Thursday, March 31, 2011


Spring weather heralds more park activity
PRATT — Spring weather is slowly warming up the Sunflower State, and state park staff plan to enhance the Kansas state park experience with a variety of special events throughout the state in 2011. Some events are in conjunction with Free Park Entrance Days, some celebrate a special historical event or geological attribute of an individual park, and others are just for entertainment. Each park sets its own dates for these events.
Events are diverse and may include anything from a marathon race to boating courses and equestrian events. Many are educational, and all make visiting Kansas state parks more enjoyable. For more information on state park events, phone individual parks or click the "Event Calendar" on the State Parks page of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website,
Cabin rental reservations may also be made online.
Park goers are urged to phone the park they intend to visit before traveling.Telephone numbers of all state parks offices may be found on the KDWP website. Click "State Parks" at the top of the page, then "Locations" in the left-hand column. A short conversation with local park staff will provide information on campsite availability, park conditions, current visitation rates, and answers to other questions. Campsite reservations may also be made by phone.
To date, only two events are scheduled for April, the April 2 Lake Adventures Race at Tuttle Creek State Park and Operation Pedal Express bicycle benefit ride at El Dorado State Park. Additional events may be listed during a given month, so be sure to check your favorite park weekly for more events.

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Event designed to enhance skills already learned in hunter education classes
WICHITA — On Saturday, May 14, the Chisholm Trail Antique Gun Association (CTAGA) will conduct their annual NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) beginning with check-in at 7:30 a.m. and running throughout the day. The event will take place at the CTAGA Gun Range, northeast of Wichita off of K-254 highway near the Sedgwick-Butler county line, 15090 East 69th Street North in Wichita.
Youth 18 years old and younger are encouraged to attend the event. All participants must have completed a basic state hunter education course and present proof of hunter education certification. No prior hunting experience is required, but participants must be able to shoulder and control firearms.
Participants will compete in junior (age 14 and younger) or senior (age 15 through 18) categories. While the YHEC has a competitive side, the focus of the program is the personal challenge of improvement and the advancement of skills introduced in a basic hunter education course. Challenge events include the following:
  • shotgun course with clay targets, 12- and 20- gauge shotguns only, no adjustable cheek stocks or butt plates;
  • muzzle-loading course with life-size game targets at 20 to 70 yards, .50 caliber muzzleloaders, ammunition, and No. 11 percussion caps provided. Participants may provide their own muzzleloader (.54 caliber or smaller) and respective balls and patches. In-line muzzleloaders with saboted bullets allowed but bullets and supplies not provided. No scopes allowed.
  • light rifle (.22 caliber) course with life-size game targets at 15 to 60 yards. Equipment is limited to rifles designed for field use and hunting. Scopes no greater than 4X are allowed. High-velocity .22 ammo will be provided;
  • archery course with 3-D game animal targets from 5 to 40 yards. Participants may bring their own bows and arrows. Some equipment restrictions include no more than six sight pins, no magnified sights, only one stabilizer 12 inches or shorter, field points only. Recurve bows will be provided. All compound bows will be shot at the longer distances. Compound bow shooters must bring their own arrows.
  • wildlife identification to test knowledge of Kansas wildlife from animal mounts, hides, bird wings, tracks, horns/antlers, and other evidence. No identification guides are allowed.
  • safety trail to test safe hunting and gun handling skills, game laws, and hunter ethics.
The cost of registration is $15, which includes all ammunition. (Do not bring ammunition unless allowed on above list.) All equipment and firearms will be provided if needed. The registration deadline is May 7, but space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. A light lunch will be provided for participants, volunteers, and parents. Awards will be presented at the completion of the challenge.
To register, mail a check and registration form to Jim Fry, 116 E. Sandhill Rd., Derby, KS 67037. Make checks payable to Jim Fry. For more information or registration forms, phone Jim Fry at 316-788-5026 or email
This event is sponsored by NRA Foundations Inc., Heartland Friends of the NRA, the Chisholm Trail Antique Gun Association, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, and Parks, and the Kansas Wildlife Officers Association.

