Saturday, July 28, 2012


CWD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All but three from northwest Kansas; numbers stable
PRATT— The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has announced that nine deer from Kansas tested positive for chronic wasting disease, seven confirmed and two presumptive, for the current test year. That total is down from 10 confirmed positive during last year’s testing. The two presumptive positive samples will be sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for confirmation. All but three of the nine deer — one from Stafford County one from Sumner County, and one from Ford County — were animals from northwestern Kansas. The Stafford, Sumner, and Ford county cases were firsts for each county. Eight of the deer were taken by hunters during the 2011 hunting seasons, and one was euthanized by a KDWPT natural resource officer after it was reported as acting sick.
Two cases were from Norton County and one each from Decatur, Ford, Rawlins, Stafford, Sumner, Trego, and Wallace counties.
All cases were white-tailed deer. This season’s testing results bring the total number of confirmed CWD cases in Kansas to 49 since testing began in 1996. In total, 2,447 animals were tested for CWD for the 2011 deer seasons. Although most testing is finished for the year, KDWPT will continue testing some vehicle-killed and sick or suspect-looking deer, as well as deer taken with depredation permits, through July 31.
Annual testing is part of an ongoing effort by KDWPT to monitor the prevalence and spread of CWD. The fatal disease was first detected in a Kansas wild deer taken in Cheyenne County in 2005.
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, 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 KDWPT office.
“It must be noted that many symptoms of CWD are indicative of other diseases,” says KDWPT wildlife disease coordinator Shane Hesting. “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 KDWPT’s website, or at the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website,

Friday, July 27, 2012


Location map of Kansas, USA
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Class required of all hunters born on or after July 1, 1957; youngsters may hunt under adult supervision without course until age 16
PRATT — Late summer is the time when hunters' thoughts turn to fall seasons, which begin with dove season Sept. 1. For first-time hunters, preparation usually means taking a hunter education course.
In most cases, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must successfully complete an approved course in hunter education before hunting in Kansas. Those hunting on their own land are exempt. Anyone 16 or older may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education, called an "apprentice hunting license.” This license is valid only through the calendar year in which it is purchased, and the holder must hunt under direct supervision of a licensed adult 18 or older. Hunter education must be completed before the individual can purchase a hunting license in subsequent years. Anyone younger than 16 may hunt without hunter education certification if they are under direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Hunters 12 years of age and older may hunt without adult supervision provided they possess a valid hunter education certificate and the appropriate licenses and/or permits. No one younger than age 11 can be certified.
Kansas hunter education volunteer instructors have scheduled a number of hunter education courses in all regions of the state, and more will be scheduled in the future. Most courses require pre-registration. Usually, multiple-day courses are traditional classroom courses, and single-day courses are internet-assisted courses. The internet-assisted class requires students to complete several hours of internet course work before attending a field day. Students must preregister for a field day before completing the internet course.
A calendar of scheduled courses, including contact information for pre-registration, is regularly updated on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website, For updated course listings, click "Hunting/Hunter Education/Class Schedule." The following is a list of currently-scheduled courses. Check the website regularly to find a class that fits your schedule and to confirm dates, which are subject to change.
Region 1, northwest Kansas
Internet-Assisted Course Field Days
  • July 25 — Phillipsburg
  • Aug. 11 —Stockton
  • Aug. 17-18 — Colby
  • Aug. 18 — Osborne
  • Aug. 25 — Hill City
Traditional Courses
  • July 23-28 — Salina
  • Aug. 13-18 — Salina
  • Oct. 8-13 — Salina
  • Nov. 12-17 — Salina
Region 2, northeast Kansas
Internet-Assisted Course Field Days
  • Aug. 6 — Fort Riley
  • Aug. 11 — Shawnee
  • Sept. 8 — Shawnee
  • Oct. 27 — Clay Center
  • Nov. 13 — Randolph
Traditional Courses
  • July 27-28 — Junction City
  • Aug. 2-4 — Olathe
  • Aug. 11-12 — Abilene
  • Aug. 13-16 — Hiawatha
  • Aug. 15-19 — Topeka
  • Aug. 16-18 — Basehor
  • Aug. 21-25 — Gardner
  • Aug. 21-28 — Manhattan
  • Aug. 24-25 — Atchison
  • Sept. 4-8 — Gardner
  • Sept. 6-8 — Olathe
  • Sept. 20-22 — Basehor
  • Sept. 25-Oct. 2 — Manhattan
  • Oct. 13-14 — Abilene
  • Oct. 18-20 — Basehor
  • Oct. 23-30 — Manhattan
  • Nov. 23-24 — Atchison
Region 3, southwest Kansas
Internet-Assisted Course Field Days
  • Aug. 18 — Syracuse
  • Aug. 25 — Great Bend
Traditional Courses
  • Aug. 3-4 — Holcomb
  • Oct. 19-20 — Holcomb
Region 4, southcentral Kansas
Internet-Assisted Course Field Days
  • July 24-25 — Wichita
  • Aug. 14-15 — Wichita
  • Aug. 18 — Arlington
  • Aug. 28-29 — Wichita
  • Sept. 8 — Inman
  • Oct. 13 — Arlington
  • Oct. 13 — El Dorado
Traditional Courses
  • Aug. 3-4 —Hutchinson
  • Aug. 10-11 — El Dorado
  • Aug. 17-19 — Eureka
  • Sept. 14-15 — El Dorado
Region 5, southeast Kansas
Internet-Assisted Course Field Days
  • Aug. 2-7 — Parsons;
  • Aug. 7 — Columbus;
  • Aug. 10-14 — Fort Scott;
  • Aug. 28-29 — Iola;
  • Sept. 7-11 — Fort Scott;
  • Oct. 4-16 — Parsons; and
  • Oct. 12-16 — Fort Scott.
Traditional Courses
  • Aug. 7-11 — Fort Scott
  • Aug. 13-25 — Parsons
  • Aug. 24-25 — Iola
  • Sept. 11-15 — Fort Scott
  • Oct. 9-13 — Fort Scott
  • Oct. 14-21 —Garnett
  • Oct. 15-27 — Parsons
The majority of classes are held from August through October, the period of peak demand. A number of classes are also offered in early spring prior to the turkey season. Few classes are offered from November through February.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Misunderstood law can lead to accidents
PRATT — Boating and water sports are great ways to beat the summer heat, and Kansas waters teem with recreational boaters this time of year. Some of the most popular activities involve boating and being pulled by boats — such as skiing, boarding, or tubing — at high speeds. High-speed boating is fun but potentially dangerous without proper precautions, especially when riders fall while being towed.

