Friday, January 27, 2012


English: Female Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallop...
Image via Wikipedia

For novice turkey hunters; registration deadline March 11
EMPORIA — On March 24, the Flint Hills Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Hunter Education Program will conduct the 11th Annual Spring Turkey Hunting Clinic. The event will take place at Camp Alexander, near Emporia, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is open to anyone interested in learning how to become a better turkey hunter, especially youth, and it's free.
Participants will learn calling tips and other turkey hunting techniques. Bluestem Farm and Ranch of Emporia will display all the latest turkey hunting equipment and will hold a drawing for a turkey vest packed with accessories. Lunch and free T-shirts will be provided. The clinic will consist of several educational sessions dealing with all aspects of becoming a successful turkey hunter, including the following:
  • turkey calling and locator calling;
  • scouting/roosting;
  • wild turkey biology and management;
  • shotgun hunting for wild turkeys;
  • bowhunting for wild turkeys;
  • turkey hunting equipment; and
  • turkey hunting safety.
Participants should register by March 10 and include the total number of youth and adults attending, as well as their respective T-shirt sizes (limited to 150 attendees). For more information or to register, contact Gib Rhodes at 620-437-2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nikon ProStaff 3 & ProStaff 5 Rangefinders Video Interview at SHOT Show!

We have a lot of SHOT Show Video Interviews coming out today, so I’m going to keep on rolling them out as quick as I can.  Here we have our second interview with Nikon representative Jon LaCorte.  Jon shows Steve two new rangefinders displayed by Nikon at SHOT Show.  Both models are part of the Nikon ProStaff line of products, and will give you quality performance at a great price.
Watch as Jon first shows off the Nikon Prostaff 3 Rangefinder.  With one button operation, it doesn’t get much easier to operate, and it has a very fast processor for quick range finding.  This is really important when you’re out hunting and finally spot a buck after hours of waiting.  You won’t want to miss that shot because you were waiting for the rangefinder to figure out the distance.  It has a great range of about 550 yards, and the optics are nice and bright, so you’ll have no trouble seeing your intended target.  6x power is just right for finding distance, and the tough construction is both waterproof and fog proof, so you don’t need to worry about it breaking on you when you need it!
The Nikon ProStaff 5 Rangefinder was even more impressive.  The ProStaff 5 is actually a fair bit smaller than any other Nikon Rangefinder, and as Steve points out, though you may not think about the size very often, it makes a big difference when you’re trying to put it in or take it out of a pocket.  While the overall size of the Nikon ProStaff 5 is smaller, they made the ocular bigger, so you’ll have an easier time seeing your target.  An additional feature that really sets the ProStaff 5 apart is the LED illumination.  This LED can be turned on with a single button press, and your reticle will be illuminated for easier use.  This is especially welcome in the morning or evening, when light is scarce.
I’ve been really impressed so far with everything Nikon brought to SHOT Show this year.  I’ll have another video interview with Jon LaCorte up soon that talks about the Nikon Monarch 3 and Monarch 5 binoculars, so stay tuned!


Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) and eight Chicks
Image via Wikipedia

500 permits available to adult residents; youth permits valid statewide
PRATT — While Kansas spring turkey permits are available to all hunters in most of the state, only 500 permits (residents only) will be issued for Unit 4, a western portion of the state bordered by highways I-70 on the north, U.S. 183 on the east, and U.S. 54 on the south. Fifty percent of these permits are reserved for applicants who qualify as landowner/tenants in that unit. Resident youth (age 16 and younger) turkey permits are valid statewide, including Unit 4.
Applications for Unit 4 permits must be received online or by phone at620-672-0728 no later than Feb. 10. Electronic applications are available at There are no paper applications or mail-in forms. All draw applications must be submitted through the online application process or by phone.
Spring turkey permit and game tags fees are as follow:
  • Unit 4 Resident General permit­ — $27.50;
  • Unit 4 Resident Landowner/Tenant Permit — $17.50;
  • Unit 4 Preference Point — $6.50;
  • Resident General permit — $22.50;
  • Resident Combo permit/game tag (available through March 31) — $27.50;
  • Resident Youth permit — $12.50;
  • Resident Youth Combo permit/game tag (available through March 31) — $17.50;
  • Resident game tag — $12.50;
  • Landowner/Tenant permit — $12.50;
  • Landowner/Tenant Combo permit/game tag — $17.50 (available through March 31);
  • Nonresident General permit — $32.50;
  • Nonresident Combo permit/game tag (available through March 31) — $47.50; and
  • Nonresident game tag­ — $22.50.
A Spring Turkey Atlas showing all public hunting lands and spring Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) lands will be available at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) offices and the KDWPT website in late March. For more details on Kansas spring turkey hunting, go to the KDWPT website,, and click “Hunting/Turkey Information.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Image via Wikipedia