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Number of confirmed cases same as last year
PRATT— The number of positive cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD in Kansas appears to be stable for now. On March 2, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) announced that 10 deer from northwestern Kansas had tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the same number as last year although two of those deer were found in counties farther east than any previous confirmations. These were animals taken by hunters in the 2010 hunting seasons.
Six confirmed cases of CWD deer were taken by hunters in Decatur County and one each from Graham, Norton, Sherman, and Smith counties. The Norton, Sherman, and Smith cases were firsts for those counties. The cases included nine white-tailed and one mule deer. This season’s testing results brings the total number of confirmed CWD cases in Kansas to 40 since testing began in 1996. In total, 2,503 animals were tested for CWD for the 2010 deer seasons. Although most testing is finished for the year, KDWP will continue testing some vehicle-killed and sick or suspect-looking deer, as well as deer taken with depredation permits, through July 31. If U.S. Department of Agriculture funding is available, and new surveillance period will begin Aug. 1.
Annual testing is part of ongoing effort by KDWP to monitor the prevalence and spread of CWD. The fatal disease was first detected in a wild deer taken in Cheyenne County in 2005. Three infected deer were taken in Decatur County in 2007 and 10 tested positive in 2008, all in northwest Kansas.
CWD is a member of the group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Other diseases in this group include scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow Disease) in cattle, and Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disease in people. CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that results in small holes developing in the brain, giving it a sponge-like appearance under the microscope. An animal may carry the disease without outward indication (only two of the 40 positive animals showed symptoms) but in the later stages, signs may include behavioral changes such as decreased interactions with other animals, listlessness, lowering of the head, weight loss, repetitive walking in set patterns, and a lack of response to humans. Anyone who discovers a sick or suspect deer should contact the nearest KDWP office.
“It must be noted that many symptoms of CWD are indicative of other diseases,” says KDWP wildlife disease coordinator Shane Hesting. “Thus, a sick deer may or may not be infected with CWD. CWD is a serious deer disease but is still a rare disease in Kansas. There is no vaccine or other biological method that prevents the spread of CWD. However, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans or livestock in the natural environment.”
Still, precautions should be taken. Hunters are advised not to eat meat from animals known to be infected, and common sense precautions are advised when field dressing and processing meat from animals taken in areas where CWD is found. More information on CWD can be found on KDWP’s website, or at the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website,

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Detailed pencil drawing of American wigeon earns top honors
WICHITA — For the third straight year, Christina Stockton, a 17-year old student at Stockton Academy in Wichita, claimed the state’s top prize in the annual Junior Duck Stamp program on Friday, March 18.
Stockton has been participating in the Junior Duck Stamp program for six years, and this is her third Best of Show. Her 2011 colored pencil entry, “This Side of Heaven,” features an American wigeon in intricate detail. Stockton used reference photos from professional photographers online at Birds in Focus, along with live birds observed on wetlands near her home.
Stockton’s entry will compete against Best of Show winners from 49 other states in the national competition on April 15 at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (outside of Philadelphia, Pa.), the host of this year’s Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The first place national winner receives a $5,000 scholarship and a free trip to Washington, D.C., and has their entry made into a Junior Duck Stamp that is sold nationwide. Proceeds from the sale of the $5 stamp fund conservation education and art scholarships.
Stockton’s wigeon bested 776 entries, including those of two of her sisters, who were also in the running for Best of Show. Entries were submitted in four age categories: Group 1 — K-3rd grade (287 entries); Group II — 4th-6th grade (293 entries); Group III — 7th-9th grade (101 entries); and Group IV — 10th-12th grade (95 entries).

