Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Answer outdoor questions, write essay, win great prizes
EMPORIA — KVOE Radio in Emporia, in conjunction with the Beau Arndt Foundation, will sponsor an outdoor trivia contest entitled “What’s In the Outdoors” beginning Dec. 2 and running through Dec. 16. In addition to daily winners, two grand prize winners in two age groups will be presented on Dec. 19.
Prizes include the following:
  • one-year membership to the Kansas Wildlife Federation along with a wildlife appreciation book ($75 value);
  • tree stand body harness from Johnny Drake and a deer hunting video;
  • four bird houses, from wood duck to blue bird, and a bat house from Westar along with assorted resource guides and booklets;
  • fishing rod and reel along with two just-published Complete Guide to Kansas Fishing books by Amy Bickel and Jason Probst;
  • 40-pound bag of Doc’s Rack Rage Wildlife Feed from Bluestem Farm and Ranch;
  • $25 gift certificate to KansasLand Tires;
  • a turkey from KVOE;
  • a ham from Bobby D’s;
  • a pie package from Village Inn;
  • $25 gift certificate from Water’s True Value;
  • $25 gift certificate from Lyin County Bait Company;
  • Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation hat and membership;
  • rack of ribs from Williamsburg;
  • dinner gift certificate from the Wagon Wheel;
  • blue Carhartt jacket from Sutherlands;
  • $25 gift certificate to Nature’s Paradise;
  • three tanning sessions from Midas Touch golden tans;
  • a National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) membership plus a $25 gift card from the Flint Hills Gobblers Chapter of NWTF;
  • leather pouch from Ernie Webb;
  • $25 gift certificate from Envi Salon; and
  • wool socks and two hats from Brown’s Shoe Fit
In addition, a grand prize one-half day tube fly fishing excursion from Bill Hartman will be awarded in the adult category (16 and older). A grand prize in the youth category (15 and younger) includes a youth upland game bird hunt for 10 quail and two pheasants sponsored by Country Hunts, just east of Valley Falls, and the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation. This hunt is self-guided at Country Hunts. (Hunter Education certification required.)
To enter, contestants must go online to to find and answer the wildlife appreciation trivia questions. To complete the contest, contestants must also submit a story that shares their most memorable outdoor experiences — fishing, hiking, hunting, exploring, bird watching, gardening — anything that involves nature. Pictures are a plus but not a requirement to win.
Families can work together to write the story and help the younger people with the quizzes. To enter, submit story and answers to the questions along with name, address, and phone number to or mail them to KVOE Outdoors Trivia, PO Box 924, Emporia, KS 66801.