Pheasants Forever national meeting in Kansas City Feb. 17-19
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas landowners — and those from across the country — will receive free land-use management consultation at Pheasants Forever's National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic 2012, in the Kansas City Convention Center Feb. 17-19. The Landowner Habitat Help Room, sponsored by Best Buy and Geek Squad, will feature the latest technology to evaluate landowner needs.

A dozen work stations featuring large-screen monitors will provide a detailed look at each landowner’s property. The room is designed to give farmers and landowners site-specific information about conservation programs they can implement on their land. Biologists use aerial photography, topography, and soil information for individual planning. Landowners just need to bring the legal description of their property (township, range, and section). Through one-on-one consultations with leading wildlife experts, landowners have the opportunity to learn about conservation and habitat options on their land available through federal, state, and local programs.

Accompanied by trained Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever biologists or partnering biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation; the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, landowners will be educated on ways they can improve their acres for wildlife and even what local, state, and federal conservation programs that qualify for enrollment.

"Your next wildlife habitat project starts at Pheasant Fest," says Steve Riley, Farm Bill wildlife biologist manager for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. "The Landowner Habitat Help Room is one of the many ways Pheasants Forever's premiere event goes beyond a trade show and becomes an interactive event where wildlife habitat is the main focus, and a lasting impact is made."

With the most current streaming data available, the Landowner Habitat Help Room will offer topographic and aerial maps on any piece of property in the entire country. For more information, phone Brad Heidel at 651-209-4956 or email, or phone Rehan Nana at 651-209-4973 or mail

Friday, January 20, 2012


Map of USA with Kansas highlighted
Image via Wikipedia

Jan. 19, 2012
Shotgun, other gear, two-day guided hunt go to essay winner
EMPORIA — Now in its tenth year, the Flint Hills Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Youth Essay Contest challenges youngsters to write an essay and win a two-day guided spring turkey hunt and a new turkey shotgun. This year, in 500 words or less, entrants must answer the question, “How can young hunters become involved in helping ensure our hunting heritage and traditions?”
Youth 16 years and younger from Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson counties are eligible to participate. Participants must have completed a hunter education course, be available to hunt during the 2012 spring turkey season, and purchase a Kansas spring turkey hunting permit if they win. Youth 16 years old will also need a valid Kansas hunting license. All past winners have harvested a gobbler.
In addition to the shotgun and guided hunt, the winner will receive a turkey hunting vest and other turkey hunting items donated by Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply, Emporia.
Essay submissions must include name, age, address, and phone number and be sent to Gib Rhodes, 1643 360th St., Madison, KS 66860, or Shelley Sparks, 1789 Road B5, Emporia, KS 66801. The entry deadline is March 8, and the winner of the contest will be notified March 11. Lodging will be provided if the winner is not from Emporia or the surrounding area. A parent or guardian is encouraged to accompany the youth on this hunt. For more information, phone Rhodes at 620-437-2012.
The contest is co-sponsored by the Flint Hills Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lyon County Hunter Education Program, Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply of Emporia, and the Conrad Carlson Charitable Foundation.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