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Application deadline last Friday in April; no mail-in applications accepted
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) reminds all nonresident deer hunters that the application deadline for 2011 permits is April 29, the last Friday in April. All applications must be made online through the KDWP website,, or by phoning 620-672-5911 and asking for Licensing. Mail-in applications are not available, and none will be accepted. Phone applications will be accepted through normal working hours on Friday, April 29. The online application deadline is midnight on April 29. This application applies to nonresident either-sex deer permits only. Nonresident Hunt-Own-Land and Antlerless White-tailed Deer permits will be available beginning July 25 over the counter.
Nonresident either-sex deer permits allow the taking of one white-tailed deer buck, doe, or fawn. The cost of the permit is $322.50, and if successful in the drawing, the applicant must also purchase a nonresident hunting license, $72.50, prior to hunting. The hunter applies in one of 18 deer management units and may also select one adjacent unit in which to hunt. Applicants also select one equipment type and season choice (archery, muzzleloader, or firearm) at the time of application. Muzzleloader permit holders may hunt during early muzzleloader season and regular firearm season using muzzleloader equipment only. If unsuccessful in the draw, the hunter receives a $301 refund and a preference point for next year’s draw.
A nonresident who successfully draws an Archery or Muzzleloader either-sex deer permit in Unit 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 17, or 18 may also apply for one of a limited number of Mule Deer Stamps for an additional fee of $102.50, submitted at time of application; if drawn, the applicant’s archery or muzzleloader whitetail permit converts to an either-species/either-sex archery or muzzleloader permit. Preference points do not count toward this stamp. If unsuccessful in the Mule Deer Stamp draw, the hunter will receive a $101 refund and be issued the whitetail permit.
A nonresident hunter who doesn’t want to hunt in 2011 can purchase a preference point online for $22.50. The preference point will count toward a nonresident whitettail either-sex deer permit in a future drawing.
To apply for a nonresident either-sex deer permit, go to the KDWP website, and click "Licenses/Permits" in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Then click "Buy your License/Permit Online" and follow the directions. To learn more about permits you may qualify for, go

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Division of Travel and Tourism transfer to KDWP official; will be complete July 1
TOPEKA — On Jan. 26, Governor Sam Brownback submitted to the Kansas Legislature Executive Reorganization Order (ERO) 36 — which would transfer the Division of Travel and Tourism from the Department of Commerce to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP). An ERO becomes effective July 1 following its transmittal to the Legislature, unless within 60 calendar days either the Kansas Senate or the House adopts a resolution disapproving the ERO. Monday, March 28, marked the end of those 60 calendar days without any disapproving action from either legislative body, ensuring the merger on July 1.
Robin Jennison, Acting Secretary of Wildlife and Parks, noted that tourism plays a vital part in the state’s economy, particularly as the state recovers from the recession.
“I am especially gratified that legislators recognized the valuable role of tourism in our state and allowed this action to move forward,” Jennison said. “We are looking forward to the opportunities that will be created by merging the Division of Travel and Tourism team with this agency.”
Becky Blake, Director of Travel and Tourism added, “More than 31 million visitors spend nearly $7.2 billion annually and support 125,000 jobs in our state. This reorganization will allow us to more closely align our tourism assets and grow the tourism economy in a more strategic manner.”
All 13 Travel and Tourism staff members will move to KDWP, which will be renamed the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The order also creates an Assistant Secretary of Parks and Tourism position and renames the position of Assistant Secretary for Operations to Assistant Secretary for Wildlife, Fisheries and Boating.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Atlas including maps of all public-access fishing areas now online; printed copies shipping March 9
PRATT ­­— Warmer March weather is welcome news for Kansas anglers, and more good news may be found in the 2011 Kansas Fishing Atlas, now available for viewing and download from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' (KDWP) website, The maps in this atlas pinpoint a variety of public fishing areas, including all federal reservoirs, state fishing lakes, river access, and community lakes. Fishing Impoundment and Stream Habitats (F.I.S.H.) waters are included, as well. F.I.S.H. waters are privately-owned ponds or streams KDWP has leased and opened to public fishing. F.I.S.H. sites are numbered in red on each map.