A downed rider is hard to spot, and accidents can happen when other boaters fail to see them. That’s why it is Kansas law to raise red or orange “skier down” flags to caution boat traffic when a rider falls. Flags must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches. On Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) waters and federal reservoirs, all boaters must obey a no-wake, 5-mile-per-hour speed limit when passing within 200 feet of a swimmer or person who has fallen while being pulled by another boat or is otherwise in the water as indicated by one of these raised flags.

As important as this statute is, misunderstanding of the law is widespread. It’s common to see boats towing riders with raised flags, and some boaters have apparently adopted a policy of leaving a flag up during an entire outing, according the KDWPT. This violates the letter and the intent of the law, which states that the flag is to be raised immediately when a rider loses control of a tow rope and falls into the water. The flag is to be lowered once the towing resumes.

Although correct procedure may seem trivial, failure to follow it can lead to a general complacency that raises the risk of accidents.

“KDWPT boating and law enforcement officers emphasize the importance of understanding and obeying safety laws when towing passengers,” says Dan Heskett, boating law enforcement coordinator for the agency. “Boaters who run at high speed with a raised flag will be stopped and warned or ticketed. The same goes for failure to raise the flag when stopped.”

Remember, the flag should only be raised when a person is down in the water, and the flag must be down when towing begins or is resumed. Following these simple safety regulations will help ensure that summer boating trips remain exciting but safe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Zebra Mussel From a USA government website tha...
Zebra Mussel
EMPORIA – Officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Wolf Creek Generating Station announced Friday that zebra mussels have been found in Coffey County Lake. Officials knew it was a matter of time before zebra mussels appeared in the lake near Burlington because the aquatic nuisance species (ANS) had been detected in Marion Reservoir three years ago. The Cottonwood River flows from Marion Reservoir into the Neosho River, which then fills John Redmond Reservoir. Coffey County Lake, which is the cooling lake for Kansas’ only nuclear power plant, gets its water from John Redmond. The larval stage of zebra mussels, called veligers, are microscopic and free-floating in water. Transmission downstream from an established population is the only method of spreading zebra mussels that is inevitable.