Dec. 1, 2001
Land does not have to be posted
PRATT — The Kansas firearm deer season began Nov. 30, and many other hunting season are currently open, as well. With this in mind, officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) are reminding all hunters that it is illegal to hunt on private land, posted or not, without the owner's permission. Whether someone actually enters private land without permission or shoots onto it from another landowner's property without permission, it is illegal.
Not only is trespassing illegal, but hunting from public roads requires permission of the landowner adjoining the side of the road being hunted, the center of the road defining who should grant permission. Railroad rights-of-way require permission from the railroad. In addition, writtenpermission is required to enter land posted with hunting and/or trapping "By Written Permission Only" signs or bordered by trees or fence posts painted purple.
In any situation, shooting from a vehicle is illegal unless the hunter has a disability permit on land where permission has been granted. Shooting from a road is also extremely dangerous, threatening landowners, other hunters, livestock, and equipment.
According to KDWPT’s Law Enforcement Division, Kansas convicted 285 poachers for trespassing-related violations in 2010. Whether trespassing is accidental or intentional, it damages the hunting heritage. Because trespassing harms landowner-hunter relations — and because the penalties for trespassing can be severe — hunters should be aware of the following:
  • landowner permission should be obtained before pursuing wounded game onto private property. If the landowner cannot be found, contact a local natural resource officer or sheriff's office;
  • hunting from roads or railways without legal permission is a form of trespassing called criminal hunting;
  • conviction of trespass or criminal hunting may prevent the convicted person from enjoying hunting privileges in other states. KDWPT is a member of the Wildlife Violator Compact, to which 34 other states currently belong. Under this compact, anyone who has had hunting, fishing, or furharvesting privileges revoked or suspended in a member state cannot hunt, trap, or fish in other member states;
  • conviction of simple criminal hunting can result in a maximum fine of $500, plus court costs, and one month in jail on the first conviction. Additionally, the court can suspend or revoke license privileges for up to a year. A second conviction requires at least a one-year suspension of privileges in addition to any fines or jail time;
  • if big game or turkey hunting is involved, the penalties get stiffer. Upon first conviction, the law states that the violator "shall not be fined less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than six months, or both." The law requires fifth and subsequent conviction penalties of a minimum $1,000 fine and minimum 90 days in jail;
  • refusing to leave property when told is a form of criminal trespassing;
  • it is illegal to hunt on land requiring written permission without having written permission on one's person;
  • in any of these cases, hunting privileges may be revoked; and
  • by law, all hunters should have permission whether the land is posted or not.
Hunters can address this problem by always asking for permission courteously and accepting denial in the same manner. Hunters can also help by reporting trespassers. Take down the license tag number and all other details of the violation before phoning a local natural resource officer, sheriff's office, or KDWPT's Operation Game Thief toll-free hotline, 1-877-426-3843. Do not confront the violator. A list of phone numbers for all natural resource officers and other KDPWT staff, listed by counties they cover, can be found online at

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Bobwhite Quail, Colinus virginianus, male (abo...
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Kansas City Convention Center site of Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time, the nation's biggest event for pheasant and quail hunters and bird dog enthusiasts is coming to Kansas City. Pheasants Forever's National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic will be held Feb. 17-19, 2012, at the Kansas City Convention Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The event will be sponsored by Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter.
The annual convention has topped 20,000 in attendance each of the last six events. The Quail Classic portion of the 2012 event will be a first, representing the strong tradition of bobwhite quail hunting and conservation found in Kansas, Missouri, and across the Great Plains and southeast United States. Both the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Missouri Department of Conservation will participate in the event.
Kansas and Missouri are home to a combined 47 local Pheasants Forever chapters and 34 Quail Forever chapters. With more than 10,000 Pheasants Forever and/or Quail Forever members in the two states, Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever, Inc.'s National President and CEO, says it's time to bring the organization's premiere event to Kansas City.
"Kansas is one of the elite states for pheasant hunting and wildlife habitat conservation, and Missouri has positioned itself as a clear leader in efforts to restore bobwhite quail populations," Vincent said. "Kansas City is the perfect meeting place to have fun celebrating both great game birds."
All things bird dog-related have been the biggest attractions at previous National Pheasant Fest events, and that's expected to be the case at the inaugural appearance in Kansas City. Approximately 40 different sporting dog breeds will be represented; dog training seminars will be held throughout the three-day weekend; and attendees will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with breeders, trainers, and dog kennel and club representatives.
A "Youth Village" is another popular show attraction, where youth can participate in archery and air rifle ranges, a casting booth, laser shot, and more.
For more information, including exhibitor details, phone Brad Heidel, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's Director of Corporate and Special Event Sales at 651-209-4956 or email

