Thursday, July 14, 2016

Take Hunter Ed Now To Hunt This Fall

PRATT – A right of passage, an initiation, a crash-course, call it what you will, but for those who have taken a Kansas Hunter Education course, they know it’s definitely one thing: worth it.
Because classes are offered in one of two formats – traditional and Internet-assisted – new hunters can find a class to fit nearly any schedule. Traditional courses are 10 hours, typically in a classroom setting, and are usually held over the course of two to three days. Internet-assisted courses involve online classwork that can be done at home, followed by a required field day, which includes live-fire, trail-walk and safe gun handing exercises before final testing and certification. Students must register for an Internet-assisted course field day before completing the online work. To view a current list of all upcoming classes, visit and click “Hunting,” then “Hunter Education.” Students must be 11 or older to participate.
Kansas Hunter Education classes cover a variety of topics including 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.
Kansas law requires anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 be certified through an approved course in hunter education before hunting 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.
Sign up now, because classes fill up fast, and hunting season will be here before you know it. Invest time in a class now, so you, too, can enjoy opening day.

How To Land Summer Bass

PRATT – It’s hard to think about fishing on a sweltering summer day, but when the sun sinks toward the western horizon, everything changes. Warm water and direct sun make the bass sluggish during the day, but as evening temperatures cool, the fishing can get hot. Now it’s time to grab your bass rods and find the nearest farm pond, state fishing lake or community lake.
Pick a shady shoreline and look for brush, docks, vegetation – anything that provides dark hiding places for bass. Start out with a weedless plastic bait that can be flipped right into the cover. Fish slow and thoroughly, hitting every visible bass lair. Bass are ambush hunters and a slow meal dropped right in front of them can be irresistible.
As daylight fades and the breeze dies, tie on a topwater bait just for fun. There’s nothing like the thrill of a bass exploding on a surface lure. Fish will be more spread out now, so cast along the shore and any weedbed edges. Land the bait as close to the edge as possible, then let it sit for several seconds. Twitch it tantalizingly several times before beginning to retrieve. And it’s a good idea to pause several times during the retrieve. A brief pause can sometimes be too much for a bass watching from below, triggering an explosive strike. The anticipation can also be too much for a bass angler. When fishing topwater, wait until you feel the strike before setting the hook. If you rear back as soon as you see and hear the topwater strike, you’ll pull the bait right out of the fish’s mouth.
There are thousands of farm ponds tucked away all across Kansas’ countryside, and many have great bass fishing. Anglers need landowner permission to fish private ponds except for those leased by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and opened to public fishing through the F.I.S.H. program. To find them, download the 2016 Kansas Fishing Atlas at The atlas contains maps of all F.I.S.H. waters, as well as all other public fishing lakes and reservoirs. You’ll also find the 2016 Kansas Fishing Forecast, which will tell you which public waters have the best bass populations.
Don’t just dream about fishing this summer, take advantage of the cooler evenings and explore a Kansas farm pond, local community lake or state fishing lake. The bass are waiting.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Elk and Either-Species Deer Permit Applications Due July 8

PRATT – The application period for two of Kansas’ most coveted big game permits is open and will close at midnight on July 8, 2016. Kansas residents are eligible to apply online for the 10 Any-elk permits and 15 Antlerless-only Elk permits allocated for Units 2 and 3 (Unit 2 includes Ft. Riley). And resident hunters who want to hunt mule deer with a firearm can apply for limited Either-species Deer permits valid in the East and West Either-species zones. A hunter who does not wish to hunt this year may purchase a preference point that will count toward a firearm Either-species/Either-sex deer permit in a future drawing or a bonus point for limited elk permits. Unsuccessful applicants automatically receive preference or bonus points.
For more information on season dates and to make application, visit and click on “Hunting,” then “Applications and Fees,” or call(620) 672-0728.
Deer Firearm Either-species/Either-sex permit (white-tailed or mule deer buck, doe or fawn): General Resident – $52.50; Resident Landowner/Tenant – $32.50; Resident Youth (15 and younger): $22.50; Nonresident Tenant – $97.50 Preference Point – $11.50
Elk Firearm Either-sex: General Resident – $302.50; Landowner/Tenant – $152.50; Resident Youth (15 and younger) – $127.50; Nonresident Tenant – $152.50.
Elk (antlerless): General Resident – $152.50; Landowner/Tenant – $77.50; Resident Youth (15 and younger) – $52.50; Nonresident tenant – $77.50
The fee to apply for an elk permit or purchase a bonus point is $12.81.

