Daily Archives: September 26, 2012

Kansas Fall Turkey Season Opens October 1

Chance for Thanksgiving wild turkey dinner

The fall turkey season doesn’t have the tradition or build-up that surrounds the spring turkey season but only because it’s overshadowed by deer, waterfowl and upland bird hunting seasons. Kansasfall turkey hunters enjoy unsurpassed opportunities, in terms of season length, generous bag limits and odds of success.

The fall turkey season opens Oct. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2013, closing during firearm deer seasons. Hunters may hunt with shotguns, 20 gauge or larger using shot size No. 2 or smaller, and archery equipment. There are six Turkey Management Units established for the 2012-2013 season. In the past, the state was divided into four units; however biologists felt that new unit boundaries would allow more precise turkey population management and enhanced hunting opportunities. Unit 4 (southwest) is closed to fall turkey hunting. Hunters may obtain one turkey permit, valid in Units 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, and hunters who possess a turkey permit may also purchase up to three turkey game tags, which are valid in Units 2, 3, 5 and 6. The turkey permit and turkey game tags each allow the harvest of one hen or tom turkey. Consult the 2012 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary for more information, as well as a map showing the new Turkey Management Units.

Last fall, just more than 8,000 hunters pursued turkeys in Kansas, and more than 30 percent of them took at least one turkey. All units provide excellent hunting opportunities, and the good news is that after several years of poor production and declining numbers, the population in southeast Kansas is rebounding. Many public lands managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, as well as Walk-In Hunting Access lands hold turkeys, so hunters have a variety of choices.

Hunters also have several choices when it comes to the way they hunt fall turkeys. In the spring, only tom turkeys are legal, and most birds are taken when they respond to hunters’ calls imitating a hen. In the fall, there is no breeding activity, so hunters usually stalk birds or set up a point of ambush and hunt from a blind. However, calling can be effective in the fall. A popular hunting technique in regions with more fall turkey hunting tradition is to use a dog to scatter turkey flocks. Once dispersed, the hunter and dog hide quietly for a time. There is safety in numbers for turkeys, and the urge to re-flock is strong. Birds will use a “kee-kee-run” call to regroup, and the hiding hunter can imitate this call to bring a bird within shotgun or bow range. Dogs are not allowed during the spring season.

Whatever the technique, fall turkey hunting can be a break from the more traditional fall pursuits, as well as an exciting adventure. And those who’ve tried it will testify that roasted wild turkey is a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table.

Monster Blue Catfish Certified as Kansas Record

New record blue cat betters old record by more than 8 pounds

After the required 30-day waiting period, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has officially recognized a 102.8-pound blue catfish as a new state record. Rob Stanley, ofOlathe, caught the fish, which bests the former state record blue by more than 8 pounds.

When Stanley hooked into a blue catfish while fishing the Missouri River on August 11, he was pretty sure it was bigger than most he’d caught. Stanley had taken a 70-pounder from the Kansas Riverearlier in the summer, and this fish was showing his heavy tackle surprising power as it bulldogged in the big river’s muddy current.

After a 40-minute battle that required pulling anchor to follow the fish downstream and prevent it from taking all of Stanley’s 80-pound-test line from his reel, Stanley and his boat partner, Brad Kirkpatrick, realized the fish wouldn’t fit in their over-sized net. They wrestled the monster fish into the boat and immediately weighed it on a digital scale. When it “bottomed-out” the 100-pound scale, Stanley and Kirkpatrick knew they had a special fish.

After calling KDWPT fisheries biologist Andy Jansen, Stanley kept the big cat in an aerated tank near the river. After weighing the fish on certified scales and species confirmation by Jansen, Stanleyreleased the fish back to the Missouri River.

Stanley caught the new state record blue catfish at 5 a.m. using cut bait (Asian carp caught from the river). The fish was 56.75 inches long and had a girth of 39 inches.

            Blue catfish are native to eastern Kansas rivers, and there are historical records of fish weighing more than 100 pounds. However, interest in catching blue catfish has been growing in recent years afterKansas biologists began stocking them into reservoirs. Milford Reservoir, near Junction City, received its first blue catfish stocking in 1990 and has gained a reputation for producing blue cats weighing more than 50 pounds. Some anglers believe the next state record is already swimming in Milford. Other reservoirs stocked with blue catfish include Tuttle Creek, El DoradoClinton, Perry, Melvern, Wilson, Cheney, John Redmond, Kanopolis, Lovewell and Glen Elder. It’s too early to tell if blue cats will thrive and grow in other reservoirs the way they have in Milford, but if they do, anglers better hang on to their rods.

Kansas Forest Service’s 125th Anniversary Open House Oct. 4

 Earlier this year the Kansas Forest Service turned one-hundred twenty five years old. In honor of that milestone event, the Agency is hosting an open house at 

2610 Claflin RoadManhattanKS

 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm Thursday, October 4.

            Planned educational activities and demonstrations include:

♦ experiencing a 75-year-old Ponderosa Pine plantation,

♦ updates on pine wilt and emerald ash borer,

♦ touring the greenhouse and shade house seedling production operation,

♦ seeing a tree planter and weed barrier fabric machine used to plant tree seedlings,

♦ getting an up-close look at a wildfire engine and a wildfire tender truck,

♦ seeing the conversion of logs to lumber via a portable sawmill,

♦ viewing woody biofuels (pellets and bricks), and unique tree species in the Agency’s memorial and honorarium garden,

♦ learning how to properly care for your trees, and

♦ touring a unique hardwood paneled office building,

            Demonstration, tour and discussion start times are 2:30, 3:15, 4:15 and 5:00.