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The Great Seal of the State of Kansas
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Governor Brownback, soldiers, celebrities, elected officials hunt in northwest Kansas
OAKLEY — Kansas Sam Governor Brownback hosted the inaugural Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic on Nov. 18-20 in Oakley. Approximately 68 hunters joined the Governor for the hunt. The weekend began with a community dinner on Friday night, then hunting and an awards dinner on Saturday, followed by a bonus hunt on Sunday.
"It was a beautiful, cold Kansas day, and I hope I can speak for all the hunters when I say that I had a fabulous time,” Brownback said. “I especially want to thank the city of Oakley and all of northwest Kansas for hosting the hunters. I also want to thank the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and everyone who helped to plan this event and make it possible.”
The Ringneck Classic was held to showcase Kansas as the premiere destination for pheasant hunting in the Midwest.
"Kansas is consistently ranked as one of the top three states in the country for pheasant hunting,” Brownback added. “This is an underutilized asset for our rural communities. If we do a better job telling folks about the high-quality hunting available here in Kansas, we will pull more of those tourism dollars into Kansas."
Brownback used a shotgun passed down to him from his grandfather. He shot four pheasants, reaching the limit for individual hunters within three hours of beginning the hunt, and accompanied hunters for the remainder of the day.
“Hunting, and specifically pheasant hunting, is part of our heritage in western Kansas,” Kansas Secretary of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Robin Jennison said. “Northwest Kansas has traditionally been one of the state's best pheasant hunting regions, and I am confident ‘The Classic’ will grow to be a prominent part of our Kansas hunting tradition. The hunt also will allow us to showcase the many other tourism opportunities in northwest Kansas.”
Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer also joined Jennison and the Governor, along with Kansas State Senator Ralph Ostmeyer and Kansas state representatives Gary Hayzlett and Don Hineman.
“Pheasant hunting in northwest Kansas has a long and cherished tradition,” hunt organizer Raelene Keller said. “The Oakley community is thrilled at the opportunity to represent Kansas and Governor Brownback as hosts for the inaugural hunt.”
Four soldiers with the 1st Infantry, Second Brigade at Fort Riley were Brownback’s special guests: Bronze Star recipient 1st Lt. Josh Willis and sergeants Christopher Dean, Justin Hillman, and Brad Slickers. All four men returned from duty in Iraq on Nov. 4, 2011
“These young men’s sacrifice is incredible,” Brownback said. “I’m honored that they were able to participate in the hunt. They are wonderful young men, and I had a great time with them.”
Hunters participating in the two-day event included George Brett, former Kansas City Royals baseball player; Tom Watson, professional golfer. Two live music performances highlighted Friday and Saturday nights. Heath Wright, with the country-western band Ricochet, performed live Friday night at Oakley High School, and Wright and Nashville singer Chuck Wicks each performed live on Saturday night at the banquet.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Courtesy KDWPT
Nov. 24, 2012
Twenty-six teams, 101 students, 20 high schools display conservation knowledge
ELMDALE — On Nov. 3, the 13th Annual State Finals ECO-Meet competition was held at Camp Wood YMCA facility near Elmdale. The event was held in the Flint Hills, making for a great day of competition. The event proved to be an exciting, hard-fought contest, with the following results posted:
Overall Team Competition
  • First Place — Maize High School Team B, Ana Fornoza, Deanna Hazelton, Samm Nguyen, Zac Thiessen, and team coach Jay Super — $300 student scholarships;
  • Second Place — St. Mary’s-Colgan High School of Pittsburg, Hayden Compton, Ben Cortes, Joe Otter, Taylor Thomas, and team coach Donna Maus — $200 student scholarships; and
  • Third Place — Maize High School Team A, Luke Bartz, Maureen McCafferty, Shannon Nelson, Kris Super, and team coach Jay Super — $100 student scholarships.
Individual Events
  • Ornithology — First Place, Stephen DeHart, Olathe South High School, $200 scholarship — Second Place, Blake Bradford, Clay Center High School, $100 scholarship; and
  • Woodlands Ecosystem — First Place, Stephen DeHart, Olathe South High School, $200 scholarship — Second Place, Shannon Nelson, Maize High School, $100 scholarship.
Twenty-six teams consisting of 101 students from 20 high schools across the state competed. An additional seven students qualified as individuals from five other schools in the two test events. Nine regional qualifying competitions determined representatives from across the state. Regional locations were Wilson Reservoir in Russell County, the Sternberg Museum in Hays, the Milford Nature Center near Junction City, the Lakewood Discovery Center in Salina, the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, the Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson, Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence, the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush, and the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe. The Kansas ECO-meet committee is considering at least two new locations for 2012 to host regional competitions.
Sponsors of the Kansas ECO-Meet include the Kansas Wildscape Foundation; the Kansas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Simpson Farm Enterprises of Ransom, Superior/Essex of Hoisington, Barton Community College of Great Bend, Friends of Milford Nature Center, Mid-America Awards of Salina, Goodwin Sporting Goods of Hays, and the Wildlife Education Service Section of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
To view the results from all regional events and the state competition or for more information about the Kansas ECO-Meet, go online to, email Mike Rader at or phone 620-672-0708.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Illustration employs an above and below waterl...
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Commissioners to set regulations on take, use, and movement of bait fish or minnows
TOPEKA — On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will conduct a special meeting at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Region 2 Office (basement conference room), 300 SW Wanamaker Road in Topeka. The meeting was called to cover possible regulation changes that would go in effect in 2012 if approved, regarding the take, use, movement, and release of bait fish and minnows.
In addition to bait fish regulations, commissioners will also vote on a regulation change that would eliminate the second motor vehicle permit for Kansas state parks. The public is invited to attend the meeting and provide input.
The meeting will be called to order at 7 p.m., and time will be allowed for general public comment on non-agenda items, followed by a public hearing on the following regulations:
  • KAR 115-2-2 — motor vehicle permit fees;
  • KAR 115-7-3 — fish; taking and use of bait fish or minnows;
  • KAR 115-7-6 — fishing; bait;
  • KAR 115-7-10 — fishing; special provisions;
  • KAR 115-8-6 — fishing, fish bait, and seining;
  • KAR 115-8-12 — stocking or releasing of wildlife; and
  • KAR 115-30-13 — removal of vessels from waters of the state.
The outcome of some of these regulations will result in one of three changes regarding the use of bait fish: 1) wild-caught bait fish may be used as live bait only within the impoundment or stream where taken; 2) wild-caught bait fish may be used as live bait only within the impoundment or stream where taken, except that green sunfish, bluegill, and yellow and black bullhead may be used in waters other than where they are taken; or 3) no change in the regulations. Live bait fish purchased from a licensed bait dealer may be used under any of these options.
Live video and audio streaming of this meeting will be broadcast through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) website,
If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at 620-672-5911.
The next commission meeting is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2012, at Kansas Wesleyan University (Hauptli Student Center), 100 East Claflin Ave. in Salina.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Few Things You Should Know About Guided Hunts