To find fishing areas, consult the map legend, then locate corresponding color codes on each map. With this atlas, anglers can locate just about any type of fishing desired.

To locate the 2011 Kansas Fishing Atlas, click the above link or go to the KDWP website and click "Fishing/Where to Fish in Kansas/Fishing Atlas." Printed copies began shipping March 9 and will be available at most KDWP offices and license vendors late this week or the beginning of next.

Combined with KDWP Fishing Reports and Fishing Forecast, also found on the agency’s website under “Fishing,” the 2011 Kansas Fishing Atlas completes every angler’s tackle box.

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Open house featuring new facilities, cabin tours to highlight weekend
WEBBER — Lovewell State Park will hold Free Park Entrance Days on Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27. For these two days, vehicle permits are not required to enter the state park. However, park users are reminded that if they plan to camp overnight, a camping permit is still required and can be purchased at the park office or self-pay station
To enhance this special weekend, park staff will present an open house featuring the park’s new facilities and camping cabins, as well as information on budget issues, the campsite reservation system, and a question-and-answer time regarding park regulations. Two programs will begin at the Willow Group Shelter at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The programs will conclude with tours of the new Southwinds Camping Cabins, weather permitting.
In addition to the programs, the park office will be open both days from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for park permit sales prior to the switch to peak season pricing on April 1. Off-season Annual Vehicle permits are discounted $5 at $19.70; Second Annual Vehicle permits are discounted $2.50 at $12.20; Annual Camping permits are discounted $50 at $202.50; and the 14-Day Camping permits are discounted $15 at $87.50. Those purchasing annual and second vehicle permits must present vehicle registration.
For more information, phone Lovewell State Park at 785-753-4971.

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Pair face prison sentences, heavy fines, suspension of hunting privileges
WICHITA — On March 16, James Bobby Butler Jr. and Marlin Jackson Butler pleaded guilty in federal court in Wichita to felony conspiracy and wildlife trafficking charges stemming from the illegal sale of guided deer hunts in southern Kansas, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas announced.
James Bobby Butler Jr., 42, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, one substantive Lacey Act count, and one count of obstruction of justice. His brother, Marlin Jackson Butler, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and one Lacey Act count. Both men are from Martinsville, Texas.
The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of state law or regulation.
According to the May 2010 indictment in the case and the March 16 plea agreements, James and Marlin Butler conspired to knowingly transport and sell in interstate commerce deer that had been hunted in violation of Kansas state law. The brothers operated a guiding service and hunting camp near Coldwater where they sold guiding services to out-of-state hunters for the purpose of illegally hunting and killing white-tailed and mule deer. Hunters guided by the Butler brothers killed deer in excess of annual bag limits, hunted deer without permits or while using permits for the wrong deer management unit, killed deer using illegal equipment, and hunted using prohibited methods such as spotlighting.
The guided hunts were sold for between $2,500 and $5,500 and in several instances resulted in the killing of trophy-sized buck deer. In the plea agreements, the Butlers admitted knowingly selling guided hunts for the illegal taking of the 25 buck deer identified in the indictment, for which hunters paid them $77,500 in guiding fees plus tips. In addition to selling guiding services, the brothers also arranged for transport of the deer, in particular the antlers and capes, from Kansas to Texas and Louisiana.
James Butler also admitted in his plea agreement that he instructed another person to conceal or destroy evidence during the investigation.
The maximum penalty for a felony violation of the conspiracy statute and the Lacey Act includes as many as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the obstruction charge against James Butler includes as many as 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine. According to the plea agreements filed, the prosecution agreed to recommend sentences of 41 months in prison for James Butler and 27 months in prison for Marlin Butler, in addition to fines, restitution, and three years of supervised release during which time both Butler brothers would be prohibited from all hunting and guiding activity. Sentencing hearings for both defendants are set for June 2, 2011.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The case is being jointly prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

