Thursday, November 29, 2012


English: A Coast Guardsman demonstrating the h...

Boating during the winter requires added precautions to ensure safety
Following basic safe boating rules is necessary whenever you’re on the water, but it takes on a new level of importance when the water is cold. As a rule of thumb, if the sum of the air and water temperatures added together equals less than 100 degrees and you fall into the water, you could be looking at a hypothermic situation.
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, and cold water robs the body of heat 25 times faster than cold air. When your core body temperature drops below normal (98.6 degrees F), you become hypothermic. Your preparation and how you handle yourself following a fall into cold water will determine your odds of survival.
Remember the “1-10-1” rule. If you fall overboard, you usually have one minute to get your breathing under control. An involuntary gasp occurs when your body encounters the cold water, and this can cause you to breathe in a large amount of water, which can lead to drowning. After the initial shock, you will experience about one minute of deep and uncontrolled breathing. Calming yourself will be easier if you're wearing a life jacket because it will keep your head above the water line and help you avoid breathing in mouthfuls of water.
Over the next ten minutes, your blood flow will start to move away from your hands and feet in order to keep your body’s core warm. The body instinctively attempts to keep vital organs warm and functioning. This affects nerves and muscles farther away from your core, limiting their ability to function. It is during this crucial time that any attempt at self rescue should be made. Get out of the water. Even if your boat is capsized and upside down, crawling onto the part of the boat that is still above water will increase your odds of survival. If you are not wearing a life jacket and can’t get out of the water, you will eventually lose the ability to tread water or swim due to the lack of response from your arms and legs.
Keeping your core protected can help keep you conscious longer, and using the Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP) will keep your core warmer longer. Wearing a life jacket makes the HELP position easier; you just pull your legs up to your chest and hug your knees. This keeps your body compact and surrounds your chest with protection. If you are in the water with other people, you can huddle together and share warmth. Most people will lose consciousness in one hour, but if you are wearing a life jacket, your face will be above the water and you will still be able to breathe even if you start to fade.
Always dress for the weather by wearing layers that can be removed if the weather warms, and avoid cotton clothing. Cotton will keep the water trapped by your body instead of wicking it away, and it takes a long time to dry. But if you do end up soaking wet, never remove your clothing and shoes unless you have a dry set to change into. Even though the clothes are cold and wet, they provide insulation to your body and will actually keep you warmer. By understanding how hypothermia affects your body and the 1-10-1 rule -- one minute to control your breathing, 10 minutes to rescue yourself and one hour before you lose consciousness -- you can increase your chance for survival if you run into problems while boating in cold water. Of course, wearing life jacket is always the smart choice while boating during any time of the year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Law doesn’t allow hunters to radio or phone the location of game animals
PRATT—You see a big buck moving in the direction of your buddy’s deer stand. You want him be ready, so you grab your cell phone and without thinking you send him a text: “Big buck coming your way!” Unfortunately, you’ve just broken the law.
The law has been on the books for years, and many hunters are aware that two-way radios can’t be used to give the location of a game animal for the purpose of taking such animal. However, the law prohibits the use of “a radio or other mechanical device,” which includes cell phones. And a text is the same as a call. Don’t do it.
Other common violations that can be easily avoided include wearing the required amount of hunter orange, which is a vest with 100 square inches visible from the front and 100 square inches visible from the back and an orange hat. Remember to sign, date and affix your carcass tag to the deer before you move it from the site of the kill. And always have the proper permit and your hunting license on your person while hunting.


