We are blessed in that our location in north central Kansas is recognized as a wonderful, diverse wildlife area that harbors a variety of species. A small community located close to us was identified by Sports Afield as being the #2 ideal location to live in the U.S.A. for sportsmen. Several of the locally available species other than our ringneck pheasant are detailed in the selections below.
We offer limited bobwhite quail hunts later in the season. A few native quail hunts are available dependent upon existing populations. A good native quail hunt for us is finding three coveys in a half day. We will discourage doing this if populations do not warrant.
The Greater Kansas Prairie Chicken is a unique grouse species that have successfully been reestablished the last 30 years in their ancestral habitat of the native grasslands of North Central Kansas.
The birds typically move in flights from roost to feed at the same time and generally over the same flight path daily.
To be successful the flights need to be scouted for proper placement of pass shooters at first light and at afternoon feeding.
The flights are deceptively fast and many a gunner has watched the birds pass unscathed after well placed shots “where they were, not where they is!”
Ringneck Ranch offers a unique “guaranteed shot” prairie chicken hunt that is typically most productive starting mid-December through the end of the season on January 31st. If we do our homework, we have been very successful in getting a “shot” for our guest. The “chickens” move high and fast and most have been shot behind. Plan to be in position mid-afternoon for the evening feed. They also move at first light, but you’ll miss breakfast.
Early Season Prairie Chicken
Several years ago the KDWP established an early season (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) to allow field trial dog training on the young birds that will hold for a point. We refer to it as the “early walk-up season”, which can be very physically demanding and sometimes relatively unrewarding. This is an activity for the adventuresome purist.
Prairie Chickens of Kansas (from Kansas Wildlife & Parks)
Kansas ranks first in terms of numbers of prairie chickens. Two species occupy the state – lesser and greater. Some states, where perhaps as few as one thousand lessers are found, have the lesser on their state threatened lists.
Greater prairie chickens are the more common species, found in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. Although nearly all good habitat is under private ownership, permission is often available.
Kansas currently has more lesser prairie chickens than any other state and had even seen expansion if the population in westcentral parts of the state.
Prairie chicken season in the southwestern quarter of the state has a one-bird daily bag limit and the season runs Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. In the rest of the state, the prairie chicken season runs the third Saturday in November through January with a bag limit of 2 per day.
Kansas also has an early prairie chicken season in roughly the eastern half of the state, spanning parts of September and October. Early prairie chickens hold tight and are hunted much like quail. Pass-shooting is the common hunting method of mid- to late-season, when chickens fly somewhat predictable routes and can be taken along fencelines as they fly into favored feeding sites.
Prairie chickens often travel several miles from grassy roosting sites to feed. Preferred feeding sites are soybeans and milo, but the birds also eat alfalfa and winter wheat. Normally, chickens fly out to feed for one to several hours at sunrise, returning to their grassy cover. A second feeding period takes place near sundown.
September 1st is the fall opener for dove shoots at Ringneck Ranch. Pasture ponds and early sunflowers are where we find the action. Bring your fishing pole for a relaxing mid-day activity. First cool front and moisture, the doves are headed south!
Four species of doves are legal to hunt in Kansas: mourning dove, Eurasian collared-dove, ringed turtle-dove, and white-winged dove. Pigeons, also known as rock doves or rock pigeons, are classified as a pest species, not a game species, and can be shot year-round.
Our Dove Hunting Options:
“Full Service”, “Low Service” and “No Service” shoots available
“FULL SERVICE” Dove Shoot: Includes lodging, continental breakfast, morning and evening sessions, guide with dog, field transportation, bird cleaning and processing, and supper. The daily limit on dove is 15 dove/day with a possession limit of 30. Lunch will be on your own.
1 guest – $285 2 guests – $255 per guest
3 guests – $225 per guest 4 guests -$195 per guest
“LOW SERVICE” Dove Shoot: Includes lodging, continental breakfast, morning and evening sessions, field transportation, bird cleaning and processing. The daily limit on dove is 15 dove/day with a possession limit of 30. Lunch and supper will be on your own (use of kitchen facilities and grill subject to availability).
1 guest – $225 2 guests – $205 per guest
3 guests – $185 per guest 4 guests -$165 per guest
“NO SERVICE” Dove Shoot: Includes morning and evening sessions. We will show you where to hunt. All meals will be on your own. The daily limit on dove is 15 dove/day with a possession limit of 30. If lodging is all you are looking for to compliment your hunt, that can be arranged for an additional fee of $50 per guest, based on double occupancy.
1 guest – $100 2 guests – $100 per guest
3 guests – $100 per guest 4 guests -$100 per guest
*Dove shoots require at least a Controlled Shooting Area License ($27.50). A Kansas Resident license ($27.50) or Non-Resident license ($97.50) will be required if the shooters leave the Ringneck Ranch Controlled Shooting Area. Also a HIP stamp is required. Licenses and HIP stamps may be purchased at the ranch.
Please keep in mind that hunters born after 7/1/57 must attest to completion of any state-approved hunter safety course to purchase a resident or non-resident license.
Prices are per person based on the number of guests in your reservation. You may book one or more days. Prices subject to change prior to receipt of deposit of $100 per guest per day. Deposits nonrefundable with less than sixty days notice.
Turkey Hunts – we have started offering spring turkey hunts the last two years. With staff that have the expertise, we have been 100% successful in harvesting our guests their turkeys! A few that have tried to fill a 2nd tag have fallen victim to missed opportunities, and that’s just turkey hunting. Our turkey populations consist of Rio Grandes, with a few Easterns and hybrids in the mix. Turkey hunts are conducted with fewer services than we normally provide during upland season. We provide an early hearty continental breakfast, lunch at either of two local restaurants and supper is on your own. In the middle of the day, you are welcome to take advantage of our many pasture fishing ponds.
A healthy turkey population through most of Kansas allows hunters four birds in the fall in the eastern half of the state. Fewer permits are available in the northwest, and permits are very limited in the southwest, where bird numbers haven’t kept pace with populations elsewhere.
Kansas is home to two subspecies of wild turkeys, the Rio Grande and the eastern. The Rio Grande is a plains dweller and can be found in the western three-fourths of the state. Rio Grande turkeys roost in riparian timber and tree belts, and forage in open grasslands or crop field edges. Said to be the easier of the two subspecies to hunt, Rio Grandes tend to use open areas that make their keen eyesight a major obstacle for hunters.
The eastern turkey prefers timbered areas in the eastern fourth of Kansas. It has a reputation as the more difficult subspecies to hunt due to wariness and the thick cover it prefers.
Upland pheasant hunting guests from the south see our big-bodied trophy deer and just about cannot control themselves. Our problem is that it is not compatible to have our shotgun guests and high powered rifle activity at the same time. There are several cover areas where we can accept a few bow-hunting enthusiasts. Kansas has become much more non-resident friendly in the last few years. Some hunting zones are restricted to a draw that requires application in the spring. Check out the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks web-site for further information.
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
For more information on other game and activities offered in Kansas, go to the KDWP website: http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us