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An un-official 80cm FITA archery targetImage via Wikipedia
Almost 250 students compete in program’s second state championship
HAYS — The second annual Kansas State Archery In the Schools (AIS) Championship meet was held at Fort Hays State University on March 12, and participation revealed that the program is growing dramatically in popularity. Six participating school districts (Anthony, Clearwater, Ell-Saline, Healy, Jackson Heights, and Rose Hill) entered 246 youngsters, including 47 high school, 123 middle school, and 76 elementary school students. This compares to 78 total participants in the inaugural event last year.
The focus of the AIS program is to provide international style target archery training in grades 4-12 physical education classes. The Kansas Archery in the Schools Program operates under the umbrella of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).
Started in Kentucky 12 years ago, Archery In the Schools came to Kansas in 2006. Gary Keehn, Holton, serves as coordinator of the state program. Keehn helps organize events, recruit instructors, set up ranges, and conduct certification workshops for instructors, many of whom are physical education teachers in elementary and secondary Kansas schools. Instructors are trained primarily through summer workshops.
Working under Mike Rader, KDWP wildlife education coordinator, Keehn helps schools and other organizations start programs and obtain equipment. With support from the archery industry, a $5,000 program equipment kit can be purchased by schools for about $3,000. Any teacher who completes a training session receives assistance towards the purchase of a kit from KDWP. Schools that host a basic instructor training workshop receive additional assistance. The Kansas program currently has about 150 schools involved.
Fort Hays State was the first university to establish a program, under the direction of Dr. Joyce Ellis, assistant professor in the school's Department of Health and Human Performance. For the second year in a row, Ellis has also been the driving force behind the state championship meet.
Because archery is not sanctioned by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, some schools restrict money used to establish programs or pay travel expenses for competitions. Schools with the program hold fund raisers with the help of supporters, students, local businesses, and community volunteers. Partial funding for equipment comes from KDWP and NASP. And this year, support came from Genesis Bows, Morrell Targets, Bass Pro Shops, the Kansas Bowhunters Association, and Cabela’s.
Using stock, unmodified Genesis bows (their own or ones provided by the tournament), students shot one practice round of five arrows and three scoring rounds of five arrows each from both 10 meters and 15 meters — a total of 30 scoring shots. Scoring rings on the target provided points from 10 to zero. Team scores were the total of the team's highest 12 individual scores, with at least five archers of each gender per team.
Each participant received a medal. The overall highest male and female scorers and the third place overall winner each received a new Genesis bow, two donated by NASP and the other donated by the Kansas Bowhunters Association. The fourth and fifth place winners received $50 gift certificates from Cabela’s. Plaques donated by KDWP were awarded to the top three teams in each division. The top two teams and the top three individuals are eligible to participate in the NASP National Championships in Kentucky.
The top scoring individual participants included the following, and each received a Genesis bow:
  • Top Male Overall — Jordan Serpan, 8th-grader from Clearwater Middle School Blue;
  • Top Female Overall — Micaela Keehn — 10th-grader from Jackson Heights High School; and
  • Next High Score (male or female) — Jon Varney, 12th-grader from Jackson Heights High School.
Jackson Heights High School dominated the individual high school competition, taking home all of the top three plaques in the high school division:
  • First Place — Micaela Keehn, 10th grade;
  • Second Place — Jon Varney, 12th grade; and
  • Third Place — Trent Henry, 11th grade.
Domination continued in the middle school individual competition, but this time Clearwater Middle School Blue nabbed the top three plaques:
  • First Place — Jordan Serpan, 8th grade;
  • Second Place — Luke Sipp, 7th grade; and
  • Third Place — Brandon William, 8th grade.
Individual elementary school plaques went to the following participants:
  • First Place — Lexi Cotham, 6th-grader from Clearwater Elementary Blue;
  • Second Place — Lillian Keehn, 5th-grader from Jackson Heights Elementary; and
  • Third Place — Parker Patterson, 6th-grader from Anthony Runners 5&6.
The top three teams in each division also won plaques:
High School
  • First Place —Jackson Heights A-Team;
  • Second Place — Ellsworth-Saline; and
  • Third Place — Jackson Heights B-Team.
Middle School
  • First Place — Clearwater Middle School Blue;
  • Second Place — Anthony Junior Runners 7&8; and
  • Third Place — Rose Hill Middle School A-Team.
Elementary School
  • First Place — Clearwater Elementary Blue;
  • Second Place — Anthony Runners 5&6;
  • Third Place — Clearwater Elementary White.
For more information on the Kansas Archery In the Schools program, phone Mike Rader at 620-672-5911.