Wolf Creek officials were prepared for this event and have implemented procedures and equipment to ensure that zebra mussels won’t interfere with the generating station’s operations.

Zebra mussels are small, bi-valve mollusks with striped shells. They are native to the Black and Caspian seas of Western Asia and Eastern Europe and have been spread across the world via shipping. They were discovered in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River in 1988. Zebra mussels quickly spread through out the Great Lakes and to many inland rivers including the Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas and Hudson. They first appeared in Kansas in 2003 when they were discovered in El Dorado Reservoir. Public education programs were designed to inform boaters about the dangers of zebra mussels in our waters and ways to prevent spreading them. However, zebra mussels have been confirmed in more the a dozen Kansas lakes in the past nine years. Moving water in boats and bait buckets was identified as a likely vector and recently, KDWPT established stringent regulations regarding the use of wild-caught bait, as well as prohibiting the movement of live fish from lakes where zebra mussels have been found.

Although related, zebra mussels differ from our native mussels in several important categories. Perhaps the most important is their ability to produce very large populations in a short time. Unlike native mussels, zebra mussels do not require a host fish to reproduce. A large female zebra mussel is capable of producing 1 million eggs during the reproductive season. Once fertilized, eggs develop into microscopic veligers. These veligers cannot be seen by the naked eye and can be contained by the thousands in very small quantities of water. Veligers passively float within the water for up to two weeks before they settle out as young mussels. These young mussels quickly grow to adult size and reproduce during their first summer of life, thus adding to the problem of extremely dense populations.

After settling, zebra mussels develop byssal threads that allow the shells to attach to hard surfaces such as rocks, piers, and flooded timber. They also attach themselves to pipes, water intake structures, boat hulls, propellers, and lower units of out board motors. As populations continue to increase in these areas, they can clog intake pipes and prevent water treatment plants and electrical generating plants from drawing water. In 2012, two Kansas communities, Council Grove and Osage City, experienced water shortages because of zebra mussel infestations before water intake structures could be cleaned up. Removing large quantities of zebra mussels to ensure adequate water supplies can be labor-intensive and costly.

Zebra mussels are just one of the non-native aquatic species that threaten our waters and native wildlife. Boaters and anglers are reminded to follow basic precautions to stop the spread:

• Clean, drain and dry boats and equipment between uses

• Wild-caught bait may only be used in the lake or pool where it was caught

• Live fish may not be moved from waters infested with zebra mussels or other aquatic nuisance species

• Livewells and bilges must be drained and drain plugs removed from all vessels prior to transport from any Kansas water on a public highway


Region 5 offers no Internet-assisted courses
PRATT — A Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) news release dated July 19, 2012, and entitled “Wildlife and Parks Posts Hunter Education Class Schedule Online” contains two errors. The first regards class listings for Region 5 (southeast Kansas). Seven Internet-assisted course are listed for that region, but none are offered. Region 5 currently offers seven traditional courses, as follow:
  • Aug. 7-11 — Fort Scott
  • Aug. 13-25 — Parsons
  • Aug. 24-25 — Iola
  • Sept. 11-15 — Fort Scott
  • Oct. 9-13 — Fort Scott
  • Oct. 14-21 —Garnett
  • Oct. 15-27 — Parsons
In addition, the date for an Internet-assisted course scheduled for Randolph, in Region 2 (northeast Kansas), should read “Oct. 13.”
For the latest information, a calendar of scheduled courses, including contact information for pre-registration, is regularly updated on the KDWPT website, For updated course listings, click "Hunting/Hunter Education/Class Schedule."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Zea mays (field) + Vitis vinifera subsp. vinif...
(Photo credit: HermannFalkner/sokol)
Program provides technical assistance and financial incentives to enhance wildlife habitat on private land; Oct. 1 application deadline
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is now accepting applications for State Wildlife Grants (SWG), which are awarded to qualified private landowners to enhance wildlife habitat on their land. Since its inception, the SWG Private Landowner Program has funded more than $1.4 million to complete 60 private land habitat projects. Projects include removing invasive woody plants from native mixed-grass prairie, constructing alternate watering facilities to help with native short-grass prairie management, conversion of cool season grass to native grass and forbs, and construction of perimeter fencing on expiring CRP fields to help maintain those fields in native grass. These projects will improve more than 20,346 acres of habitat that will benefit wildlife considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCG) in Kansas.