English: crop of File:Bgforhunting.jpg Taken b...
Image via Wikipedia

Excellent waterfowl, small game, upland game, more await winter hunters
PRATT — Sometimes the best things are saved for last. This winter, make it so with a late-season Kansas hunt. For those hunters still in pursuit of upland birds, the last two weeks of the season can be very productive. Cold weather often bunches birds together and makes them hold tighter while competition for hunting spots is light. And although waterfowl seasons have been open for more than two months, there’s still time for good duck and goose hunting.
Quail, pheasant, prairie chicken (Northwest and East units only), and fall turkey seasons are open through Jan. 31, and rabbit and squirrel seasons provide additional opportunities for the avid hunter.
In most areas, crops have been cut, concentrating birds in draws and thick grass, such as CRP. Late-migrating geese and ducks, especially mallards, are often abundant where open water can be found. And as hunting pressure eases, private landowners are often more receptive to hunters looking for new places to pursue game.
Heavy pressure can make public hunting areas less desirable than private land in early seasons, but public areas may provide better hunting in late season. Wildlife management practices on public lands usually provide excellent cover and food supplies, making them good late-season options as hunting pressure decreases.
Hunters looking for a place to stay can rent one of more than 100 cabins at state parks and wildlife areas across the state. Most cabins are open year-round and provide a range of amenities, many with full bathrooms and kitchens. Click "Cabin Reservations" in the upper right-hand corner of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) website,, for more information.
Those seasons still open or opening soon include the following:
  • ducks High Plains Zone (west of U.S. 283) — Jan. 21-29;
  • ducks Low Plains Late Zone — Jan. 21-29;
  • ducks Low Plains Southeast Zone — Jan. 21-29;
  • Canada geese (including Brant) — through Feb. 12;
  • white-fronted geese — Feb. 4-12;
  • light geese — through Feb. 12;
  • Light Goose Conservation Order — Feb. 13-April 30;
  • pheasant and quail — through Jan. 31;
  • prairie chicken (Northwest and East units) — through Jan. 31;
  • fall turkey — through Jan. 31;
  • exotic dove (Eurasian collared and ringed turtle) — through Feb. 28;
  • squirrel — through Feb. 29;
  • rabbit — year-round;
  • extended archery antlerless only whitetail deer (management Unit 19 only) — through Jan. 31;
  • coyote — year-round;
  • furbearer hunting and trapping — through Feb. 15; and
  • beaver trapping — through March 31.
For detailed information, consult the Kansas Hunting & Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available at most license vendors, KDWPT offices, or online at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


English: Female Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallop...
Image via Wikipedia

Jan. 19, 2012
Regular season April 11-May 31; youth/disabled, archery seasons April 1-10
PRATT — So far, it’s been a mild winter in Kansas, but avid turkey hunters are still itching for spring, when wild turkeys gobble and the hunt for long beards is on. The Kansas spring turkey hunting season runs April 1-10 for archery-only and youth/disabled hunters and April 11-May 31 for everyone. Turkey hunters must possess a hunting license, unless exempt, and a spring turkey permit. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) makes early preparation easier by offering spring turkey permits online in January.
Legal equipment for spring turkey hunting includes 20-gauge or larger shotguns, bows, and crossbows although hunters not qualified as youth or disabled may use only archery equipment April 1-10. The state is divided into four turkey management units. Unit 4, southwest Kansas, is limited to 500 resident-only permits available through a lottery draw with an application deadline of Feb. 10. Youth permits (16 and younger) are half-price and valid statewide, including Unit 4.
Turkey permits for units 1, 2, and 3 may be purchased online from the Kansas KDWPT website,, or from license vendors across the state. (A permit purchased for Unit 1, 2, or 3 is valid in all three units.) In addition, any individual with a spring turkey permit may purchase one game tag valid only in Units 2 and 3. A turkey permit/game tag combination is available through March 31 at a reduced price. By purchasing the combination early, hunters save $7.50 over the cost of purchasing each separately.
Huntable populations of wild turkeys exist in nearly every Kansas county. The Rio Grande subspecies dominates the western two-thirds of the state, and the eastern subspecies is common in the eastern regions. Hybrid Rio Grande/eastern birds may be found where the two ranges converge.
Spring turkey permit and game tags fees are as follow:
  • Resident General permit — $22.50;
  • Resident Combo permit/game tag (available through March 31) — $27.50;
  • Resident Youth permit — $12.50;
  • Resident Youth Combo permit/game tag (available through March 31) — $17.50;
  • Resident game tag — $12.50;
  • Landowner/Tenant permit — $12.50;
  • Landowner/Tenant Combo permit/game tag — $17.50 (available through March 31);
  • Nonresident General permit — $32.50;
  • Nonresident Combo permit/game tag (available through March 31) — $47.50;
  • Nonresident game tag­ — $22.50;
  • Unit 4 Resident General permit­ — $27.50;
  • Unit 4 Resident Landowner/Tenant Permit — $17.50; and
  • Unit 4 Preference Point — $6.50.
A Spring Turkey Atlas showing all public hunting lands and spring Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) lands will be available at KDWP offices and the KDWP website in late March.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Map of USA with Kansas highlighted
Image via Wikipedia

