Saturday, April 26, 2014


Hunters should do their research prior to consuming any mushrooms as some forms found in Kansas can be toxic

PRATT ­– Of all the edible Kansas flora that debut in early spring, none may be so prized as the
morel mushroom. Finding these tree stump-dwelling fungi can make for quite an adventure, so as hunters come from far and wide, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) reminds hunters of a few tips for a legal, safe and fun mushroom hunt:
-Stick to state parks and wildlife areas. Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) areas are not open for mushroom hunting. These lands are private property and accessing them for anything other than hunting game during the identified access period is trespass unless hunters have the appropriate landowner permission.
-Be prepared to walk. The use of motorized vehicles on public lands is restricted to maintained roads only, so if your mushroom honey-hole is off the beaten-path, strap on those hiking boots.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Public lands are open for many types of hunting and fishing activities. This time of year, mushroom hunters can expect to encounter turkey hunters and anglers looking to lure in white bass and crappie. There’s plenty of space for everyone, so when in doubt, move to another spot.
-Enjoy your harvest. Mushrooms found on KDWPT public lands may only be harvested for personal consumption and selling mushrooms harvested from KDWPT-managed lands is against state law (see K.A.R. 15-8-20). You’ve worked hard for your harvest, so enjoy the fruits of your labor and heat up a frying pan.
-Use a mesh or breathable bag as a container. Allowing the mushrooms to air out after being picked will prevent unwanted sweating and keep them in tip-top shape until they can hit the dinner table.
-Cook your mushrooms thoroughly before eating them. Some morels can make people sick if consumed raw. This wild mushroom is often served fried, or baked and stuffed. 
Typically found under hardwoods and along rivers, the yellow morel, also known as the common morel or sponge mushroom, is the most sought-after wild mushroom in the state. Other types of morels also found in Kansas may include the thick-footed, black, half-free, bell, and edible morel. Hunters should do their research prior to consuming any mushrooms as some forms found in Kansas can be toxic.
A Guide to Kansas Mushrooms book is available for purchase online through the KDWPT Outdoor Store at Purchases can also be made over the phone by calling (620) 672-5911.

Friday, April 25, 2014


The Tuttle Creek Lake Association invites youth age 8-12 to participate
MANHATTAN – The Tuttle Creek Lake Association invites youth 8-12 to participate in its June 6-7, 2014 at Anneberg Park Lake. Open and free to youth who have not previously attended, the two-day clinic will begin with an educational session Friday evening covering topics such as casting, hook tying, and water safety. Activities will pick back upSaturday morning with fishing from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., followed by an award ceremony, and free lunch. Each youth will be provided with a free rod and reel to take home, as well as hooks, bobbers, split shot, and bait.
20th Annual Youth Fishing Clinic
Opportunities to catch a fish will be plentiful as the Tuttle Creek Lake Association, in cooperation with Manhattan Parks and Recreation, will stock Anneberg Park Lake with 700 channel catfish ranging from 12-18 inches long and weighing up to 3 pounds.
Trophies will be awarded to girls and boys who catch the smallest fish, the largest fish, and the largest three fish.
Youth must be accompanied by an adult and must register to attend. Registration will be open the day of the event, however early registration is encouraged.
For more information, contact Paul Miller at (785) 341-0085.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


The 2014 antelope season was approved by the commission at the April 17 meeting
WICHITA – Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Commissioners heard several topics covering the gamut during the April 17 meeting and public hearing held at the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, including discussion of upcoming migratory bird seasons.
During the workshop session, KDWPT migratory game bird program manager, Tom Bidrowski, presented staff recommendations for the upcoming early migratory bird seasons. This item will be presented as a public hearing item for approval at the June 19 meeting in Pittsburg. The June 19 meeting in Pittsburg will take place at the Lamplighter Inn & Suites, 4020 Parkview Dr., at 1 p.m.
Commissioners also discussed the late migratory bird seasons, which will be workshopped at the June 19 meeting and voted on at the August meeting. The August 21 meeting will be conducted in Great Bend at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.
During the public hearing portion of the April 17 meeting, commissioners approved recommendations for the 2014-2015 antelope seasons as follows:
Firearm & Muzzleloader permit application deadline: June 13, 2014
Archery permit deadline: Oct. 30, 2014
2014 Antelope Season Dates:
  • Archery:  Sept. 20 - Sept. 28 and Oct. 11 - Oct. 31, 2014
  • Muzzleloader-only:  Sept 29 - Oct. 2, 2014 (Muzzleloader-only permit holders may also hunt during the firearm season.)
  • Firearm:  Oct. 3 - Oct. 6, 2014
Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. 
For more information on the 2014-2015 antelope season, visit and click “Hunting / Big Game Information / Antelope.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


