Monday, August 31, 2015

Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission Approves Duck and Goose Seasons

Great Bend–The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission approved the duck and goose seasons at a Public Hearing, conducted Thursday, August 20 at the Kansas Wetland Education Center, Great Bend. Following frameworks provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the following seasons and bag limits were approved.
High Plains Duck Zone (see duck zone map at
           Oct. 10, 2015-Jan. 4, 2016 and Jan. 23-31, 2016
            Youth season: Oct 3-4, 2015
Low Plains Early Zone
           Oct. 10-Dec. 6, 2015 and Dec. 19, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016
            Youth season: Oct. 3-4, 2015
Low Plains Late Zone
           Oct. 31, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 23-31, 2016
            Youth season: Oct. 24-25, 2015
Low Plains Southeast Zone
           Nov. 14, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 9-31, 2016
            Youth season: Nov. 7-8, 2015
Duck daily bag limit: Six ducks, which may include no more than five mallards (no more than two which may be hens), three scaup, three wood ducks, two redheads, two pintails and two canvasbacks.
Canada Geese
           Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2015 and Nov. 4, 2015-Feb. 14, 2016
Canada goose daily bag limit (including brant): Six
White-fronted Geese
           Oct. 31, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 23-Feb. 14, 2016
White-fronted goose daily bag limit: Two
Light Geese
           Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2015 and Nov. 4, 2015-Feb. 14, 2016
(Light goose Conservation Order: Feb. 15-April 30, 2016)
Light goose daily bag limit (including snow and Ross’ geese): 50
(No daily bag limit during the Conservation Order)
All waterfowl hunters 16 and older must have a Federal Duck Stamp, and all hunters required to have a hunting license must also have a Kansas Waterfowl Habitat Permit and Kansas Harvest Information Program permit.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

10th Annual Northcentral Kansas Outdoor Youth Fair

OSBORNE – If your child enjoys all things “outdoorsy,” chances are he or she will have a blast at the upcoming 10th Annual Northcentral Kansas Outdoor Youth Fair in Osborne. This one-day, fun-filled event will take place Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to youth ages 17 and younger (all those 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult).
Activities include archery, wingshooting, flyfishing, canoeing, dog handling, trapping and many other outdoor activities.

Youth must be registered by 11 a.m. the day of the event to be provided lunch and an opportunity to win door prizes that include a lifetime hunting license, hunting and fishing trips, and a weekend at an area lake cabin.

Archery hunters 14 and older are invited to bring in their bows for tune-ups.
All equipment and supplies are provided at no charge.

The Northcentral Kansas Outdoor Youth Fair is made possible by the Osborne County Pheasants Forever Chapter, Osborne Gun Club, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Nex-Tech, and the Keith Hahn Memorial.

For more information, contact Cleo Hahn at (785) 346-4541, John Cockerham at (785) 346-6527, or Chris Lecuyer at (785) 218-7818.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

KDWPT Receives $2.7 Million Grant For Public Access on Private Lands

PRATT – On August 17, 2015, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $20 million in grants to 15 states to improve and increase wildlife habitat and public access for recreational opportunities on privately-owned and operated farm, ranch and forest lands. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) received a $2.7 million grant, the largest amount awarded to the 15 states. The grant is funded under the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP), which is administered by the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  

According to Jake George, KDWPT Private Land Programs Coordinator, the funds will be used over a three-year period to lease private land for hunting and fishing access and to help landowners improve habitat on those properties. Program promotion and outreach will occur this fall, with initial enrollment beginning late-spring to early-summer of 2016.
“We were very pleased to once again be awarded VPA-HIP grant funding,” George said. “Currently, KDWPT’s Walk-in Hunting Access and FISH programs have more than 1 million acres of enrolled properties and agreements with nearly 2,300 Kansas landowners, providing numerous public hunting and fishing opportunities across the state. This additional funding will allow for further expansion and improvement of the already successful access and habitat management programs offered to Kansas landowners through KDWPT.”

With respect to hunting, the focus for the funds will be on enrolling new or recently enrolled Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) properties. Participating landowners must be willing to allow public hunting access on the property for the duration of the CRP contract and enroll in wildlife-friendly conservation practices. Landowners are encouraged to enroll or re-enroll their properties in CRP between the continuous signup and the general CRP signup, which begins Dec. 1, 2015. KDWPT expects to add an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 new acres of quality access properties over the next three years.
KDWPT will also use the funds to improve fishing and paddle sports access, enrolling prime stream reaches, as well as quality privately-owned impoundments. Public access to these streams would provide a multitude of angling opportunities and open up recreational paddle sports access, which is limited in the state because most of the 10,000 miles of streams and rivers in Kansas are privately owned.