Seven permits to be sold to raise money for conservation projects
SALINA — Seven Kansas conservation organizations were awarded 2012 Commission Big Game permits in a drawing conducted at the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting Jan. 5 at Kansas Wesleyan University’s Hauptli Student Center Salina. Ninety-eight eligible applications were submitted for the seven available permits, which could include deer permits, one elk permit, and one antelope permit.
Winners of the permits include the following:
  • National Wild Turkey Federation, (NWTF), Hays (elk permit) — Jared McJunkin, west conservation field supervisor,, 785-396-4552;
  • Ducks Unlimited (DU), Wichita Chapter No. 017 (antelope permit) — Roger Zettl, district chairman,, 316-722-0951;
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Greater Wichita Chapter (deer permit) — Steve Bell, Kansas volunteer chair,, 316-648-1993;
  • Friends of the NRA, Pratt County No. KS-40 (deer permit) — Rick Chrisman, field representative,, 913-294-9956;
  • DU Topeka (deer permit) — Jeff Neal, district chairman,, 785-221-6625;
  • NWTF Iola (deer permit) — Jared McJunkin, west conservation field supervisor,, 785-396-4552; and
  • Friends of the NRA, McPherson County No. KS-38 (deer permit) — Rick Chrisman, field representative,, 913-294-9956.
Qualified applicants must be local nonprofit conservation organizations or Kansas chapters of national organizations based or operating in Kansas that actively promote wildlife conservation and the hunting and fishing heritage.
Commission Big Game permits were first awarded in 2006. Winners purchase the permits and typically auction them at their respective conventions and banquets to raise funds for conservation projects. After a permit is sold by an organization, the amount of the permit is subtracted, and 85 percent of the proceeds are sent to KDWPT to be used on approved projects. After the projects are approved, the money is sent back to the organization for the project. The other 15 percent may be spent at the organization’s discretion.
KDWPT regulations allow someone who buys a Commission Big Game permit at auction to also purchase another deer permit valid for an antlered deer or, if the Commission Big Game permit is for an elk, to also draw (or have drawn in the past) an antlered elk permit. These would be the only situations in which an individual could have valid permits for two antlered deer in one year, or to have previously drawn an antlered elk permit and still be able to obtain another one. One antelope and one elk Commission Big Game permit are offered in the drawing.
In 2011, permits were won by two National Wild Turkey Federation Chapters — McPherson Smoky Valley Strutters Chapter (deer permit sold for $6,000) and St. Paul Neosho River Struttin’ Toms Chapter (deer permit sold for $6,500); two Ducks Unlimited Chapters — El Dorado Chapter No. 027 (deer permit sold for $6,000) and Johnson County Chapter (deer permit sold for $5,000); two Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams chapters — I-70 Chapter (deer permit sold for $4,000) and Southeast Chapter (elk permit sold for $9,100); and the Safari Club International Kansas City Chapter (deer permit sold for $5,100). The permits sold for $41,700, providing $32,320 for state habitat projects.
The Commission also listened to discussion about potential changes in the wildlife rehabilitator regulations, including a staff decision to no longer permit outdoor holding facilities located within city limits and primarily in residential areas. Potential regulation changes to reduce user conflict on public lands were discussed and included use of treestands and ground blinds, decoys, baiting, and commercial guiding. Discussion about potentially allowing hunters 16 and younger and those 55 and older to hunt with crossbows during the archery carried over to the evening session.
The only items discussed during the public hearing session included Secretary’s Orders to approve 2012 Free Fishing Days for June 2 and 3, and setting Free Park Entrance Days for all Kansas state parks. The approved resolution allows all parks to have an Open House with free entrance on March 31. Each park then selected an individual Free Entrance Day that coincided with a special event held at the park. For a complete list of Free Park Entrance Days, visit