English: A white-tailed deer

Nonresidents must apply online for limited deer permits
PRATT – Nonresidents deer hunters looking to fill a Kansas tag this fall have until midnight Friday, April 25, 2014 to apply online for a permit. Only online applications will be accepted through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s website,, where applicants will be taken through a process step-by-step.
A nonresident white-tailed deer combo permit is $346.96, including application and convenience fees. The Mule Deer Stamp is $102.50. Nonresident youth white-tailed deer combo permits (hunters 15 and younger) are $116.34. All nonresident permits are combo permits and include one either-sex whitetail tag and one antlerless-only whitetail tag.
Application instructions, season information, permit quotas, as well as last year’s drawing statistics, can all be viewed on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s website,

Monday, April 21, 2014


Tim Boxberger, 2014 Instructor of the Year, has been a volunteer instructor for 20-plus years
PRATT – They spend countless hours teaching their students basic firearm safety, the importance of conserving and managing our state’s natural resources, and what it means to be
an ethical hunter. Kansas Hunter Education Program volunteer instructors attempt to teach young and new hunters everything they should learn before hitting the field. They don’t do it for the money – they aren’t paid. They don’t do it because they have to – no one is making them. They do it because it’s what they love. Volunteer Hunter Education Program instructors are a vital component in creating responsible hunters and protecting our hunting heritage in Kansas, and it’s only fitting that contributions such as these be recognized.
One such instructor, Tim Boxberger, has made the aforementioned tasks more than a priority in his career as a volunteer instructor – he has made them a lifelong passion. His dedication for teaching and serving 20-plus years as a volunteer instructor convinced eight fellow instructors to nominate Boxberger for the Kansas Hunter Education Instructor of the Year Award.
“As if teaching many hunter ed classes in the spring and fall are not enough, Tim is also instrumental in Pheasants Forever field days, youth hunts, and NRA youth outdoor days,” his nomination letter reads. “Tim shows remarkable dedication to the program and (he) has proven many times he is not afraid to go above and beyond.”
Boxberger will receive a certificate of appreciation and a Savage .17 HMR bolt-action rifle in snow camouflage as tokens of appreciation for his dedication. He resides in Great Bend with his wife, Laura.
Other instructors recognized for their exemplary involvement, performance, and continuing dedication to the program include:
-Paul Babcock, Region 1 Instructor of the Year
-Dennis Smith, Region 2 Instructor of the Year
-Tracy Gutierrez, Region 3 Instructor of the Year
-Dave Perkins, Region 4 Instructor of the Year
-Don Lile, Region 5 Instructor of the Year
Each regional winner will receive a certificate and a .223 CZ 527 varmint rifle, complete with a scope.
For more information on the Hunter Education program and its volunteer instructors, contact program coordinator, Kent Barrett,

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Anglers can make a difference by teaching fishing techniques across Kansas
PRATT – A bobber goes down, the reel starts spinning, and fishing line is being taken out to
water. The excitement overwhelms her so much that she forgets what to do. He was there to walk her through the steps, and before she knew it, her first-ever fish was in her hands. Wide-eyed and grinning from ear to ear, she says “that was fun,” and that’s all he needed to hear. You, too, can help create unforgettable memories like this for anglers of all ages by becoming certified to teach fishing techniques in the state of Kansas.
Fishing’s Future and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism are looking to enlist up to 40 anglers who want to become volunteer instructors to teach fishing techniques. Interested anglers should enroll in the instructor course that will be taught on May 17 at Lake Henry in Clinton State Park, 798 N. 1415 Rd., Lawrence. The course will run 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and although the class is not a requirement to teach, those in attendance will be given valuable information about working with children, sample curriculums, and tips for preparing a class or clinic. Other topics covered in the four-hour class will include current fishing rules and regulations, species identification, fishing ethics, equipment, knot-tying, casting, fish habitat, aquatic nuisance species, and conservation.
Anglers interested in registering can sign up at Click “upcoming events,” then “Kansas Angler Education Training Program.”
For more information, contact Fishing’s Future local coordinator Kevin Reich at, or by phone at (785) 577-6921.
Parking will be available on the hill above Lake Henry. The lot by the lake is reserved for disabled anglers. If there is inclement weather, the course will be moved to the park building.