Fruits of the hunt!
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Do you dream about going on a guided hunt?  Do you attend sport shows and collect all the brochures but not sure where to go from there?  You’re not alone.  Hunting around home is unlike the experience you will gain when going on a guided hunt or even a guided fishing excursion.  But the planning and the cost of it can be overwhelming, and it’s definitely a process; many don’t know where to begin.  Let me walk you through it, it’s worth all the effort!

Before you begin, realize one thing…it doesn’t matter what type of guided hunt you take, hunting is still hunting; there are no guarantees to an actual success and the experience should be your main priority.  If you regard it as an entire adventure, you are bound to be pleased with the results.

Outfitters all over the world work hard to offer you the quality you are looking for.  Their careful planning, investment and knowledge provides you with an experience of a lifetime.  They spend countless hours and money to ensure an environment exists to optimize your chances at fulfilling your dreams.  You can help by learning as much about the hunt as you are able.  The more you know, the more you can be prepared; and while the outfitter already knows their responsibilities, it’s only to your benefit that you know yours.  Gaining knowledge about the area you will be hunting, the game you are seeking can lay great foundation to your overall experience.  Remember, though, that your guide is the expert and always be honest about your abilities.

To begin, you need to decide what you want to hunt.  When do you want to hunt?  If you are interested in peak times, plan well in advance.  Many outfitters are booked a year ahead of time for peak ruts or fish runs.  Be prepared to be flexible and work with the outfitter, they can give you alternate time frames that may be just as suitable.  You also need to decide what kind of hunt you would like to go on.  There are several types of hunts from the bare bones hunt (least expensive) to the trophy hunt (most expensive).  We shall assume a standard hunt, which is what most hunters go with.