“This project with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism shows how good partnerships and land management will lead to sustainable recreational and economic opportunities for years to come. Connecting outdoor recreation to private lands conservation is good for wildlife, people, and rural economies,” said Eric B. Banks, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more information on VPA-HIP and other FSA programs, visit

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Special Youth Dove Hunting Opportunities Abound Opening Weekend

PRATT – If you’re looking to introduce a youngster to the joys of dove hunting, opportunities for youth-only hunts will be available throughout the state this season. Listed below are three upcoming youth dove hunts that are sure to provide your kiddo with plenty of action and a memorable time afield.
Hosted by: Smoky Hill Chapter of Pheasants Forever
Hunt date: Sept. 5
Registration deadline: Sept. 1. Call to register.
Age limit: 10-17
Contact: Luke Winge (785) 726-1600
A managed crop field on Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area is reserved exclusively for this youth-only event. Hunters will meet at 1 p.m. at the old Cedar Bluff Fish Hatchery to receive wingshooting instruction and meet their mentors. The group will then head to the managed dove field until sunset. After legal shooting light, all participants will return for a free BBQ dinner and lessons on how to properly clean their doves.
Space is limited and kids who have not hunted before will be given preference to participate.
If requested, shotguns can be provided. Shot shells in 12 and 20 gauge will be provided. Hunters age 16 and older must have a hunting license and Harvest Information Program permit prior to hunting.
Hosted by: Black Gold Pheasants Forever Chapter in Russell and Big Brothers, Big Sisters JT VonLintel Memorial Outdoor Mentoring Program
Hunt date: Sept. 5 (with a dinner and trapshooting instruction on Sept. 4)
Registration deadline: Sept. 2. Call to register.
Age limit: 10-16
Contact: Scott Thomasson, (785) 726-1600, or Vickie Cikanek, (785) 501-0867
A managed crop field on the lake property will be reserved exclusively for this event, providing excellent hunting opportunities for youth hunters and their mentors, who may also hunt. Hunters will meet before sunrise on the morning of the hunt at the Wilson Wildlife Area shop to check-in, pair up with mentors if needed, and pick up shotgun shells. Hunters are welcome to spend as long as they choose in the field. 
Kids who have not hunted before will be given preference to participate.
Some shotguns will be available for kids without one, and non-toxic 12 and 20 gauge shotgun shells will be provided. Hunters age 16 must have a hunting license and Harvest Information Program permit prior to hunting.
St. Marys- Jeffrey Energy Center
Hosted by: Westar Energy Green Team
Hunt date: Sept. 5-6
Registration deadline: Aug. 28. Call to register.
Age limit: 16 and younger
Contact: Barb Cornelius, (785) 575-8125
Spacious wheat and sunflower fields have been prepared to draw in doves, providing plenty of action.
Hunters will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and hunts will be scheduled as requests dictate and hunting groups can be formed. Guides will be provided for each group.
Youth hunters must bring their own shotguns and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Hunters age 16 must have a Kansas hunting license and Harvest Information Program permit.
Non-toxic shells will be provided.
Can’t make a scheduled hunt? Visit and click “Hunting,” “Where to Hunt,” and “KDWPT Dove Hunting Fields” to plan your own hunt at a managed field near you.
The Kansas dove hunting season is open Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 and Nov. 7-15. Hunters 16 and older must possess a Kansas hunting license and Harvest Information Program permit, unless exempt.
Hunters make take up to 15 doves, mourning and white-winged, single species or in combination. There is no limit on Eurasian collared or ringed turtle doves, but any taken in addition to the mourning and white-winged dove daily bag must have a fully-feathered wing attached while being transported.
Non-toxic shot may be required on KDWPT-managed dove fields. Visit for details.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Glen Elder Wildlife Area To Host Youth Dove Hunt

GLEN ELDER – The Osborne County Chapter of Pheasants Forever (PF) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) invite young hunters to participate in an opening-weekend dove hunt. The hunt will take place early morning on Saturday, September 5, on the Glen Elder Wildlife Area. Participants can expect to enjoy plenty of shooting action as the birds flock to grain fields for morning feeding. 

The hunt will be open to youth ages 10 to 16 with limited dove hunting experience. Kids who have not hunted before will be given preference to participate. Only youngsters will be hunting, and each hunter will have at least one adult mentor at their side to assist them. All hunters must be strong enough to handle their guns in a safe manner.

A managed crop field on the lake property will be reserved exclusively for this event. Hunters will meet before sunrise on the morning of the hunt at the Glen Elder Wildlife Area shop in Cawker City to organize and be paired up with adult mentors before heading to the field. After the hunt is finished, all participants will enjoy a free lunch where stories of the morning’s hunt can be re-lived and shared.

Hunters must pre-register by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 1. Spots are limited, so hunters are encouraged to register early.
Some shotguns will be available for kids without one, and non-toxic 12 and 20 gauge shotgun shells will be provided. Hunters age 16 must have a hunting license and Harvest Information Program permit prior to hunting.

For more information, or to assist with this event, contact Glen Elder area manager Chris Lecuyer at (785) 545-3345 or Pheasant Forever member John Cockerham at (785) 346-6527.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kansas Youth Invited to Opening-day Dove Hunt

PRATT – The Jayhawk Chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) in Lawrence and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) invite youth age 16 and younger to register for their 8th Annual Youth Dove Hunt. The Sept. 1 opening-day hunt will begin at 3 p.m.Mentors will accompany all participants, but non-hunting family members are encouraged to attend, as well.