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Publication shows all land open to spring turkey hunting; online version also available
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced that the 2011 Kansas Spring Turkey Atlas will be available March 28 at KDWP offices and license vendors around the state. An online version is currently available on the agency's website, To view or download the atlas from the KDWP website, click Hunting/Where To Hunt In Kansas/2011 Spring Turkey Atlas. View or print all or portions of the atlas.
This is an indispensible tool for anyone looking for a new place hunt, or for those who don’t yet have a place to go. The atlas pinpoints access to all land in Kansas open to public spring turkey hunting, including Walk-In Hunting Access land, which is private land leased by KDWP. This spring, more than 174,000 acres of Walk-In land are available, in addition to state and federal wildlife areas.
The 2011 spring youth/disabled and archery turkey seasons run April 1-12. The regular spring season runs April 13-May 31. Turkey permits allow hunters to use a shotgun, crossbow, or bow throughout the regular season.
Turkey permits valid in units 1, 2, and 3 may be purchased online from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website,, or over the counter at any license vendor. A regulations summary may be downloaded from the KDWP website and printed or obtained at KDWP offices and license vendors. The brochure can be used only for general regulations regarding the 2011 Kansas spring turkey hunting season.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Summer Jobs in America’s Great Outdoors

Seal of the United States Department of the In...Image via WikipediaThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the country’s 553
national wildlife refuges, hopes to hire more than 2,000 young people this
year, as it did in 2010. Apply now for a job this summer on a national
wildlife refuge or other public land. A commitment to youth hiring is part
of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

Go to the Refuge System web site to find 2011 youth job opportunities in
the National Wildlife Refuge System. Scroll down and click on “Student
Employment Opportunities” to learn about jobs through program partners
such as the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and AmeriCorps. You can
apply directly for some openings on partner web sites. For other
opportunities on refuges, such as those through the Youth Conservation
Corps (YCC), contact your local refuge (use the “Find Your Refuge” feature
on the Refuge System homepage).

Learn about other 2011 conservation job opportunities with the Department
of the Interior (DOI) at a new web site, and e
xplore the Department of the Interior's Youth in the Great Outdoors
program. Listings are for both permanent and temporary jobs. DOI manages
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and several
other technical bureaus.

Youth jobs on national wildlife refuges can change lives and career
pathways. They also stimulate learning and personal growth, say those with
firsthand experience:

       Tylar Greene, from the Bronx, felt “culture shock” on arriving for
an internship in summer 2010 at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in
New Hampshire, she recounts in a video. But she loved the work and the
moral support she got from refuge staff.

       Lexxs Sutton, a 2010 YCCer who helped build a boardwalk, maintain
trails and pull invasive plants at William L. Finley National Wildlife
Refuge in Oregon, called the work hard. Even so, she says, “I learned a
lot, and it was probably the most fun job I will ever have.”

       For further evidence of challenging and fun youth jobs on refuges,
see a video made by a 2010 YCC crew at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in

      See photos of young people at work on national wildlife refuges. Read
about youth hiring in the Northeast.

      Youth job candidates are considered without regard to race, color,
religion, sex or national origin. Most internships include a stipend, and
others are volunteer positions.