In the past, KDWPT received $586,000 of SWG funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to aid in the protection and management of priority habitats for SGCG in Kansas. In June 2012, the department received an additional $205,000 in SWG funds to further continue this private landowner habitat conservation work.
To be eligible, applications must address issues and strategies identified in the Kansas Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan. Applications will be scored based on established criteria to ensure all applicants are considered fairly and that the highest-ranking projects are selected. Proposals with potential to score highest will specifically address restoration and enhancement activities that will contribute to 1) development or maintenance of large grassland blocks capable of supporting area-sensitive wildlife species; 2) restoration or maintenance of areas supporting high densities of playa lakes surrounded by grasslands; and 3) restoration or enhancement of streams and associated riparian buffers.

Applications are being accepted immediately with a deadline of Oct. 1. Those landowners receiving funding will be required to match a minimum of 25 percent of total project costs. This match can either be a cash contribution from a non-federal source or contributions of labor, materials, or equipment use. Applications will be accepted until available funds have been committed.

Interested landowners should contact any KDWPT regional office or a private lands biologist for application materials or to schedule a consultation concerning a proposed project. Questions regarding program administration can be addressed to Roger Wolfe, KDWPT Region 2 Office, 300 SW Wanamaker Road, Topeka, Kansas 66606; phone 785-271-7388. Persons with special communication needs may use the Kansas Relay Center, 1-800-766-3777.

Monday, July 23, 2012


English: Lesser scaup pair from USFWS Source: ...
Lesser scaup pair
Trend continues for continent’s breeding ducks

WASHINGTON, DC — Although breeding habitat conditions have declined from previous years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 2012 "Trends in Duck Breeding Populations" report estimates breeding waterfowl numbers in North America's duck factory is at a record high. This year's estimate of 48.6 million breeding ducks is significantly higher than the 45.6 million birds estimated last year and 43 percent above the long-term average.

This annual report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats collected by wildlife biologists from the USFWS and the Canadian Wildlife Service for the “Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey.” The survey samples more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl habitat across the United States and Canada.

Highlights from the survey in the northcentral United States, southcentral and northern Canada, and Alaska include the following population abundance estimates:

  • mallard -- 10.6 million, a 15 percent increase over 2011 and a 39 percent increase over the long-term average of 7.6 million;
  • gadwall -- 10 percent above the 2011 estimate and 96 percent above the long-term average;
  • American wigeon -- 3 percent above 2011, but remains 17 percent below the long-term average;
  • green-winged and blue-winged teal -- 3.5 million and 9.2 million, respectively, 20 percent and 3 percent above 2011 numbers. Both species continue to remain well above long-term averages by 74 percent and 94 percent, respectively;
  • northern shovelers -- 5.0 million, 8 percent above 2011 and 111 percent above the long-term average;
  • northern pintail -- 3.5 million, 22 percent below the 2011 estimate and 14 percent below the long-term average;
  • redhead -- unchanged from last year but 89 percent above the long-term average;
  • canvasback -- 0.8 million, 10 percent above last year's estimate and 33 percent above the long-term average; and
  • lesser and greater scaup -- 5.2 million, 21 percent above the 2011 estimate and 4 percent above the long-term average.

Habitat conditions observed across the survey areas during the 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were characterized by average to below-average moisture, especially in the southern portions, due primarily to a mild winter and an early spring.

The 2012 survey's estimate of ponds for the northcentral U.S. was 1.7 million, 49 percent below the 2011 estimate of 3.2 million and similar to the long-term average. Significant decreases in wetland numbers and conditions occurred in the U.S. Prairies during 2012. Nearly all of the northcentral U.S. habitat was rated as good to excellent in 2011; however, only the habitat in the coteau region of North and South Dakota was rated as good in 2012, and no areas were rated as excellent habitat this year. Severe wetland declines in western South Dakota and Montana resulted in mostly poor to fair habitat conditions.