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Flint Hills
Image via Wikipedia

Jan. 12, 2012
Topeka event will help develop ongoing strategy for the Flint Hills region
TOPEKA — Persons who want to attend the Second Governor’s Flint Hills Visioning Summit on Tuesday, Jan. 17, are encouraged to register soon. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Shawnee Ballroom at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka. The summit will bring together stakeholders from throughout the Flint Hills Region and across Kansas. There is a $20 registration fee with a limit of 300 participants. Lunch will be provided for those who register in advance. A legislative reception will follow from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The meeting is a follow up to the successful first summit held in May 2011, and is focused on growing the Kansas economy and creating jobs. Governor Sam Brownback’s administration will continue to use the input gathered from this summit to help develop an ongoing strategy for the Flint Hills region. Regional stakeholders and policy makers will make presentations to help participants understand the challenges and strategies. During breakout sessions, participants will discuss specific issues and offer feedback, recommendations, and direction for the future. In addition to Governor Brownback, Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Secretary Robin Jennison also will attend.
Public involvement is crucial to the success of the program. The second summit will be another step to creating thriving rural communities throughout the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Presentation portions of the summit will be streamed live over the Internet for those unable to attend in person. Links will be displayed on the KDWPT website,; on the summit website,; and on the Kansas tourism industry website,
To register or learn more about the meeting, visit the Flint Hills Visioning Summit website at Advance registration is strongly encouraged. For additional information, email Linda Craghead, KDWPT assistant secretary, at or phone 785-296-2281.
If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, phone 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 KDWPT at 785-296-2281.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Red Bait Hook
Image via Wikipedia

Latest rules; how, where, and what to fish for; new bait restrictions included
PRATT — Printed copies of the 2012 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary booklet are now available at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) office and license vendors, the agency has announced. Among other things, the publication lists new regulations that took effect Jan. 1. From new regulations regarding bait fish to new lakes and ice fishing regulations, the booklet has everything the angler needs to begin the New Year right.
The following information details Kansas fishing regulation changes for 2012:
ANS-designated Waters
Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) waters are defined as waters containing the prohibited species Asian carp, white perch, and/or zebra mussels. Fish may not be transported alive from ANS-designated waters.
Zebra mussels were found in Council Grove, Kanopolis, and Melvern reservoirs, as well as both Jeffery Energy Center lakes last year, bringing the total number of infested lakes to 15.
Wild-caught bait fish shall only be used on the body of water where taken. If taken on a flowing stream or river, wild-caught bait fish shall not be transported upstream across any dam or natural barrier.
New regulations have been passed regarding what bait dealers may legally sell. Among the restrictions are that certain fish and crayfish and amphibians may no longer be sold for bait. For details, contact a local natural resource officer, fisheries biologist, or KDWPT?office.
New Lakes
Critzer Reservoir, near Mound City, was opened to fishing last spring. And ponds on the Grand Osage Wildlife Area, near Parsons, may be opened for fishing in 2012.
Transporting Fish/Bilges and Livewells
Stocking or releasing of wildlife on navigable publicly-owned rivers and federal reservoirs and department lands and waters is prohibited.
Livewells and bilges must be drained and drain plugs removed from all vessels prior to transport from any waters of the state on a public highway.
No person may possess any live fish upon departure from any designated aquatic nuisance body of water.
Opening day of trout season for 2012 will be Nov. 1. Colby Villa High Lake has been added to the Type 1 list of waters stocked with trout.
Ice Fishing
Motorized electric or gasoline-powered two-wheeled vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, work-site utility vehicles, golf carts, and snowmobiles may be operated on ice-covered department waters only for the purpose of ice fishing from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. These vehicles shall enter onto the ice only from boat ramps and points of entry as established by posted notice.
The 2012 booklet also features state park and cabin information and detailed regulations for each body of water managed by KDWPT.
In addition, a full-color fish identification guide lists all the state's sportfish, complete with text descriptions and detailed illustrations by renowned fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri. Look-alike species are grouped together with complementary text to help the angler distinguish the difference between such closely-related species as white bass and wipers; blue catfish and channel catfish; the state's three black basses; black and white crappie; and pallid, shovelnose, and lake sturgeon.
The booklet also provides the latest information about aquatic nuisance species (ANS) in Kansas waters, including a complete listing of ANS waters by county. Three pages are dedicated to this subject, complete with detailed illustrations and tips on how to prevent the spread of ANS plants, mollusks, and fish.
Anglers who want to contact a district fisheries biologist will find a listing of names and phone numbers of the nearest biologist, as well as regional supervisors. A listing of natural resource officer contacts is also included.
For more information, contact the nearest KDWPT office, pick up a copy of the 2012 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary wherever licenses are sold. Copies may also be downloaded from the KDWPT website, Click the “Fishing” icon at the top of the page, then “Fishing Regulations” in the left-hand column.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Map of USA with Kansas highlighted
Image via Wikipedia