Conservation Easements Conserve Flint Hills Vistas, Wildlife

TOPEKA – The Nature Conservancy of Kansas (TNC) has protected 3,285 acres of Flint Hills tallgrass native prairie with a conservation easement in Chase and Lyon counties. The landowners, Bill and Maggie Haw of Shawnee Mission, are firm believers in conservation easements, having previously donated to TNC easements on other land they own and manage in the Flint Hills. This recent easement brings their total land protection contribution to more than 17,000 acres, including 16 scenic miles of highway frontage along the Kansas Turnpike (I-35) and the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway (K-177).
Tallgrass prairie is the most altered major habitat type in North America in terms of acres lost. Yet, in Kansas, a significant swath of tallgrass prairie – the Flint Hills –remains intact. TNC views conservation easements as a golden opportunity to help landowners conserve this intact and fully functioning tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
A conservation easement is a legally recorded agreement between the granting landowner and a land trust. The agreement permanently restricts uses of the property that would damage its conservation values. Conservation easements do not interfere with traditional uses of the land, such as grazing and prescribed fire, but it may restrict incompatible activities, including many types of development. Public access is generally not required by a conservation easement, and, like all other easement provisions, it must be agreed to by the landowner. An eased property may be sold, transferred or inherited, and the easement conditions transfer to each subsequent landowner.
“By placing these acres under the protection of a conservation easement, the property’s ranching legacy, as well as its economic and ecological integrity, will endure,” said Brian Obermeyer, director of the TNC’s Flint Hills Initiative.
“Maggie and I are committed to the idea of preserving not only the pristine views but also the wonderful cattle culture of this area where generations of same-family cowboy caretakers have learned to operate the best yearling grazing operations in the world,” said Bill Haw. “It is the perfect convergence of an important food-producing activity that maintains the ecosystem, which developed with bison grazing over thousands of years. The Nature Conservancy is the perfect partner to recognize and enforce those two compatible goals for many generations to come.”
The recent Haw easement takes TNC over the 100,000-acres-preserved mark in Kansas.
For more information about The Nature Conservancy and conservation easements, contact Shelby Stacy at or (785) 233-4400.

Register For Youth And Disabled Hunter Deer Hunt At Tuttle Creek

MANHATTAN – Youth and disabled hunters have until July 21 to apply for an assisted deer hunt at Tuttle Creek Lake. This event is limited to 25 hunters. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Riley County Fish and Game Association and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake are partnering to conduct the 2016 Tuttle Creek Youth/Disabled Assisted Deer Hunt on Sept. 10-11. The hunt is free and open to resident youth ages 11-16 and anyone with a certified disability interested in hunting Kansas whitetails.
An experienced hunting guide will assist each participant, and hunters will be provided with accessible hunting blinds, transportation to prime field locations and hunter orange hats and vests. Area meat lockers will provide basic processing of harvested deer free of charge. Applicants will be notified following the July 21 deadline. All hunters must have a deer permit and those age 16-74 must also have a Kansas hunting license.
Successful applicants are required to attend a firearm safety presentation and firearm sight-in at the Fancy Creek Shooting Range, Sunday, Aug. 21 at 4 p.m. Scholarship assistance for the purchase of licenses and permits is available, and rifles and ammunition are also available on request.
For more information, call Steve Prockish, Tuttle Creek Lake natural resource specialist at 785-539-8511, ext. 3167, or
This event is made possible by Friends of Fancy Creek Range, Kansas City Chapter of Safari Club International, Kansas State Rifle Association and the Tuttle Creek Lake Association.

Kansas Bowhunters Association To Host Glen Elder Bowfishing Contest

GLEN ELDER – The Kansas Bowhunters Association (KBA) will hold a carp bowfishing contest at Glen Elder Lake on July 9-10. The group will headquarter at the Boller Point Campground (take Lake Drive south out of Cawker City across causeway and then west to campground). Signs will direct archers to the area.
KBA members invite anyone who has an interest to attend. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner who wants to learn more about bowfishing, the event is perfect for all levels of experience. Members will have bowfishing rigs available for those who don’t have their own.
Bring your own food and drink and plan to camp. The KBA will serve fish and onion rings on Saturday evening. Participants will compete to see who can bring in the most pounds of carp. The event will officially start on Saturday at 12 p.m. and end Sunday at 12 p.m. Only carp shot within that time frame will count. Archers may fish in the lake, river above and tailwater below.
For anyone bowfishing, a Kansas fishing license is required (unless exempt by law). Arrows must have barbed heads and be attached by a line to the bow.
Contact Kent Davis at 620-873-5264 or for more information.