The annual survey guides USFWS waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The USFWS works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific – to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits, derived in part from the data gathered through this annual survey. Using these frameworks as guides, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will establish the 2012-2013 waterfowl seasons and bag limits at its August 23 meeting. The meeting will be conducted at the Kansas Wetland Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, with the afternoon session beginning at 1:30 p.m. Waterfowl seasons will be discussed at the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


White-tailed deer in Toronto, Canada
White-tailed deer  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More than 1,200 permits still available to nonresidents as of July 11
PRATT — After the initial nonresident deer permit drawing in May, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) had approximately 4,000 permits leftover in 11 deer management units for the 2012 season. The agency put these permits up for sale on a first-come, first-served basis, but as of July 11, more than 1,200 of these Whitetail Either-Sex permits were still available. Those hunters whose favorite unit does not have leftover permits may purchase a permit for an adjacent unit, if it has leftover permits, then select their favorite unit as the adjacent unit where they may also hunt.
As of July 11, leftover Nonresident Whitetail Either Sex Deer permits were available in the following units: Unit 10 — 354; Unit 11 — 27; Unit 12 — 247; Unit 13 — 350; and Unit 14 — 242. With these permits, the hunter designates equipment/season choice, as well as one adjacent unit, at time of purchase. They will be sold online through the KDWPT website to any nonresident who does not already have a 2012 permit at the, under “License/Permits.”
Applicants can check the number of deer permits by unit that are still available online at the KDWPT website,, under “Hunting/Applications-and-Fees/Deer/Quotas-and-Draw-Stats.” Department staff will update this site frequently.
Hunters who purchase a leftover permit will lose any preference points they may have accumulated for next year's drawing. Applicants who were successful in the nonresident drawing may not purchase a leftover permit. No hunter may purchase more than one permit that allows the take of an antlered deer. An antlered deer permit is required before purchasing a Whitetail Antlerless-Only Deer permit.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Fruits of the hunt!
Fruits of the hunt! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Peterson honors father’s memory with donation
CIMARRON — Rob Peterson, 53, of Colorado Springs, has donated his 640-acre property near Cimarron to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever as part of the organization’s Grassroots Conservation Campaign. The donation provides a place for future hunters and conservationists to enjoy forever. Peterson, a long-time Pheasants Forever member and Pikes Peak Colorado Pheasants Forever chapter co-chair, noted that his father’s passion for the outdoors and the time they spent hunting and fishing are the main reasons to make Pheasants Forever the recipient of his gift.
A retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Peterson grew up in Minnesota where he hunted and fished with his father, Robert Peterson, Sr. “We spent a lot of time in the outdoors,” Peterson said. “The success of the hunt was not always a big deal to us. It was the experience of spending time together that we valued most.”
Those outdoor experiences are what shaped his dream of honoring his father’s memory. In 2010, during one of the last conversations Peterson had with his father, he told his dad of his plan to dedicate a piece of land in his memory, so his outdoor legacy could live forever. Shortly after this conversation, his father lost his battle with cancer.
The property is currently being converted to productive wildlife habitat. “Habitat is my vision because I realize if we don’t have the habitat, the upland hunting is going to dry up,” Peterson said. “If we don’t have the habitat, we can’t ensure there will be an opportunity for young people to hunt 20, 30, 40 years from now.”
Peterson credited Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill biologist program for providing expert guidance with grassland restoration through the federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Pheasants Forever development officer Jordan Martincich helped execute the gift through the organization’s Grassroots Conservation Campaign.
Peterson will continue managing and enjoying the property throughout his lifetime. Upon his passing, Pheasants Forever will oversee the property for wildlife habitat and public use. In addition to the land gift, Peterson has donated a significant portion of his estate to Pheasants Forever with the goal of furthering the outdoor traditions that both he and his father enjoyed.
For more information on Pheasants Forever’s Grassroots Conservation Campaign and how Pheasants Forever can help you leave your legacy, phone Martincich at 816-560-1070.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Early teal season dates, public land regulations highlight meeting
KANSAS CITY — At a June 24 meeting in Kansas City, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission approved regulations dealing with hunting deer, migratory birds, and upland game, as well as hunting on public land. The following issues were addressed in regulations:
  • Any person with a deer permit valid during the archery deer season in deer management units 1, 12, 15, and 19 may use a crossbow during deer archery season, regardless of age or disability. Each person age 16 through 54 shall obtain a free crossbow hunter survey number from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism before hunting with a crossbow during archery season.Fort Riley deer season set: archery, Sept. 1-Dec. 31 and Jan. 14-31, 2013; youth/disabled, Sept. 8-16 and Oct. 5-8; and firearms, Nov. 23-25 and Dec. 15-23 and Jan. 19-21, 2013.
Migratory Birds
  • Doves may only be taken while in flight.
  • Early teal season will run 16 days from Sept. 8-23 in the Low Plains Zone (east of U.S. Highway 283) and nine days from Sept. 15-23 in the High Plains Zone (west of U.S. 283).
  • Sandhill crane shooting hours are now sunrise to sunset throughout the season, which runs Nov. 7-Jan. 3, 2013.
Upland Game
  • Prairie chicken hunters must purchase a $2.50 prairie chicken permit before harvesting a bird this fall. A random sample of permit holders will receive a questionnaire after the season to assess their hunting activity and success. The early season in the East and Northwest units will run Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The East and Northwest unit regular season will run Nov. 17-Jan. 31, 2013, and the Southwest Unit season will run Nov. 17-Dec. 31.
Public Lands
  • Commercial guides must have a permit to guide on public lands. The permit is free and must be specific to the land where guiding takes place.
  • Baiting is illegal on public lands. Bait is considered any grain, fruit, vegetable, nut, hay, salt, sorghum, feed, or other food or mineral capable of attracting wildlife. Liquid scents and sprays are not considered bait.
  • Only two portable blinds or tree stands are allowed per hunter on public lands.
  • Portable blinds and tree stands must be marked with the owner’s name and address or KDWPT number. Portable blinds may not be left unattended overnight on public lands.
  • Decoys may not be left unattended overnight on public lands.
The commission also passed a regulation to continue the moratorium on commercial harvest of mussels for 10 years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


