Thursday, September 25, 2014


Live music begins at 3:30 p.m. and will continue through the night
PRATT – Camping, chili, and country music – what more could you ask for? Thanks to the Friends of Crawford State Park, all this and more will be part of a one-night event, Sept. 27 at Crawford State Park’s Oak Point Campground. Crawford State Park is located just nine miles north of Girard on K-7. The first event of the day will be a chili cook-off beginning at 12 p.m. with a cook’s meeting, followed by cooking from 12:30 to 4 p.m., judging at4 p.m., tasting session at 4:30 p.m., and awards at 5:30 p.m. There is a $20 entry fee for anyone wanting to enter the chili contest.
Following the cook-off, an “end of the season” campers’ pot luck will take place at 6:30 in the back of the campground amphitheater. Those interested in staying are asked to bring a covered side dish as spaghetti red (chili) will be provided.
Apart from good eats, park goers can also enjoy the park’s Country Music Jamboree beginning at 3:30 p.m. and running through the night. A host of local musical acts including The Duling Band, Jeff Simpson, Kinley Rice, and Jason Richison will perform.
The Duling’s are a local legend and part of a musical family that have entertained for over 50 years. The variety they bring to the stage is sure to please young and old.
Jeff Simpson, a resident of Cherokee, has been performing blues and jazz harmonica for the past 17 years. He is a regular with several area country, bluegrass, and classic rock bands.
Kinley Rice, a 15-year-old country singer from Fort Scott, is currently a regular on TV’s “Kelly’s Kountry Junction.” Her musical influences are Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams, and many other country legends.
Jason Richison, another Fort Scott resident, will perform classic country music with energy and an edgy guitar. He is also a member of the Fort Scott Jubilee Hot Band and lead guitarist for Kelly’s Kountry Junction television program.
Campsites will be available and can be reserved by visiting
For more information on the chili cook-off, contact Kevin Smith at (620) 362-3237, or by e-mail

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Members of the public are welcome to join in on the feathery fun
PRATT – The Kansas Ornithological Society (KOS) will hold its fall meeting October 3-5 in Salina. This informative and fun gathering is open to everyone and will include an informal, come-and-go reception at Lakewood Discovery Center on Friday from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. On Saturday a paper session and business meeting will run 9 a.m. - 4:40 p.m., followed by the annual banquet from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. On Sunday, all-day field trips will start at 7 a.m.
The paper session and business meeting will take place at the Sams Hall of Fine Arts on Kansas Wesleyan University campus, where students involved in bird research will have the opportunity to present their results. Time will also be allotted for non-professional birders wishing to share information on less-formal bird observations and research. Following lunch, participants can enjoy a Birdwatchers’ Hour where photographers of all skill levels can showcase their images of birds from Kansas and around the world. During the business meeting, KOS members will vote on new officers and board of directors for 2015, receive a fiscal update on KOS, and address any changes regarding bylaws or rules of operation, if necessary.
The annual banquet is scheduled at the Salina Country Club and will feature an awards ceremony and keynote speaker, Al Batt, a contributing columnist for Birdwatcher’s Digest.
Sunday will conclude the three-day event with all-day field trips led by local experts. Participants will depart from Lakewood Middle School (across from Lakewood Discovery Center) at 7 a.m. Destinations include: Salina, Ottawa State Fishing Lake, Kanopolis Reservoir, McPherson State Fishing Lake and Abilene. A list of species compiled for these areas and a lunch will be provided for all pre-paid participants.
For more information, or to register, visit, or contact Mike Rader or (620) 672-0708.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Get certified to teach basic fishing skills in Kansas
PRATT – If you’re passionate about fishing, and have a desire to share that passion with others,  you can still enroll in a Kansas angler education certification course. Fishing’s Future and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will sponsor a fishing instructor course for 40 volunteers who want to learn about teaching fishing techniques in Kansas. The instructor course will be held Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the National Guard Training Center, 2930 Scanlan Ave, Salina.
During the certification course, anglers will learn about working with children, sample curriculums, fishing regulations, species identification, ethics, knot-tying and more.
To learn more about the fishing instructor certification program and to register for the Salina course, go, click on “Upcoming Events”, then “Kansas Angler Education Training Program.”
Questions may be directed to either Kevin Reich of Fishing’s Future at, or Sgt. James Merriman at (785) 826 3761.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


2014 Upland bird forecast shows improvements in pheasant, quail, prairie chicken populations
PRATT – A copy of the 2014 Kansas Upland Bird Forecast is now available and from the looks of things, upland bird hunters will see improved populations this fall. Although below-average harvests and click “Hunting,” then “Upland Birds.”
expected this year, hunters should see more birds and have more opportunities than the 2013 season. To view the entire forecast, visit
After three consecutive years of statewide declines, spring breeding populations for pheasant stabilized in 2014. The only region showing a significant decrease was the Northern High Plains. Summer brood counts show an increase of 70 percent when compared to 2013. This increase should offer improved hunting opportunities, and the best hunting this year will likely be in the Smoky Hills region. Kansas still contains one of the best pheasant populations among states and the fall harvest will again be among the best in the country; however, Kansas will again have a below-average pheasant harvest this fall.
Regular Season: Nov. 8, 2014 - January 31, 2015; Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014. Daily Bag Limit: 4 cocks in regular season, 2 cocks in youth season.
Roadside surveys for quail showed a statewide increase of 50 percent compared to 2013. However, statewide populations are still below historic averages, and Kansas will likely have a below-average quail harvest this fall. Populations in much of the central and western portions of the state have not fully recovered from the drought. While opportunities will be better throughout most of the state this year, the best opportunities will likely remain in the eastern third of the state, particularly in the Flint Hills region.
Regular Season: November 8, 2014 - January 31, 2015; Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014. Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season.
Prairie chicken populations are generally up where the appropriate habitat exists. Hunting opportunities should be improved throughout the greater prairie chicken hunting unit; however, the best opportunities this fall will be in the Smoky Hills Region.
Early Season (Greater Prairie Chicken Unit): Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2014; Regular Season (Greater Prairie Chicken Unit): Nov. 15, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015. Daily Bag Limit: 2. Southwest Unit closed to all prairie chicken hunting.
To view the complete forecast, including detailed regional information, visit and click “Hunting / Upland Birds.”