As you gaze over the rolling hills of western Oklahoma’s Black Kettle country, breathe deep and enjoy, for this little slice of the West is virtually unchanged since pre-settlement times. For quail hunters, the centerpiece of the region is the Black Kettle National Grassland. Covering about 30,000 acres in Roger Mills County, the Black Kettle National Grassland offers some of Oklahoma’s finest public land for hunting wild bobwhite quail. It contains about 40 different parcels of various sizes. The habitat consists of rolling sandhills, shinnery oak, sagebrush and plum thickets, as well as native grasses like big bluestem and switchgrass. Cottonwood bottoms along the streams provide extra cover. Quail numbers are up at Black Kettle, especially after the excellent reproduction that occurred in 2000. Access is simple and easy. Just park your truck, turn your dogs loose and enjoy the experience. For nonresidents, the price is $35 for a five-day hunting license, or $85 for an annual license. You can order licenses 24 hours a day by calling 800-223-3333. Contact: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (405-521-4629;; Black Kettle National Grasslands (580-497-2143).