KDWP offers youth, novice hunts of a lifetime; first application deadline Aug. 13
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Special Hunts Program offers a variety of limited hunts, many designed to introduce youth and novices to hunting in an uncrowded setting with good opportunity for success. The first application period — for special hunts in September and October — is July 16 through Aug. 13, and drawing results will be emailed within a week. A second application period — for November, December, and January hunts — begins July 16 and runs through Oct. 1., with drawing results emailed during the following week. New this year, applicants may apply for both hunt periods beginning July 16, and they will have three choices for each species per draw period.
Most special hunts occur during regular hunting seasons and will be conducted in all regions of the state on both public and private land. Not all special hunts are for youth or older beginning hunters (novices). Some are open to all hunters, and each special hunt targets specific game species, including doves, upland game (pheasant and quail), waterfowl, and deer. Some take place during the special youth/disabled deer season Sept. 8-16, some during the youth pheasant and quail season Nov. 3-4, and others during special youth waterfowl seasons yet to be set.
Specifically, there are three categories of hunts: open, youth, and mentor. Open hunts are available to all hunters, with no age or experience restrictions. Youth hunts may require at least one youth 15 or younger who must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older who may hunt. Some youth hunts may have more specific age requirements, and accompanying adults are not allowed to hunt. Mentor hunts are open to both youth and/or inexperienced hunters who are supervised by a licensed adult 18 or older (mentor) who may hunt. Some hunts require the supervising adult to be 21 years or older.
Many veteran hunters find new satisfaction in serving as mentors, introducing a relative, friend, or neighbor to the wonder of the hunt in a wildlife-rich setting. Parents or grandparents may take children or grandchildren who have never hunted but are now showing an interest, but mentors and novices do not have to be related.
Hunter Education is not required for youth 15 and younger accompanied by an adult 18 or older. However, persons 16 and older who have not hunted before and do not have hunter education must obtain a one-time apprentice hunting license, which exempts them from the hunter education requirement through the calendar year in which it is purchased. All hunters 16 and older need a valid Kansas hunting license.
For more detailed information or to apply, go online to Click "Hunting/Special Hunts" on or after July 16. Those who do not have computer access may apply by telephone at 620-672-0791.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Event to focus on how pollinators affect wildlife habitat
CUNNINGHAM — On July 6, Pheasants Forever will host a wildlife habitat tour of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Byron Walker Wildlife Area, near Cunningham. The tour will focus on habitat diversity and the importance of native wildflowers and pollinator insects to raising successful broods of pheasants and quail. The tour is free and open to the public.

