The 2017 season for quail, chukar and Huns (gray partridges) opened Saturday, and in the northern Columbia Basin prospects look good. State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists say these small upland birds are resilient and likely survived the snowy winter and wet spring quite well.
Good bets for quail in the northern Basin include the traditional Desert Unit of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area, between Potholes Reservoir and the town of George; lower Crab Creek, between Corfu and the Columbia River; the Gloyd Seeps Unit, between Stratford and Moses Lake; the Quincy Lakes Unit, near the town of Quincy; and the Dry Falls area, south of Banks Lake.
Chukar hunters might try the coulee corridor areas around Banks and Lenore lakes, and the Columbia River breaks north of Vantage.
Chukar populations are particularly good in Chelan and Douglas counties, according to state biologists, particularly in fields enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program that have grass cover extending into draws.
Quail can be found in the Indian Dan Canyon Unit of the Wells Wildlife Area, and the Chiliwist and Sinlahekin units of the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.
Hungarian partridge are scattered in the counties, but their numbers have been increasing in the Indian Dan and Chiliwist units, and the Methow Wildlife Area.