Pheasant season is in full force, and with another month to go, there's still plenty of time for hunters to get out there and shoot a pheasant. Unfortunately, because of the hot dry summers Kansas has had recently, birds and hunters, are in short supply.
"The number of hunters has definitely declined this season," said Manuel Torres, region 3 public lands supervisor for the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism. "There are still small pockets in some areas of Southwest Kansas that have a decent number of birds, but overall the drought has had a pretty big effect this season."
Not only has the drought had an effect on pheasants, but it has also limited the number of deer, quail and other game.
"Fishing has really been impacted by the drought," Torres said. "Water levels in fishing lakes across the state are the lowest we've seen them in a long time. Some lakes are even completely dry."
Although the drought hurt the beginning of pheasant season, Torres is optimistic that conditions can improve with some moisture.
"Any moisture we get can make a big difference," he said. "The snow we just got will definitely help, and anything we continue to get between now and the end of the spring will also help."
In the meantime, Torres is trying to make the best of the situation.
"This gives us time to do some maintenance and restoration we wouldn't normally be able to do," he said.
KDWPT has been able to do some wildlife restoration projects, make repairs to docks and other much needed repairs to state owned land.