Non-toxic shells, and eye and ear protection will be provided to participants, who are encouraged to dress in camouflage or dark-colored clothing. Shotguns may be provided upon request.

For location details, and to register, contact QUWF member Dr. John Hill at (785) 841-9555, or by e-mail at

Participants who are 16 must have a Kansas hunting license, unless exempt by law, and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit. For more information, visit and click “Services / Education / Hunter.”

The dove season is Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Nov. 7-15. For information regarding migratory bird hunting regulations, license and stamp requirements, legal methods of take, non-toxic shot and more, visit and click “Hunting / Migratory Birds / Federal Migratory Bird Regulations.”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Now Is The Time For Hunter Education

PRATT ­– Fall hunting seasons are just around the corner. That also means school is about to start, holidays are on the way, and finding free time isn’t going to be easy. If signing up for a Kansas Hunter Education course is on your to-do list, now is the time to make it happen.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is currently offering Hunter Education classes throughout the state, providing a variety of class times, formats, and locations to meet nearly any schedule. To view a current list of upcoming classes, visit and click “Hunting” and then “Hunter Education.”

Kansas law states that anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must be certified by an approved course in hunter education before they can hunt in Kansas, except that anyone 15 or younger may hunt without hunter education certification provided they are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Students must be 11 or older to be certified.

Subjects covered include hunter responsibility, ethics, fair chase, history of firearms, firearms basics, ammunition, basic gun safety, field safety, bowhunting, conservation and wildlife management, wildlife of Kansas, outdoor emergencies, Kansas hunting regulations and boating safety for hunters.

Courses are offered in one of two formats: traditional and Internet-assisted. Traditional hunter education courses are 10 hours long, typically in a classroom setting, and are usually held over the course of two to three days. Internet-assisted courses are designed to meet the needs of individuals with busy schedules by providing online classwork that can be done at home. After the Internet work is completed, students must attend a field day, which often includes live-fire, trail-walk and safe gun handing exercises before final testing and certification. Students must register for an Internet-assisted course before completing the online portion.

Classes fill up quickly and hunting season will be here before you know it. Invest time in a class now, so you can be ready to enjoy opening day.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Angler Instructor Course at Dodge City August 19

PRATT – If you’re passionate about fishing and you believe that every child should have the opportunity to experience it, consider becoming one of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) volunteer angler education instructors.

A one-day Angler Education Instructor Certification Course, hosted by KDWPT and Fishing’s Future, will outfit anglers with the tools necessary to work with children and host classes and clinics. The course will be held Wednesday, August 19 at Dodge City High School, 2201 Ross Blvd, at 6:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend.

Attendees will learn about current fishing regulations, species identification, fishing ethics, equipment, knot-tying, casting, fish habitat, aquatic nuisance species, and conservation practices. Apart from being certified, anglers will also receive sample curriculums for running classes.

One way in which certified angler education instructors can utilize their skills is by leading a local high school fishing club. Many Kansas high schools have already implemented similar programs, but there is a need for interested and qualified instructors to help with schools that don’t have fishing clubs. Certified instructors may even be eligible to receive fishing supplies, including poles and bait, from KDWPT at no cost. Fishing license fees for students 16 and older may also be waived for agency-approved events with prior agency approval.

For more information, contact Phil Taunton at (620) 794-5373 or Fishing’s Future coordinator Kevin Reich at or (785) 577-6921.

Outlook Promising for Duck Hunters This Season

PRATT – According the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 2015 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations survey, overall duck numbers remain strong as we enter the 2015-2016 hunting seasons. The USFWS stated that total populations were estimated at 49.5 million breeding ducks in the traditional survey area, which is 43 percent above the 1955-2014 long-term average and the highest count on record. Last year's estimate was 49.2 million birds.
According to the report, current species estimates are as follows:
  • Blue-winged teal: 8.5 million, 73 percent above the long-term average.
  • Green-winged teal: 4.1 million, 98 percent above the long-term average.
  • Northern shoveler: 4.4 million, 75 percent above the long-term average.
  • Northern pintail: 3.0 million, 24 percent below the long-term average.
  • Mallard: 11.6 million, 51 percent above the long-term average.
  • Gadwall: 3.8 million, 100 percent above the long-term average.
  • American wigeon: 3.0 million, 17 percent above the long-term average.
  • Redhead: 1.2 million, 71 percent above the long-term average.
  • Canvasback: 0.76 million, 30 percent above the long-term average.
  • Scaup: 4.4 million, 13 percent below the long-term average.
Waterfowl hunting seasons in Kansas will begin with the teal season in the Low Plains Zones Sept. 12-27, followed by the High Plains Zone Sept. 19-27, 2015. Regular duck and goose seasons will be approved by the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission at the public hearing portion of its August 20 meeting, which will be held at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend. The public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m.Waterfowl hunters are required to possess a Kansas HIP permit, state waterfowl permit, federal waterfowl stamp, and Kansas hunting license, unless exempt.
For more information on Kansas waterfowl seasons, visit
To view a complete version of the data, and get a species-by-species breakdown, visit,