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The Prairie Way

The Prairie Way

The Prairie Way

STORY BY Ben O. Williams
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mark L. Atwater

The Prairie Way

STORY BY Ben O. Williams
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mark L. Atwater

The Prairie Way

STORY BY Ben O. Williams
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mark L. Atwater
‘‘

There is a notion across North America that good bobwhite quail hunting is gone for the average bird hunter. I disagree.

For the past 25 years, I have focused my bobwhite quail hunting on the prairie states. Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma all have the potential for high-quality population numbers, so it’s just a matter of gathering updated information to decide how, when and where best to hunt.

Midwest bobwhite hunting can be done with a professional guide, working out of a lodge or on land open to the public, Being a traveler with numerous bird dogs, I prefer public access programs or state and federal public lands to hunt.

The latitudinal range of the bobwhite is immense. Hunting quail in the Midwest northern tier is different than in the southern reaches of the United States. In addition to the climate differences, the habitat and landscape changes within the bobwhites’ world revise the hunting dynamic. Thus, whatever latitude one chooses to hunt, success depends on keen ecological observation of the birds’ habits and habitat within that environment.

The way of most Midwestern bobwhite hunters is the “boots on ground” approach, walking hard behind pointing dogs, shooting wilds birds using a automatic or pump shotgun, hunting the singles after the flush and driving in a pickup, bone tired. As in the South, Midwest quail hunting is also a tradition, but the ground game differs in style from place to place. Take, for example, a Kansas hunt I made a few years ago.

That day, it was relaxed with…

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The Prairie Way

There is a notion across North America that good bobwhite quail hunting is gone for the average bird hunter. I disagree.

For the past 25 years, I have focused my bobwhite quail hunting on the prairie states. Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma all have the potential for high-quality population numbers, so it’s just a matter of gathering updated information to decide how, when and where best to hunt.

Midwest bobwhite hunting can be done with a professional guide, working out of a lodge or on land open to the public, Being a traveler with numerous bird dogs, I prefer public access programs or state and federal public lands to hunt.

The latitudinal range of the bobwhite is immense. Hunting quail in the Midwest northern tier is different than in the southern reaches of the United States. In addition to the climate differences, the habitat and landscape changes within the bobwhites’ world revise the hunting dynamic. Thus, whatever latitude one chooses to hunt, success depends on keen ecological observation of the birds’ habits and habitat within that environment.

The way of most Midwestern bobwhite hunters is the “boots on ground” approach, walking hard behind pointing dogs, shooting wilds birds using a automatic or pump shotgun, hunting the singles after the flush and driving in a pickup, bone tired. As in the South, Midwest quail hunting is also a tradition, but the ground game differs in style from place to place. Take, for example, a Kansas hunt I made a few years ago.

That day, it was relaxed with…

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