Interested individuals should meet at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 6, at the Byron Walker Wildlife Area Headquarters, 9 miles west of Kingman on Highway 54. The tour will last approximately three hours.

Topics to be covered include vegetative diversity and wildflowers in grasslands and how they affect game bird populations, ways to improve bird habitat in CRP, grassland management techniques that are being employed on the wildlife area, and common pollinator insects that can be found there. Following the presentations, the tour will visit two sites on the area for short nature walks to see first-hand how the grasslands have responded to management employed by area staff.

This workshop will offer some spectacular photo opportunities. Long pants, sunscreen, and bug spray are recommended. For more information, phone Zac Eddy at 620-338-7132 or email
Partners assisting Pheasants Forever with the tour include KDWPT, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Mary Liz Jameson from Wichita State University’s Department of Biological Sciences.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Instructors needed for growing school program
RUSSELL — A training workshop for the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) program will be conducted at the Russell Recreation Commission in Russell on Saturday, July 16, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. The workshop will be conducted by Joyce Ellis of Fort Hays State University and Gary Keehn, the Kansas NASP state coordinator. The program is free, and participants will receive basic NASP archery instructor certification.
The workshop is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Fort Hays State University; and the Russell Recreation Commission. For more information concerning NASP, to pre-register for the workshop, or for information on how to obtain funding to establish this program in your area, phone Joyce Ellis at 785-628-4594 or email, or phone Gary Keehn at 785-834-2075 or email

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Applications available online; Either-Species/Either-Sex deer permit allows take of white-tailed or mule deer
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) reminds hunters that resident 2012 Firearm Either-Species/Either-Sex Deer permit applications are due July 13 and are available online at These permits allow firearm hunters to take a mule deer or white-tailed deer of either sex. General resident permits cost $37.50. Landowner/tenant permits cost $22.50. Unsuccessful applicants will be charged a $6.50 application fee and receive one preference point for next year's drawing.
There are two mule deer zones for resident firearm hunters. In the West Zone (Deer Management units 1, 2, 17, and 18), 1,290 permits are allocated. In the East Zone (Deer Management units 3, 4, 5, 7, and 16), 1,000 permits are allocated.
Applications for limited resident elk permits valid in Elk Management units 2, 2a (Ft. Riley), and 3 are also due July 13 and are available online. Ten Either-Sex and 15 Antlerless-Only Elk permits are allocated for this drawing.
A unlimited number of Hunt-Own-Land Antlerless Only Elk and Hunt-Own-Land Either Sex Elk permits will be available in Elk Management units 2 and 3 (most of Kansas, excluding most of Morton County and Ft. Riley). An unlimited number of General Resident Antlerless-Only Elk and General Resident Either-Sex Elk permits will be available in Elk Management Unit 3. These permits are valid during any legal elk season, and the bag limit is one elk as specified on the permit. These permits will be available July 30, 2012, through March 14, 2013.
While most elk in Kansas inhabit the Fort Riley area, some small populations may be found in western Kansas on private land. KDWPT recommends that hunters make sure they have permission to hunt before purchasing a permit.
General resident Either-Sex Elk permits cost $252.50, and landowner/tenant Either-Sex permits are $127.50. General resident Antlerless-Only Elk permits cost $102.50. Landowner/tenant Antlerless-Only Elk permits are $52.50. The fee to apply for a limited-elk permit is $7.69. Those unsuccessful in the drawing for limited permits valid on Fort Riley will receive a bonus point.
Applicants for General Resident Elk permits on Fort Riley must apply online or by phone, 620-672-0728, by July 13. For more information, visit the KDWPT website,, or phone the nearest agency office. Elk and deer season information may be found on the website at Hunting/When to Hunt/Big Game.