Enrolled private waters can benefit from fish stocking and habitat management
PRATT--The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s F.I.S.H. Program, which stands for Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats, was patterned after the very successful Walk-In Hunting Access Program with a goal of increasing public fishing opportunities in Kansas. First introduced to Kansas anglers and landowners in 1998, F.I.S.H. leases private waters from landowners for public fishing. Landowners participating in F.I.S.H. receive payments, and F.I.S.H. provides anglers with a place to fish while leaving the land in private ownership. The deadline for landowners to enroll for 2013 is December 15, 2012.
Special regulations are in place for F.I.S.H. properties, and KDWPT officials periodically patrol the areas. Violators will be ticketed or arrested for vandalism, littering or failing to comply with fishing regulations. Access is limited to foot traffic, except on roads designated by the landowner in the case of very large tracts of land. Additionally, under this program some landowners are eligible for fish stocking, habitat management, fence crossers, cattle guards, rock boat ramps, or rocked parking areas.
Each year, KDWPT publishes a fishing atlas featuring maps that show each body of water enrolled in the program, boating allowance, and fish species available. F.I.S.H. sites are open for public access from March 1 to October 31 or year-round. Landowners allowing year-round access receive a 10 percent lease increase.
Pond Leasing
The program leases privately-owned ponds for public access by the acre. Base lease rates range from $75-$125 per/acre/year, depending on where the pond is located in. Boating allowance bonuses are available as well. Ponds allowing carry-in boats only will receive an additional $10/acre/year and properties allowing all boats access (adequate launching site must be present) will receive an additional $25/acre/year.
Stream Leasing
Another focus of the F.I.S.H. program is to increase access to streams for fishing and paddlesports. Depending on the quality of the stream's fishery, annual lease rates for fishing access range from $500 to $1,500/mile. Stream stretches that allow paddlesport access could receive an additional annual payment of $500-$750/mile. To be eligible for the additional paddlesports payment, the stream stretch must be at least one-mile, with put-in and take-out spots (bonus applies only between put-in and take-out spots), and signed up for a long-term lease (minimum five years).
Big River Access Leasing
The Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri Rivers are considered navigable waters and are open to public access. However, public land access points are limited. To increase public access to these rivers, the F.I.S.H. program leases access sites from willing landowners. Landowners with adequate launch facilities, can annually receive $1,500/site. If the site is within 10 river miles of any other public access site a landowner can annually receive $2,000/site.
For more information about enrolling your water in the F.I.S.H. program contact your nearest KDWPT office, or the Operations office in Pratt, 620-672-5911. You can also learn more about F.I.S.H. at
This program is made possible by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Act, the sale of fishing licenses, and the Farm Bill.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion / Panther (Puma ...

Ninth Kansas mountain lion confirmed in modern times
EMPORIA—A deer hunter who was using a remote trail camera to scout for deer in Stafford County was surprised recently when he plugged the SD card in and found the image of a mountain lion. He hadn’t checked the camera for several weeks, and the photo was taken in October, but there was no doubt about the identification. A Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wildlife biologist visited the site Nov. 16 and confirmed the photo’s validity. This is the first report documented in Kansas since last January when tracks of a mountain lion were found in Washington County.
The Stafford County lion is the ninth to be officially confirmed in Kansas since 2007. While there have been many sightings reported, KDWPT staff investigate if evidence, such as tracks, a photo, or cached kill, is present. According to ongoing research by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, dispersing mountain lions, which are primarily young males, feed mostly on medium-sized animals such as raccoons, raptors, coyotes, and turkeys. They feed on deer less frequently, which take days to consume and likely hinder their movement across the landscape as they search of the opposite sex and an area in which to establish a permanent home range. There is no evidence of a resident population of mountain lions in Kansas.
The use of remote, motion-triggered cameras by deer hunters to monitor deer in their hunting areas has become common in recent years. These cameras have been responsible for five of the nine Kansas mountain lion confirmations.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Twelve-day season provides opportunities for hunters to put venison in the freezer
PRATT—Kansas deer hunters will hit the field on Nov. 28 with hopes of putting venison in the freezer or getting a chance at a trophy-size buck. The regular firearm season runs through Dec. 9. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Any unfilled permit is valid during the firearm season; however, either-species, nonresident and some antlerless permits are restricted to the deer management units listed on the permit. In addition to their deer permit, all hunters, unless exempt by law, must also have a Kansas hunting license.
Resident permits may be purchased wherever licenses are sold and online. Hunters must possess a permit that allows the harvest of a buck before they are eligible to purchase antlerless permits. Nonresident deer permits are limited and awarded through a lottery draw, which was held in May. Permits left over after the drawing were available on a first-come, first-served basis, and those were sold out.
All legal equipment types are allowed during the firearm season; however, hunters with archery permits must use archery equipment and hunters with muzzleloader permits must use muzzleloaders, crossbows are archery equipment. All hunters hunting deer during the firearm season must wear hunter orange clothing consisting of an orange hat and an orange vest that shows 100 square inches from the front and 100 square inches from the back. Camouflage orange clothing is legal if the number of square inches of orange is visible.
Hunters should remember that all deer must be tagged before moving the carcass from the kill site. Certain permits, such as an antlerless whitetail permit, require that the head remain attached to the carcass during transport for sex identification. However, KDWPT offers a voluntary option that allows hunters to register their deer through the Internet, using photos taken at the harvest site. Once registered, the hunter may then transport the carcass without the head attached. If Internet access is unavailable at the kill site, the hunter can retain the photographs while in transit and a registration number can be obtained later. To access the electronic deer check-in, go online to the KDWPT website,, and click “Hunting/Big Game/Deer/Deer Check-in.”
To ensure everyone enjoys a safe deer hunt, hunters must remember basic firearm safety rules including knowing their target and what lies beyond it and always wearing the required hunter orange. Hunters must have permission to hunt on any private land, whether it is posted or not. The 2012 Kansas Hunting Atlas features maps showing all public and Walk-In Hunting Access areas is available wherever licenses are sold and online at