      The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others
to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader
and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our
scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources,
dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more
information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Fishing, Hunting, and Camping Information
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Grounds near Parsons offer excellent opportunity; application deadline March 21
PARSONS — The 13,727-acre property formerly known as the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant is now owned in part by the Great Plains Development Authority, the U.S. Army, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP). All three entities are working together to provide spring turkey hunting opportunities on the property, located 3 miles east of Parsons.

This spring, two hunts will be offered: an archery-only and youth shotgun hunt will take place April 7 through April 10, and a shotgun hunt will be held April 13 through April 17. Youth and archery hunters may apply for either hunt, but not both. Hunters may each harvest one bird.

Twenty hunters will be drawn for each hunt, and applicants are required to apply and hunt in pairs. Each pair of hunters will choose a designated tract to hunt based on drawing order. Each pair of hunters must have at least one partner 21 years or older.

Applicants must send their full name, drivers license number, social security number, birth date, address, phone number, and email address on a 3x5 index card in an envelope to KDWP, Turkey Hunt, 507 E 560th Ave, Pittsburg, KS 66762. Hunting pairs must submit information for both hunters on the same index card.
Applications must be postmarked March 21 or earlier. Only one application will be accepted per pair of hunters. The information provided will be used to conduct a mandatory background check for successfully drawn applicants. Incomplete or incorrect entries will not be accepted.

Hunters who were successful in the area’s fall 2010 deer hunts are not eligible.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail or email by March 25. All participants must attend a safety/security briefing. Briefings will be held April 6 at 6 p.m. for the first hunt and April 12 at 6 p.m. for the second hunt. All hunt rules and questions will be addressed at that time.

Hunts may be cancelled at any time due to heightened security. For more information, phone 620-231-3173 or 620-421-7447.

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Annual event first for new Governor Brownback
EL DORADO — The 25th annual Kansas Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt will be held April 14-16 in El Dorado. Hunters from across Kansas and many states have committed to participate this year’s event, the first turkey hunt for new Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

“I look forward to taking part in my first turkey hunt,” says Brownback. “And this event is a great way to promote not only our state’s natural resources but also economic growth in Kansas.”

Former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden, who established the event with former El Dorado Chamber of Commerce president Marv McCown in 1987, also will attend. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Secretary Robin Jennison and seven youth from Kansas also will also take part, and music fans will welcome country star Bryan White, who will hunt and play a few tunes.

Activities this year include a Thursday get-acquainted social, the Big Tom Hog Roast social on Friday, and the Saturday One-Shot Banquet. These dinners will be held for the first time at the new Butler Community College Welcome Center in the Clifford Stone Room.

The hunt is directed by El Dorado Chamber CEO Becky Wolfe, with headquarters at 200 S. Main in El Dorado. For more information, phone Wolfe at 316-321-3835 or visit the One-Shot website,


Park users can save by purchasing permits before April 1
PRATT — Visitors to Kansas state parks can save money by purchasing many permits before the prime park season begins on April 1. Permits purchased in the off-season — Oct. 1-March 31 — are valid for the remainder of the calendar year, and they are cheaper if purchased during this period.
For 2011, state park vehicle entrance permit fees include the following:
Off-Season (through March 31)
  • Annual camping permit — $202.50
  • 14-night camping permit —$87.50
  • Annual vehicle permit — $19.70 (senior/disabled: $11.10)
  • Additional annual vehicle permit — $12.20 (senior/disabled: $7.35)
Prime Season (April 1-Sept. 30)
  • Annual camping permit — $252.50
  • 14-night camping permit —$101.50
  • Annual vehicle permit — $24.70 (senior/disabled: $13.60)
  • Additional annual vehicle permit — $14.70 (senior/disabled: $8.60)
Costs listed include applicable service fees, except online purchase convenience fee. Annual permits are valid for the remainder of the calendar year whether purchased in the off-season or the prime season.
KDWP's Parks Division operates a system of 25 parks and the Prairie Spirit Rail-Trail. Most state parks provide utility and primitive camping, as well as cabins, and are located adjacent to lakes or reservoirs. Most camping and utility fees remain unchanged, but daily and 14-day camping permits are cheaper if purchased in the off-season. In addition to camping facilities, parks offer boat ramps, courtesy docks, shelter houses, swimming beaches, trails, and a variety of other amenities. Parks also host numerous special events, such as concerts and festivals, throughout the year.

