood counts were up 51 percent and quail numbers were up 48 percent over last year. Indeed, Kansas has regained its stronghold on being the premier destination for mixed bag upland bird hunters. FULL FORECAST

Season Ends: January 31st

Daily Bag Limit: 4



Forecast: Like Kansas to the south, Nebraska emerged from the extended drought to boast a massive pheasant (up 55 percent) and quail (up 21 percent) population surge. Look to the southwest corner of the state for excellent public access through the state’s premiere Open Fields & Waters Program. These public gems feature private land access with high quality habitat, equaling excellent wildlife populations. FULL FORECAST

Season Ends: January 31st

Daily Bag Limit: 3



Forecast: Tremendous quail hunting reports earns Oklahoma mention on this list. While there are some pheasants to be found here, the real draw is the leap forward Oklahoma’s bobwhite populations have experienced following the return of precipitation. FULL FORECAST

Season Ends: January 31st

Daily Bag Limit: 2

There you have it. The final five best bird hunting destinations for extending your season just a little bit longer. Add a few coveys of quail to the mix and you’ll be hooked on a January road trip tradition for good. 

And after all the seasons are closed, remember to mark your calendars for February 19, 20 & 21 and make plans to point your truck toward Kansas City for National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2016 presented by Federal Premium Ammunition.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre


Categories: Blogs, Bob St. Pierre, Hunting News, NatBlogs

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