The final deciding factor before choosing your guide is what kind of weapon is allowed.  Many outfitters are becoming archery only due to the low impact and longer seasons.  Make sure that the outfits you are considering allow the weapon of your choice and they place you in the appropriate season.  If you are a firearm hunter, ask if they will allow you to shoot a group of bullets when you arrive to check for accuracy.  Depending on the distance or means of travel, this is very important.  Most guides will encourage you to zero in before you hunt.

Once you have chosen these important factors, start seeking a guide service.  If you don’t know of one, you can find a guide matching service online such as, which will match you with a reputable outfitter.  You can also try to call the game warden in the county that you have interest hunting in.  They should be able to direct you to a reputable outfitter in their area.  Once you have made contact, ask for references from previous hunts that are willing to talk to you.  Make sure you don’t receive references from the same hunting party; you will want to talk to several different clients that have experienced different adventures.  Ask them anything you would like to know about their time from the guide themselves to accommodations if they are willing to share.  Select several guides and compare.  Discuss with the guide your expectations, make sure they can accommodate you; trophies in one part of the country may be different than a trophy in another part of the country.  After all, it’s your money and you have the right to know the details.

Be aware of all costs involved.  Surprises of the financial kind are not usually welcomed in any stance in life and this is no exception.  Find out what is included in your package so you can plan accordingly; license and tags, transportation, trophy fees, tipping, processing, shipping, etc.  Ask the guide if they have available extra hunting supplies if something breaks or you forget something.  Bottom line?  Do your homework.  Leave no stone unturned, leave nothing to chance.

Once you have chosen your guide, keep an open dialogue.  If questions come up, write them down and then sit down and make that phone call.  Clear communication with your guide will only enhance your trip.  Allow your guide to know your limitations both physically and with your shooting abilities.  Armed with this information, the guide can create an outing that will play to your strengths instead of your weaknesses.  Most of these hunts can by very trying on the human body and making yourself out to be in better shape than you are will only serve misery and a low chance of success.  This is important information to share when you finally book your hunt, not when you get there.

Your guide will send you a confirmation, a list of recommended gear to bring and your itinerary.  Don’t assume you know more than your guide and pack what they suggest.  You shouldn’t need anything new for your trip, make sure everything you have is comfortable and appropriate for your chosen game and in good condition.  Unless you have something you can’t live without, pay attention to what they will provide so that you don’t unnecessarily over pack.

Once you arrive do your part to be a good guest.  Your enthusiasm is expected and welcomed but your time there is also spent well listening and learning.  Whether this is for a trophy or a new species to add to your showcase, you can always learn something new and your guide will be a wealth of information.  When it comes time to zero in on your target, keep your eyes and ears open and your guide will direct you to the best possible shot.  Develop relationships, enjoy the time and hunt safe.  This is your dream; help it become a reality!

