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Hunting and Fishing at Quivira

Fishing DayQuivira offers several opportunities for the hunting enthusiast.  Fishing is allowed all year in all Refuge waters.

Hunting Conditions and Status:


Updated:  6 March 2017


As of March 1, 2017, Quivira is CLOSED to hunting.  Hunting season re-opens on September 1.

NOTE:  Quivira's hunting season runs annually from September 1 through February 28.  Check below for details.  Closures may occur during the season due to the presence of Whooping Cranes.  These closures may last several days.   Check back here regularly during the season.

  As of 6 March 2017, water was 100% open (ice-free) refuge-wide.  Big Salt Marsh and many other areas (including the flats on both sides of NE 170th and North Lake) were near 100% full.  Little Salt Marsh was drained temporarily last fall to allow work on the water control structure, and has refilled, with about 90% coverage.

Hunting Opportunities

Hunting re-opens on September 1 at Quivira for dove hunting.  See Quivira seasons for all legal species by clicking the link below.  Updates on waterfowl numbers will typically be posted through the link below (when available), so check back regularly.

Quivira is open to hunting annually from September 1 through February 28 only in selected areas.  Within the appropriate season, hunting is allowed for geese, ducks, pheasant, quail, snipe, rail, rabbit and squirrel.  At present, there is no hunting season at Quivira for deer, cranes, wild turkey, or any other species not listed above.  Quivira has its own special regulations (see link below); otherwise state laws apply for things such as bag limits, permits, etc.  Only steel, bismuth, or other approved non-toxic shot is allowed, and the possession of lead shot is prohibited at Quivira.  Hunting for sandhill crane, deer, and turkey is not allowed.  Trapping is not permitted at Quivira.  For a hunting map and specific regulations, click one of the links below or stop by the Visitors Center or one of the many information kiosks located around the Refuge.

Wilsons Snipe

For information about specific hunting regulations, contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) at 620-672-5911 (Pratt) or 316-683-8069 (Wichita).  Hunting licenses are not available at Quivira, and may be purchased from KDWPT offices or online from the KDWPT website.  All you need are a credit card and a printer.  For more information about how to get your license, go to the KDWPT website at  For deer hunting in the area (not on the Refuge) the KDWPT has a referral service.  Call them at 1-888-497-8661 to get information on local landowners who may allow deer hunting on their property.  All other hunting and fishing questions should be directed to 620-672-5911.

Tips and other things to know about hunting at Quivira

Hunters and all other visitors are allowed at Quivira starting 1 1/2 hours before sunrise, and may remain until 1 1/2 hours after sunset. 

Waterfowl:  The season is a popular, and exciting, time of the year to visit Quivira.  Waterfowl may number over half a million (or more) birds at Quivira during the peak fall migration.  However, the period around the beginning of the main season is also one of the peak times for the presence of Whooping Cranes on the Refuge.  Therefore, if you are planning to hunt, be aware that in many years the Refuge may be closed to hunting during a good portion of the first half to two-thirds of November.  These closures are sporadic and may happen quickly, with day-to-day changes.  It is best to contact the refuge the check ahead during this period.

There is only one permanent waterfowl hunting blind at Quivira.  It is available by reservation to handicapped persons on a first-come, first-served basis.  Call the Refuge, 620-486-2393, to reserve the blind or for more information.  Designated parking areas are scattered at convenient intervals throughout the hunting portion of the Refuge.  No boats are allowed on refuge waters.  All portable blinds, decoys, and other equipment must be brought in on the day of hunting and removed the same day.

U30 Accessible Blind staff 448 

Location of Accessible Blind at Unit 30

Popular waterfowl hunting areas are Marsh Road Flats (the area along the north side of NE 170th Street), North Lake, and Units 10 and 11.  Less often used are Units 28, 29, 30, and 40, along with pockets of water along Salt Creek and wetlands north of the NE 170th Street/NE 140th Avenue T-intersection.  


Pheasant and Quail:   These birds are typically scattered throughout the uplands of Quivira, and populations vary with weather conditions.  In recent years (since 2011) populations are down due to drought and heat.  Most likely places to find them within the hunting zones are Units 10 and 11, the 3 sections of land east of NE 140th Avenue (north of the blacktop), and the northeast corner of the Refuge (Rice County).

Pheasant, Ring-necked staff 448

The Ring-necked Pheasant can be found scattered throughout Quivira


For a map of the Quivira hunting zones, click here:  Quivira Hunting Map 


For a full description of Quivira hunting regulations, click here:  Hunting Regulations


Call 620-486-2393 or email Refuge Staff: Quivira email address



What to hunt General Hunt Periods (for exact dates, see link below)*
Waterfowl (teal) September
Waterfowl (ducks, other) late October through mid-January
Waterfowl (geese, white-fronted) late October through part of February
Waterfowl (geese, canada types) late October through part of February
Waterfowl (geese, white) late October through part of February
Ring-necked Pheasant November through January
Bobwhite Quail November through January
Cottontail Rabbit September through February
Squirrel September through February


*To see the current season dates, click on the following link:  

Quivira Hunting Seasons 2016-17


Hunters are reminded that ALL hunting is suspended on Quivira NWR effective March 1 through August 31.


Waterfowl Surveys  

Waterfowl surveys are held every two weeks (on the average) during fall, winter, and spring.  It is important to note that these surveys are, in many cases, estimates and are a snapshot of a specific time.  Numbers can, and often will, change daily and even hourly.  The factors that most affect populations are time of the year and quantity of open water.  Duck populations typically increase steadily from a low in late summer until peaking in from October through December (depending on freeze-up), and again from February through early May.  Goose popuations begin building in early October and reach a peak during November and December.  Large numbers of geese and ducks may remain through the winter if open water is plentiful.

Click here to see the most recent waterfowl population estimates

WARNING! KNOW YOUR TARGET!!!Waterfowl hunters on Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and sandhill crane hunters on surrounding private lands should be extremely careful to identify their targets. Endangered Whooping Cranes may be in the area. A mistake in identification could result in a Whooping Crane being shot and subjecting the hunter to severe criminal penalties. Hunters are reminded that sandhill crane hunting is NOT permitted on Quivira National Wildlife Refuge!! Also be aware that ALL hunting areas on the Refuge will be closed when the Whooping Cranes are present. Even with the Refuge areas closed, the endangered Whooping Cranes will travel out of the Refuge to feed. Hunters on private lands should be aware that Whooping Cranes may be traveling in mixed flocks with sandhill cranes or geese. If you are not positive about the identification of your target... DO NOT SHOOT!! A MISTAKE CAN BE COSTLY!  Quivira is not open to deer, turkey, or crane hunting.


 Blue-winged Teal 448(1)


Fishing at Quivira 


KFD visitor staff 448

Fishing is allowed on all bodies of water on the Refuge.  Channel Catfish and Carp are the most common fish at Quivira.  The most popular and accessible places are the banks and piers on the north and east sides of Little Salt Marsh.  In addition, we have a "Kids Fishing Pond"...adults MUST be accompanied by a fishing child, 14 years of age or younger. This pond, located near the south entrance of the Refuge, is periodically stocked and affords the younger fisherfolks out there a chance to experience the thrill of landing a big one!  Again, you must be in compliance with State fishing regulations and laws. Sorry, no boats are allowed on any body of water on the Refuge.

 KFP group

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2017
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