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Joint effort will check for drivers’ licenses and possession of wildlife
TOPEKA–The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and local law enforcement officials will conduct a joint checkpoint in southcentral Kansas in early December. The regular firearm deer season starts November 28, and upland game bird seasons are underway. The checkpoint is intended to help enforce state and federal wildlife laws, as well as the state’s driver’s licensing laws.
Local law enforcement officers will operate the first stage of the checkpoint to be sure drivers are properly licensed to be driving. If a driver does not have a valid license, appropriate enforcement actions will be taken. Travelers should not expect major delays from this portion of the checkpoint.
Occupants of vehicles in the first check lane will be asked if they are hunters or are transporting wildlife. If yes in either case, drivers will be directed to a nearby check lane where KDWPT natural resource officers will check for required licenses and permits, count the game and gather biological, harvest, and hunter success information. This portion of the checkpoint should also cause minimal delay.
Additional wildlife checkpoints will occur around the state during the fall and winter hunting seasons.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Fruits of the hunt!

Special hunt open to youth and women by application
PRATT--The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors, Inc. is sponsoring their annual pheasant hunting event for youth and women Dec. 8 at Waconda Lake, also known as Glen Elder Reservoir. The event will begin at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday with breakfast at the Hopewell Church basement in Glen Elder State Park. Breakfast will be followed by a pre-hunt safety talk before participants are divided into hunting groups. The hunters, guides, and mentors will then head out to various hunting areas around the lake. A noon meal will be provided by the Waconda Lake Association.
Women of any age and youth 11–16 are eligible and encouraged to apply for this hunt. This hunt is geared toward providing a comfortable and positive hunting environment for new or inexperienced hunters. Previous hunting experience is not required, and shotguns and ammunition can be provided. To apply, contact the Glen Elder Area Office at 785-545-3345 (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays) by December 3, 2012. Forty applicants will be selected to participate in the Saturday hunt. If there are more applicants, an additional hunt may be scheduled for Sunday morning, December 9.
A free trap shoot will also be offered on Saturday afternoon from 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm. The trap shoot, which will be held just west of the KDWPT Glen Elder Area Office, is open to the public and is intended for new and beginning shooters.
Another unique aspect of this event is that each group of pheasant hunters will get to hunt alongside a special guest who has been invited to serve as a hunting mentor for their group. This list is currently being put together, but these individuals may be professional athletes, television personalities, or military personnel that have recently returned from deployment.
There will be a hunter’s banquet on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall in Downs. The banquet will include a meal, prizes for the hunters, and more opportunity for the hunters to interact with the special guests. All participants are invited to attend and will be asked to RSVP for the banquet when they sign up for the hunt.
For more information, contact Chris Lecuyer at the KDWPT Glen Elder Area Office 785-545-3345.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Registration number allows hunters to process deer in the field
PRATT — Nearly 100,000 hunters will pursue deer in Kansas this fall, and those numbers will peak from now through early December. The archery season is open, and November is the most popular month with bowhunters. The regular firearm season is Nov. 28-Dec. 9. One important regulation hunters should be aware of is deer must be tagged before being moved from the site of the kill. Unless a hunter has an either-sex permit, the head must remain attached to the carcass while in transit to a residence or place of commercial processing or preservation. However, the agency does offer a voluntary option for transporting harvested deer that allows hunters to register their deer through the Internet, using photos taken at the harvest site. Once registered, the hunter may then transport the carcass without the head attached. If Internet access is unavailable at the kill site, the hunter can retain the photographs while in transit and a registration number can be obtained later. 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 hunter is walked through the registration process and given the necessary instructions. The registration process requires the hunter 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. Once logged on to the KDWPT website, a hunter must submit the photos and enter the KDWPT number from their permit, 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.
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). It is believed that spread of CWD 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 CWD.
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 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.”