Sunday, November 13, 2011



PRATT — Although the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) does not require registration of deer taken in Kansas, the agency does offer a voluntary option for transporting harvested deer that allows hunters to register their harvested deer through the Internet, using photos taken at the harvest site. Once registered, the hunter may then transport the carcass without the head or evidence of sex being attached (required for species- and sex-specific permits). To access the electronic deer check-in, go online to the KDWPT website,, and click “Hunting/Big Game/Deer/Deer Check-in.”
This is not a telephone registration system, and it is not required.
The registration process requires access to the KDWPT website through a conventional, wireless, or air-card Internet connection. Once logged on to the website, the hunter will need to submit two digital photographs — one close-up clearly showing the completed tag attached to the deer and a second showing the entire body of the deer with the head still attached. Hunters must enter the KDWPT number from their permits, time and date of the kill, and the county where the deer was taken. A confirmation number will be issued by email when the photos and data are successfully received. This confirmation number must be retained during transportation, so the hunter should write it down.
The hunter is walked through the registration process and given the necessary instructions. Once these steps are completed, the deer head may be removed and the carcass prepared for transportation. The system allows KDWPT staff to see the deer and the hunter’s completed tag without the time and expense of maintaining a check station. This flexibility is a benefit to both the hunter and KDWPT.
This option was developed to address two important issues regarding deer carcass transportation. The first concern is about the movement of any material from a deer that may contribute to the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD). While there is a lot yet to be learned about this disease, and how it is spread, it is believed that its transmission could be diminished if certain body parts affected by the disease are not moved from the site where the deer is taken. Because CWD affects the brain and central nervous system, the transportation of a deer head and skeleton from one location to another is considered a likely means for the disease to spread. The new registration system allows a hunter to leave these items at the kill site, minimizing the possibility of spreading the disease.
The second concern is directly related to the first. Many states have adopted strict regulations to prevent the spread of CWD. Typically, these regulations do not allow the transportation of a deer head with brain tissue from a state with confirmed CWD cases. Hunters have been cited in other states and had their deer confiscated for not complying with the transportation laws of that state. The new registration system allows a hunter to properly dispose of the head and legally transport the boned meat, as well as the cleaned skull cap and antlers, to the hunter’s home.
More information on CWD and transportation laws may be found on the KDWPT website under “Hunting/Big Game/Chronic Wasting Disease.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Seal of the Army National GuardImage via Wikipedia
Too late for pheasant and quail season, but KDWPT offers refunds
PRATT — Active members of the Kansas Army and Air National Guard who are Kansas residents may obtain free Kansas hunting and fishing licenses, as well as free state park entrance permits. For those wanting to hunt the opening day of pheasant and quail season — Nov. 12 — it’s too late to obtain one of these permits or licenses, but the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) offers refunds to those guardsmen who buy a license now and apply for the free one later.
To receive free National Guard licenses and permits, apply through the KDWPT Pratt Operations Office. Depending on the particular licenses and/or state park permits requested, applicants will be required to submit appropriate documentation.
For those who do not already have this year's permits or licenses, application forms can be downloaded from the KDWPT website at Click "Other Services/Publications/Hunting," and then "Application 2011 KS National Guard Hunting, Fishing, and Park Vehicle Permit." The forms must be signed by the National Guard member’s unit commander and mailed to KDWPT with photocopies of appropriate documentation. Anyone who has already purchased a license or permit will automatically be reimbursed once their application is completed.
Free hunting and fishing licenses are also offered to all Kansas veterans who have been certified by a physician with at least a 30-percent service-related disability. Disabled veterans who enlisted as regular servicemen can apply for free hunting and fishing licenses (not applicable for park permits). These applications are also available at the above website.
These permits and licenses are paid for from the state general fund and are allocated by the Kansas State Legislature.
As with other KDWPT permits and licenses, 2011 National Guard and disabled veterans licenses expire Dec. 31, 2011. Licenses and permits for next year go on sale Dec. 15 and will be valid for the remainder of December and all the following year.

Friday, November 11, 2011


List of invasive species in the Mid-Atlantic r...Image via Wikipedia
Conservation Achievement Award deadline Dec. 1
PRATT — The Kansas Wildlife Federation’s (KWF) Conservation Achievement Program (CAP) recognizes Kansans who have devoted themselves to conserving the state's natural resources. Whether through education, communication, or on-ground habitat work, such dedicated people are eligible for CAP awards. KWF is asking conservation-minded citizens to nominate candidates who have worked for wildlife conservation.
Each year, KWF honors people who have made special efforts in the areas of land and soil conservation, youth conservation, conservation communication, conservation education, wildlife conservation, water conservation, conservation legislator, conservation farmer/rancher, forestry conservation, stream team conservation, outdoor skills, conservation organization, and conservationist of the year.
Nominations are due by Dec. 1. For more information, phone 316-648-8827 or email