Friday, April 18, 2014


219 schools currently offer the Kansas Archery in the Schools program
PRATT ­– Kansas Archery in the Schools hosted its fifth annual state archery tournament, May 9-10.
Saturday, April 5, at Clearwater High School, southwest of Wichita. Three hundred and twenty students vied for a chance to compete at nationals. Of those 320 archers, three teams and 60 individual competitors qualified for the National Archery in the Schools tournament in Louisville, Kentucky,
Operating under the umbrella of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) program, the Kansas archery program is aimed at promoting international-style target archery among students in grades 4-12. With the help of KDWPT and NASP, program coordinators are able to introduce archery as a fun, lifelong activity to young people who may have never taken up the sport otherwise.
Students from 11 communities competed this year, including: Anthony, Clay Center, Clearwater, Erie, Tribune, Holton, Hugoton, Kingman, Neodesha, Olathe, and Rose Hill.
Competing in three divisions, elementary school (4-6), middle school (7-8), or high school (9-12), participants are required to shoot five arrows in each of the three rounds from a distance of 10 meters and a distance of 15 meters. A score of 300 points is considered perfect, which would be scores of 10 on each of the 30 total arrows they can be scored on.
Individual winners in each grade division are as follows:
Avery Schill, 264, Clearwater Elementary
Tatyana Miner, 278, Clearwater Middle School *Top overall score, top female score
Amber Asbury, 266, Clearwater High School
Richard Wolf, 260, Clearwater Elementary
Daniel Schule, 274, Clearwater Middle School
Kyle Reed, 277, Clearwater High School *Top male score
Clearwater school teams placed first in all divisions. The top 10 boy and girl competitors from each grade division from any of the participating schools also qualified for nationals.
For more information, visit and click “Services / Education / Archery in the Schools,” or email Mike Rader

