All across Trego County our fields are filled with the calls of upland birds alerting hunters to the 2018-2019 hunting season.
The Smoky Hill region has 75,576 acres of public land and 362,936 acres of Walk-in Hunting Access(WIHA) grounds open to hunters this fall. We’ve compiled the latest assessment of the pheasant, deer, turkey and quail populations in our region to give you insight into what to expect when you go hunting this fall in Trego County.
Good opportunities await ring-neck pheasant hunters despite a slight decrease in pheasant crows last spring and summer. Regardless of that fact, the Smoky Hills had the highest roadside density in the state, with last year’s Smoky Hills harvest estimates the highest in the region, according to KS Outdoors.
Declining Rios turkey populations across much of the state are stabilizing, presenting hunting opportunities that are better than they have been for a long time. Overall populations are relatively strong and you should expect to find fair to good numbers of Rios in our area.
Hunting prospects for bobwhite quail should be fair to good throughout the region this year, following on the heels of very high densities over the past three years. The Smoky Hill region retained the highest roadside index for quail in 2018, better than the average when compared to other regions across the northcentral part of the state.
Whitetail and Mule Deer
The general populations of whitetail and mule deer remain fairly average and trends continue to be stable, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, with an estimated 627,000 whitetails and 46,000 mule deer in residence. This indicates hunters have a chance at older bucks, according to Outdoor Life.
Book Your Stay Today!
Make WaKeeney your home base during your hunting expedition. With seven lodges, hotels, and B & Bs, you’ll find a comfortable place to call your home away from home.
There are hotels to fit every hunter’s needs in WaKeeney. The Best Western Plus WaKeeney Inn & Suites, Kansas Kountry Inn, Super 8, and EconoLodge are located close to Downtown WaKeeney and the WaKeeney KOA (open until November 15) is a great option for hunters with campers.
Butterfield Trail Bunkhouse is a rustic guesthouse near Cedar Bluff State Park where hunting opportunities abound. The bunkhouse accommodates up to 4 people and there is a fully stocked kitchen and a cleaning station available to prepare your pheasants for the trip home. Don’t forget to pre-order your home cooked meals when you book your stay.
The Country Barn Loft B & B is located only a few miles north of Cedar Bluff State Park and Reservoir. Their suites offer a kitchenette and homemade breakfasts that are delivered hot to your door. There is also boarding available for your dogs.
The Farm House is a comfortable country home specially designed for hunters. They offer breakfast and evening meals upon request, and on-site sheds are ready for your dogs.
End your day out at one of WaKeeney’s many delicious restaurants, where you’ll find great steaks, baked goods, burgers, and beer.
Start your day at Hometown Bakery. Get there early to enjoy a freshly made cinnamon roll and fresh brewed coffee while you check your email on their free WiFi. (215 N Main St. /ph. 785-743-6496)
The Brazen Bull offers delicious steaks, burgers, sandwiches and salads and beer in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. They’re open for lunch and dinner and feature mouth-watering specials every day. (717 S 2nd St./ph. 785-743-2653)
Enjoy western ambiance and great food at the Western Kansas Saloon & Grill. This modern day “saloon” is a WaKeeney hot spot that offers steak, pasta, burgers, salads, and sandwiches, along with a fully stocked bar . (121 N Main St./785-743-2050)
Satisfy your spicy cravings at Tropical Mexican Restaurant. They have all your favorite Mexican dishes, plus a full bar that will satisfy that “South of the Border” craving. (428 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2219)
Mike’s Place is a fun pub where people can kick back while they enjoy a cold beer and pub grub over a game of pool in Mike’s game room. Their menu is full of regular daily specials that feature local favorites and they always have ice-cold beer on tap and ready for their guests. (111 N 6th St./785-743-2641)
Jake and Chet’s Cafe and the Sundowner Lounge are open all day tofill you up from breakfast to a late-night appetizer over drinks. Rib eyes cooked to order, southern fried catfish, or an all-American burger follow by a slice of pie a la mode is sure to satisfy you after a long day out in the field. (233 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2211)
The Dairy Queen offers a classic menu with salads, wraps, sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers. Pair your meal with a shake, malt, or a Blizzard for a cool treat. (521 Barclay Avenue/ph. 785-743-2160)
McDonald’s is everyone’s favorite fast food. In WaKeeney, thedrive thru window makes it a quick stop, or you can get out and stretch your legs inside in their dining room. (745 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2911)
Planning a long day out? Stop by the WaKeeney’s Subway as you head out of town and pick up a custom-made foot-long sandwich to enjoy later when those hunger pains kick up. (718 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-5248)
Pizza Hut is a local go-to for fast delivery in WaKeeney. Call in your order on your way into town and pick up a fresh-from-the-oven pizza to take back to your hotel. (324 S 1st/ph. 785-743-2383 – Call ahead to find out when their buffet is running!)