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Tuttle Creek dam and reservoir in Kansas. View...Image via Wikipedia
Licenses and permits available at hunting fishing equipment dealers, online
PRATT — Anyone who has yet to buy a hunting license should be aware that Friday, Nov. 11, is Veteran’s Day, and most Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) offices will be closed. However, licenses and permits are available at more than 200 dealers of hunting and fishing equipment and online at
Although the KDWPT Pratt Operations Office will be closed on Nov. 11, some staff will be on hand to answer questions by phone. Call 620-672-5911, and an automated phone message will direct the caller to dial 164 for licensing questions.
Three state park offices will be open on Veterans’ Day, as well. Prairie Dog State Park (SP) will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuttle Creek SP will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Glen Elder SP will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The Common Pheasant, the most important bird f...Image via Wikipedia
Area set aside to increase young and new hunter participation
GLEN ELDER — After two years, the 1,000-acre Walnut Creek Mentor/Novice Area on Glen Elder Wildlife Area is receiving great reviews from hunters. Many youngsters, as well as a few new adult hunters, have harvested their very first pheasant or deer on the area. Other young hunters have taken advantage of the opportunity to build on their newly acquired outdoor skills and experiences.
The Mentor/ Novice Area is located on the southeast portion of the 12,500-acre Glen Elder Wildlife Area, near Glen Elder Reservoir in Mitchell County. The Walnut Creek area was chosen for this designation because of the wide range of hunting opportunities it provides. Pheasant and deer are found in good numbers, and the area also harbors small game, waterfowl, dove, furbearers, and turkey.
The purpose of the Mentor/Novice Area is to provide a public area for beginning hunters with a good opportunity for success while maintaining overall hunting opportunities on the entire property. “Novice” includes youth age 18 and younger and any person who has not previously purchased a hunting license or permit in any state for the particular game species they wish to pursue. For example, a veteran pheasant hunter can qualify as a novice deer hunter if that individual has never previously purchased a deer permit. Experienced adult hunters are allowed to hunt in this area if they are mentoring at least one youth or novice hunter.
In 2000, participation in Kansas’ first youth pheasant season was high at Glen Elder, with an estimated 78 youth and 74 adult hunters taking advantage of this new opportunity. In succeeding years, adults were not allowed to hunt with the youth, and annual participation dropped to an average of 15 youth. With this in mind, the concept of the Mentor/Novice Area was developed — a place for new hunters to learn and experienced hunters to recruit new hunters during regular seasons.
The Walnut Creek Cove of the lake is a popular duck hunting area. Waterfowl hunting without the Mentor/Novice requirement is still allowed, but hunters are only allowed to hunt and access the shoreline areas by boat. The nearby Walnut Creek boat ramp is open and available for this purpose.
In 2004, the Walnut Creek Area was designated as a survey area with free daily permits required of each hunter. Five years of baseline background data is available and provides a wealth of information on who uses the area, what they harvest, and how they rate their experience. Data collected from the Walnut Creek Area including the Mentor/Novice Area will supply data for a three-year study comparing information from before and after the designation. A decision will then be made to continue, modify, or eliminate the Mentor/ Novice Area based on data evaluation.
For more information on this special opportunity, phone the wildlife area office at 875-545-3345.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Tent op kampImage by florisla via Flickr
Cold weather months limit facilities, but parks still offer outdoor opportunities

PRATT — Kansas state parks began their off-season on Oct. 1, and it runs through March 31. During this time, many state parks cut down on services although all remain open. Hours and services vary from park to park, but most offices are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday but are closed on holidays.

In addition, most unheated toilets and shower buildings with running water are shut down for the cold season. Most heated buildings remain open through the regular firearms hunting seasons, and some remain open year-round. While drinkable water is available at each park headquarters all year, water is shut off at campgrounds and day-use areas that are prone to freezing pipes.

Most parks have some drinkable water available at freeze-proof valves in campgrounds into late November or early December, depending on the weather. Electricity stays on year-round where it is available. Each park remains open to vehicles; however, some campground loops may be closed. Some boat ramps across the state may be closed or only usable by shallow-draft boats.
And while some facilities are reduced, so are some off-season park permit fees. A Daily Vehicle permit is $3.70 (senior/disabled, $2.60); an Annual Vehicle permit is $19.70 (senior/disabled, $11.10); a Daily Camping permit is $7.50; and a 14-Day Camping permit is $87.50.