Agency evaluates waters annually
TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued revised fish consumption advisories for 2012. The advisories identify types of fish or other aquatic animals that should be eaten in limited quantities or, in some cases, avoided altogether because of contamination.
Fish consumption advisories are formulated using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) risk assessment methods. Cancer risk assessment is a method to determine the added increase in cancer levels in a human population if fish in the advisory areas are consumed regularly (one 8-ounce serving per week) over a 70-year period. Assessments that estimate the increased risk of cancer as greater than one in 100,000 persons are regarded as unacceptably high. Risk assessments for contaminants assessed as non-carcinogens (mercury, lead, cadmium) are based on 8-ounce serving sizes for adults and 4-ounce serving sizes for children nine to 18 years old. For further technical information, go online to
Water body-specific advisories
KDHE provides the following guidelines:
  1. Do not eat bottom-feeding fish (carp, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, freshwater drum, bullheads, sturgeons, buffalos, carpsuckers and other sucker species) taken from the Kansas River from Lawrence (below Bowersock Dam) downstream to Eudora at the confluence of the Wakarusa River (Douglas and Leavenworth counties) because of PCB levels;
  2. Avoid eating all forms of aquatic life, including fish, taken from Horseshoe Lake located in units 22 and 23 of the Mined Lands Wildlife Area (Cherokee County) because of perchlorate levels;
  3. Do not eat shellfish (mussels, clams, and crayfish) taken from Spring River from the confluence of Center Creek to the Kansas/Oklahoma border (Cherokee County) because of lead and cadmium levels;
  4. Do not eat shellfish taken from Shoal Creek from the Missouri/Kansas border to Empire Lake (Cherokee County) because of lead and cadmium levels;
  5. Do not eat bottom-feeding fish taken from Cow Creek in Hutchinson and downstream to the confluence with the Arkansas River (Reno County) because of PCB levels; and
  6. Do not eat bottom-feeding fish taken from the Arkansas River from the Lincoln Street dam in Wichita downstream to the confluence with Cowskin Creek near Belle Plaine (Sedgwick and Sumner counties) because of PCB levels.
The state recommends restricting consumption of any species of fish from the following locations:
  1. Little Arkansas River from the Main Street Bridge immediately west of Valley Center to the confluence with the Arkansas River in Wichita (Sedgwick County). Limit of one 8-ounce serving per month for adults or one 4-ounce serving per month for children for all types of fish because of mercury and PCBs;
  2. Blue River from U.S. 69 Highway to the Kansas/Missouri state line (Johnson County). Limit of one 8-ounce serving per week for adults or one 4-ounce serving per week for children for all types of fish because of mercury; and
  3. Kansas counties with current fish consumption advisories include Cherokee, Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Reno, Sedgwick, and Sumner.
General advice for eating locally caught fish in Kansas
  1. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing and parents of children under twelve years of age may wish to consult with their physician about safe levels of fish consumption and mercury exposure. This sensitive group should restrict their total mercury intake as related to both supermarket fish and locally-caught species. Kansas recommends that this sensitive group restrict consumption of locally-caught fish, from waters not specifically covered by an advisory, to one 8-ounce meal per week for adults or one 4-ounce meal per week for children.
  2. People who regularly consume locally caught fish (more than one meal/week) can reduce their mercury intake by limiting their consumption of large predatory fish such as largemouth bass, walleye, and wiper. Larger/older fish of all types are more likely to have higher concentrations of mercury.
  3. Available data comparing contaminant levels in whole fish versus fillets indicate that higher concentrations of PCBs and some other fat soluble contaminants are associated with whole fish. Kansas recommends avoiding the consumption of parts other than fillets, especially when eating bottom feeding fish.
  4. Consumers can reduce their ingestion of fat soluble contaminants such as PCBs by eating fillets only, trimming fat from fillets, and cooking in a manner in which fat drips away from the fillet.
  5. In water bodies where advisories or warnings related to harmful algae blooms have been applied, fish should be consumed in moderation and care taken to only consume skinless fillets. Avoid cutting into internal organs, and as a precaution rinse fillets with clean water prior to cooking or freezing.
It should be recognized that eating fish is considered an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet. Concerned consumers should educate themselves by seeking further information about the health benefits and risks of eating fish.
Details of monitoring efforts and protocols may be found in the Fish Tissue Contaminant Monitoring Program Quality Assurance Monitoring Plan on the KDHE website at .
Information on the Kansas Fish Tissue Contaminant Monitoring Program can be found at . Advisories are also posted on the KDWPT website at .
For further information about mercury in fish, national advisories, and advisories in other states, go to the EPA website at .

