Pheasant season opens Dec. 1 in northwest Oklahoma, and the population is still down overall from boon years, but expectations are the hunting will be better than last season.
Early reports from quail season indicate more successful hunting this year, so bird hunters are optimistic that pheasant will be the same.
Scott Cox, upland game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said it's been common for groups of quail hunters to see about four or five coveys each, with covey sizes ranging from about 12 to 18 birds.
The hunting has been good in certain areas, even with scenting conditions that were poor to fair for bird dogs, Cox said.
“Quail is a huge improvement over last year,” said James Dietsch of Warr Acres, the founding chairman of the Central Oklahoma 89er Chapter of Quail Forever. “I have probably seen 30 to 35 coveys. We haven't seen a covey under 12 birds.”
Dietsch also jumped three roosters while quail hunting north of Woodward last week.
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When: Dec. 1 — Jan. 31
Open counties: Alfalfa, Beaver, Cimarron, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Major, Noble, Texas, Woods and Woodward counties, as well as the portion of Osage County west of SH 18 and the portions of Blaine, Dewey, Ellis, Kingfisher and Logan counties north of SH 51.
Bag limits: The daily bag limit for pheasants is two roosters, with a possession limit of four after the first day.