In addition, rental cabins 20 state parks and five wildlife areas make a winter stay comfortable. For more information on cabins at state parks, go to “State Parks/Locations With Cabins” at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) website,
For other winter park details, look up individual state parks on the KDWPT website. Conditions may also be checked by phoning individual parks.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Pond undergoing renovation; fish may be taken by any means

EMPORIA — Jones Park West Pond in Emporia is undergoing renovation, and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Secretary Robin Jennison has issued a fish salvage order for the lake. The order will take effect when the lake is posted and remain in effect until the notices are removed.

During this time, it will be legal to take fish from this lake by any legal means, as well as snagging, seine, bow and arrow, gig, and hand.

“This is a 1.4-acre pond, and about 40 percent of the upper end is filled with silt,” area fisheries biologist Carson Cox said, explaining the reason for the renovation. “It has a history of fish kills due to filamentous algae, and it is overgrown with trees around the upper end, limiting shoreline angling. During renovation, we will construct a nutrient trap wetland like the one at Emporia Jones Park East Pond.”

Those 16 and older taking fish during this salvage order must have a fishing license. For more information, phone the KDWPT Emporia Research and Survey Office at 620-342-0658.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Konza Prairie, in the Flint HillsImage via Wikipedia
Pheasant, quail, and prairie chicken bring family and friends together

PRATT — For many hunters, Kansas pheasant and quail hunting ranks right up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas — and often coincides. Family and friends who may not have seen each other for a year or more get together and enjoy the outdoors, camaraderie, and putting meat on the table in a time-honored tradition. This winter, pheasant and quail seasons run Nov. 12-Jan. 31, 2012, and while the forecast for bird numbers is down from recent years, the excitement of rekindling old relationships still runs high.

Although good numbers of pheasants and quail will be found in some areas, severe drought and record high temperatures throughout much of the birds’ range last spring and summer resulted in fewer birds overall. Generally, the best pheasant hunting in 2011 will be north of I-70 in western Kansas and the best quail hunting will be in the central part of the state. Details can be found in Upland Bird Regional Forecast on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) website,, under “Hunting/Upland Birds.”

KDWPT reminds all hunters to avoid standing crops. While most crops have been harvested already, some fields remain uncut, even as late as mid-November. Hunters are asked to stay out of standing crop fields because most farmers do not want these fields disturbed until after harvest. Permission is required to hunt private land, whether it is posted or not.

The season on Kansas’ third upland bird — the prairie chicken — runs Nov. 19-Jan. 31 in the Northwest and East units and Nov. 19-Dec. 31 in the Southwest Unit. The best greater prairie chicken hunting should be in native grasslands from the northern Flint Hills westward throughout the Smoky Hills along the I-70 corridor.

The daily bag limit on pheasants is four roosters, and the daily bag on quail is eight birds. The daily bag limit on prairie chicken in the East and Northwest units is two, and the daily bag in the Southwest Unit is one. The possession limit on all three upland species is four times the daily bag limit.

A valid Kansas hunting license is required of all residents ages 16 through 64. Nonresidents must purchase a $72.50 nonresident hunting license, except that those nonresidents younger than 16 may purchase a youth nonresident license for $37.50. Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must have completed a certified hunter education course, except that youth 15 and younger may hunt under direct adult supervision without hunter education certification. Youth 12 through 15 may hunt without adult supervision if they have completed a certified hunter education course. Anyone 16 or older may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education, called an “apprentice hunting license,” for the same price as a regular hunting license. This license is valid only through the calendar year in which it is purchased, and the holder must be under the direct supervision of a licensed adult 18 or older. A hunting license and hunter education are not required while hunting one’s own land.

For complete hunting regulation information, consult the 2011 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available wherever licenses are sold or online