Thursday, April 17, 2014



Angler Josh McCullough caught the behemoth trout from Kill Creek Park Lake in Johnson County
PRATT – In Kansas trout waters, it’s not uncommon to drop a lure and get a bite after a few minutes, but to drop a lure, get a bite, and reel in a 15.72-pound rainbow trout is almost unheard of. That’s what angler Josh McCullough of Spring Hill experienced onFeb. 23 earlier this year. Fishing at Kill Creek Park Lake in Johnson County, McCullough had no idea the hook he had just fitted with a piece of Berkeley Gulp corn bait would land him a fish for the books.
When McCullough’s catch surfaced, he knew this was no ordinary fish. As he landed the trout ashore, McCullough quickly realized that fish on the end of his hook could very well be a new record. McCullough grabbed his gear, snapped a few photos with a phone, and then did what any angler should do when potentially holding a new state record fish – he took it to a certified scale to get weighed.
The 28.5-inch long fish tipped the scale at 15.72 pounds, a mere .29 of a pound heavier than the former state record rainbow trout weighing in at 15.42 pounds caught by Nicole Wilson. Wilson made the books in 2012 with her catch from Lake Shawnee in Topeka.
Before a new state record can be accepted, the following steps must occur:
     -The fish must be identified and witnessed by a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) district fisheries biologist or regional fisheries supervisor
     -The fish must be weighed before it is frozen
     -The angler must submit an official Kansas state record fish application, accompanied by a sharp, color photo of the fish
     -The angler must undergo a mandatory 30-day waiting period following application
Only species listed on the KDWPT state record list will be accepted. A tissue sample may also be required.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Firearm hunters can hit the field April 9
PRATT –  A lot of work goes into prepping for a spring turkey hunt, from scouting roosting April 9 when the regular spring turkey season opens. Following the archery-only/ youth/disabled season, April 1-8, turkey hunters can hit the field with shotgun or archery equipment to take their shot at a spring turkey, or two. And thanks to equipment changes established last year, hunters may now use any gauge shotgun or muzzleloading shotgun with shot sizes No. 2 through No. 9 and crossbows to fill their spring turkey tags.
sights and sighting in shotguns, to mastering the perfect “cluck” and “purr” call. And all that hard work will pay off on
For hunters age 15 and younger, filling a tag has never been more affordable. Thanks to reduced youth permit pricing, resident youth hunters can now enjoy taking their shot at a spring turkey for just 7.50, and nonresident youth for 12.50.
Other 2014 Spring turkey permits can be purchased at the following prices:
  • Resident Permit: $22.50
  • Landowner/Tenant Permit: $12.50
  • Resident Turkey Game Tag: $12.50
  • Nonresident Permit: $32.50
  • Nonresident Turkey Game Tag: $22.50
A turkey permit or game tag is valid for one bearded turkey. Any individual who has purchased a spring turkey permit is also eligible for one spring turkey game tag. Spring game tags are valid for Units 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.
Hunters who drew a Unit 4 (southwest Kansas) spring turkey permit earlier this year may also use their Unit 4 permit in adjacent Units 1, 2 and 5.
Regardless of where you choose to hunt this spring, it’s not guaranteed you’ll fill a tag, but rest assured the opportunity is out there. For information on where you opportunity may await, consult the 2014 Spring Turkey Hunting Atlas, or visit and click “Hunting / Turkey Information.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Nonresidents must apply online for limited deer permits
PRATT – Nonresidents who want to hunt deer in Kansas this fall must apply online for the limited number of nonresident deer permits by April 25, 2014. Season information,
application instructions, permit quotas, as well as last year’s drawing statistics can all be viewed on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) website,
Just more than 22,000 nonresident white-tailed deer combo permits were authorized for 2014, the same as last year. In addition, 266 mule deer stamps are allocated in Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 17 and 18. Nonresidents who wish to hunt mule deer must apply for a mule deer stamp. If they draw a muzzleloader or archery whitetail permit in one of these units, they will then be entered into the drawing for a mule deer stamp. Those who draw a mule deer stamp will receive a combo permit valid for one white-tailed or mule deer, buck or doe, and one white-tailed antlerless deer.
Only online applications will be accepted, and applicants will be taken through the process step-by-step on KDWPT’s website. General nonresident white-tailed deer combo permits are $346.96, including application and convenience fees. The Mule Deer Stamp is $102.50. Nonresident youth white-tailed deer combo permits (hunters 15 and younger) are $116.34. All nonresident permits are combo permits and include one either-sex whitetail tag and one antlerless whitetail only tag.
For more information go to or phone 620-672-0728.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Kramer is named 2014 Professional Conservation Champion by Playa Lakes Joint Venture
PRATT ­– The Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) recognized Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Joe Kramer, Director of Fisheries and Wildlife Division, as one of two recipients of the 2014 North American Migratory Bird Joint Venture Conservation Champion Award. Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory was the other 2014 recipient.
Each year, this award is given to partners and partnerships that have demonstrated a long-term commitment and dedication to the important work of the Joint Ventures and Kramer is no exception.
"For his 34 years of contributions to the people and places so vital to the wildlife and wetlands we want to sustain, we are honored to present the Conservation Champion Award for an Individual to Joe Kramer," said PLJV Coordinator Mike Carter. "Joe has been with us from the beginning, as a founding member of the management board, and is still just as involved today."
Raised in Great Bend, Kramer developed a passion for waterfowl at Cheyenne Bottoms. After completing his degree in wildlife biologiy at Kansas State Univeristy, hee began his professional career as a wildlife area technician with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. In just 11 years, Joe rose to Chief of Wildlife and Fisheries Division, where he remains an important leader 27 years later.
For more information on Kramer’s contributions, visit

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Sundown - February 24, 2010 - Kansas City
Sundown - February 24, 2010 - Kansas City (Photo credit: CoolValley)
Interested applicants have until June 10 to apply
PRATT ­– The Willis Scholarship Foundation, in conjunction with the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, invites students currently enrolled in a Kansas regent’s institution pursuing a degree relating to wildlife, natural resources, and/or natural resource management to apply for a scholarship. The application period is open now through June 10, 2014.
Created in memory of Wayne Willis, a long time supporter of the Governor’s One Shot Spring Turkey  Hunt and renowned wildlife artist from the Wichita area, the scholarship foundation started in 1996 when the Past Shooters & Guides Association  offered two $1000 scholarships. Since then, approximately $400,000 has been awarded to Kansas students.
Successful applicants can be awarded $500 - $1,250 per semester, based on grade point average and the following criteria:
     - desire to pursue a career in wildlife or natural resources
     - maintain at least a2.5 GPA, pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher
     - Commit to attending the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, providing assistance where necessary
The 28th annual Kansas Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt will be held April 10, 11and 12, 2014 in El Dorado. Hunters from across the U.S. are participating this year, including Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
Passing on the hunting heritage to the next generation remains a continued focus for the event. Twenty-three Kansas youth applied for a chance to participate in the Kansas Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt Youth Program 2014. Riley Brown of El Dorado, Allison Dix of Stockton, Joseph Heimann of Hays, Avery Lewellen of Wellington, Ethan Shaw of Logan and Jenna Smithson of Osage City are the six chosen this year.
For information on the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, visit, or contact Janet Post or (316) 321-3835.
For more information on the Willis Scholarship Foundation, Inc., and to receive an application, visit