More information on state parks is also available at the KDWP website, To reserve a cabin, click "Cabin Reservations" in the upper right-hand corner of the KDWP website.

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Walleye (Sander vitreus, formerly Stizostedion...Image via Wikipedia
Early spring walleye spawning attracts anglers, fisheries biologists
PRATT — In late March and early April, walleye migrate to rocky shallows in Kansas reservoirs to spawn. At this time, anglers gather along rip-rapped dams hoping to catch large walleye by casting jigs, rattle traps, crank baits, and stick baits from shore. Some even wade to cast parallel with the shore. But anglers aren’t the only ones interested in this activity although their interests are at stake. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) fisheries biologists take advantage of the spawn to harvest walleye eggs, which are then taken to agency hatcheries where increased hatching success means more fish for anglers in years to come.

This year, three reservoirs will provide KDWP with walleye eggs. Egg-taking will begin on March 21 at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, March 21 at Hillsdale Reservoir, and March 28 at Milford Reservoir. Nets will be placed to catch spawning females that provide eggs both walleye and saugeye hatching programs. Fall test netting revealed large populations of big walleye in these three lakes.

Infestations of zebra mussels, white perch, and other aquatic nuisance species (ANS) in several Kansas reservoirs require special care during egg-taking to prevent the spread of these potentially-destructive species. All sperm and egg collection will take place on each lake and the fish returned to that lake immediately. Eggs will be fertilized at the lake, as well, so no fish will be moved.
On March 14, KDWP biologists began catching male sauger and milking them for milt (sperm) for the saugeye hatching program. (The saugeye is a walleye/sauger hybrid.) Milt is preserved in vials that are taken to Milford Reservoir to fertilize walleye eggs.

Biologists will work for the next few weeks collecting and fertilizing eggs, transporting them to KDWP's hatcheries at Farlington, Milford, and Pratt, and eventually stocking fish throughout the state. Some fry are stocked in hatchery ponds to be raised to fingerling size and stocked later in late May and early June. Others are stocked directly into lakes as fry.

In addition to walleye, the Milford Hatchery will produce the saugeye. Saugeye grow faster and larger than sauger and are thought to be less prone to wash-out high flow-through reservoirs than the walleye. To prevent production of fertile saugeye that have the potential to breed with walleye already in a lake — and potentially diluting that walleye population's genetics — a "triploid induction" process is used on some of the saugeye produced. Triploid induction is a technique that allows genetic manipulation of a chromosome number to create a potentially faster-growing, but sterile, saugeye.

KDWP's statewide harvest goal for 2011 is 77 million eggs, with a production goal of 37 million walleye, 8 million saugeye, and 1.2 million sauger. Because fewer than 5 percent of eggs hatch in the wild, artificial spawning and hatching is used to increase egg survival rates as much as 40-50 percent. When hatchery-bound eggs reach their destination, biologists monitor incubation closely. Water flows are checked to ensure constant but controlled movement. Water temperatures and oxygen content are also routinely checked. Dead eggs rise to the top of the jars and are siphoned off each day. With a water temperature of 60 degrees, hatching generally occurs on the eighth or ninth day of incubation. As the fry break out of their egg cases, they are carried upward by the water into large circular holding tanks where they are held for two to four days. Then they are ready for stocking.

All this activity may not be high-profile, but it makes Kansas walleye fishing much more productive. And as waters warm and days grow longer in late March and early April, many anglers take their cue from fisheries biologists and enjoy the opportunity to take walleye from the shore.