Friday, January 6, 2012


Logo of the National Shooting Sports Foundation
Image via Wikipedia

Fort Hays State University, Pratt Community College among beneficiaries
NEWTOWN, Conn. — Through its Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative (CSSI), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) awarded $299,200 in grants to 41 colleges and universities in 2011 to develop and expand shooting sports programs. Of those schools receiving assistance, 11 are in the process of developing new shooting clubs. Now in it’s third year, the CSSI program has provided nearly $600,000 to foster collegiate shooting programs. In that time, CSSI grant-supported programs have helped double participation at the Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships. The 2011 championships featured 439 students representing 50 schools.

Schools of all size received awards, from Harvard to the Sunflower State’s Pratt Community College and Fort Hays State University. Fort Hays State University received $5,000 to develop a shooting club ambassador program that has helped recruit students to the school. Pratt Community College received $7,500 to host a Friends of National Rifle Association Banquet and conduct youth shoots to help educate the community about its program and firearms safety. School plans call for attending more collegiate shooting events.

Well established programs such as those at Fort Hays, and even newer programs such as Pratt Community College’s, now serve as models for others interested in developing shooting clubs and varsity teams.

"Throughout the country, we are seeing a surge in college students interested in the shooting sports," said Zach Snow, NSSF's manager of shooting promotions. "These clubs are filling a need on campus by providing opportunities to target shoot, and their members are building positive reputations for the shooting sports both on campus and in surrounding communities."

Sixty-five colleges submitted proposals for CSSI grants, and approximately two-thirds received awards. Grants ranged from $10,000, an amount given mainly to schools whose programs are in the development stage, to smaller amounts for schools with established programs. Many schools have had success attracting members using introductory seminars such as NSSF's First Shots and social media sites such as Facebook.

Anyone interested in starting or strengthening a college shotgun, rifle, or pistol team or club can find resources and grant opportunities online at

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Portrait of US Senator Key Pittman
Image via Wikipedia

2012 marks 75th anniversary of landmark legislation that brought wildlife back from the brink
PRATT — Hunters and anglers pay for wildlife management in Kansas. If you’ve heard that before, you were probably talking to an employee of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). There is a popular myth, probably because KDWPT is a state agency, that general taxes pay for its programs. Actually, State General Funds make up less than 7 percent of the agency’s budget, and that money is dedicated to state park programs and administration. The bulk of KDWPT’s budget is derived from the sale of licenses and permits, and the rest of the budget used for wildlife and fisheries management comes from federal funding — a self-imposed excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment lobbied for by hunters and anglers themselves.

This funding can be traced back to the beginning of modern wildlife management. In 1900, wildlife populations in the U.S. were dwindling to dangerously low numbers, and some species were near extinction. Wildlife management, while desired, wasn’t funded by Congress or the states. And even though there were Kansas laws on the books designed to protect game populations, there wasn’t funding to pay for enforcement.

In the 1930s, hunters and the hunting and shooting industry urged Congress to act before it was too late for many wildlife species. Congress acted by extending the life of a 10 percent tax on ammunition and firearms used for sport hunting and earmarked the funds to be distributed to the states for wildlife restoration. On Sept. 2, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, now called the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (P-R) after its principal sponsors, Sen. Key Pittman of Nevada and Rep. A. Willis Robertson of Virginia.
The money has been distributed to the states based on the number of hunting licenses they sell pay for wildlife-related programs on a 75-25-percent match. State license and permit fees make up the states’ 25 percent. Since P-R was signed into law, more than $2 billion in excise taxes has been sent to the states, which matched $500 million for wildlife restoration.

How is the money spent? Nationwide, more than 62 percent is used to buy, develop, maintain, and operate wildlife management areas. Four million acres have been purchased, and nearly 40 million acres have been managed for wildlife under agreements with private landowners. Twenty-six percent of the funding is used for surveys and research, two efforts extremely important to the evolution of modern wildlife management programs. But it’s accurately called the Wildlife Restoration Act. Since it was signed, historical wildlife population comebacks have been witnessed again and again.

Great comeback stories abound. In 1900, numbers of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and pronghorn, once abundant, had dwindled dramatically in North America, and all three species were extirpated from Kansas. Today, whitetails and wild turkeys provide great hunting statewide, and a strong, huntable population of pronghorns — a species unique to the continent — thrives in western Kansas. Whooping cranes, while still endangered, have grown from fewer than 40 to more than 400. And the once endangered national symbol — the bald eagle — has recovered so dramatically that it has been removed from the endangered species list.

Following in the footsteps of Pittman and Robertson, Sen. Edwin Johnson of Colorado and Rep. John Dingell Sr. of Michigan sponsored the Sport fish Restoration Act in 1950. Commonly called the Dingell-Johnson, or D-J, Act, this legislation was modeled after the P-R Act, bringing revenue to sport fish conservation efforts from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment and import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, and pleasure craft, plus a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. That money is distributed to the states based on fishing license sales and also requires a state 25-percent match. The funds are used for fisheries management programs and boat access.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program (now considered two parts of a common program). Since they began, nearly $14 billion has been generated and apportioned back to the states. Recipient fish and wildlife agencies have matched these program funds with more than $3.4 billion. Grants to the states from the Sport Fish Restoration program can be used for fishery projects, boating access, and aquatic education. Money from the Wildlife Restoration Program is used for projects to restore, conserve, manage and enhance wild birds and mammals and their habitat, as well as projects that provide public use and access to wildlife resources, hunter education, and development and management of shooting ranges.

Through the WSFR, Kansas receives approximately $15 million annually. Last year, WSFR funds helped the department purchase land at the Parsons Ammunitions Plant that will be managed for public hunting, and Fancy Creek Shooting Range at Tuttle Creek State Park was enhanced. Popular programs such as Walk-In Hunting Access, Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitat, and Community Fisheries Assistance Program would not have been possible without WSFR.

WSFR leverages license and permit revenues and allows the department to provide direct benefits to wildlife, as well as anglers, hunters, and boaters. And while the programs funds are usually specific to game animals and sport fish, they benefit all wildlife and fish. Because so few of our wildlife species are hunted or fished, habitat enhancement efforts benefit many more nongame species.
If you enjoy wildlife in Kansas, you can thank hunters, anglers, and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. All of our wildlife resources and most of our outdoor recreation have benefitted from this far-reaching program that was started 75 years ago by some visionary people.