It’s not too late to sign up for the Kansas Birding Big Year competition
Birders can still sign up for the 2013 Kansas Birding Big Year, a competition where participants attempt to observe as many species of birds as they can within the borders of Kansas. Unlike other “big year” competitions that span the U.S. in a calendar year, participants in the Kansas Birding Big Year can compete any time now through Dec. 31, 2013.
“The real driving force behind this competition is getting folks into the Kansas outdoors to enjoy nature and the fun wildlife watching opportunities available,” said KDWPT wildlife education coordinator Mike Rader. “We also hope this competition will help show folks just how many different kinds of birds either migrate through or call Kansas home.”
Participants can compete in one of three categories: youth (16 and under), adult (17-64), and senior (65 and up) by logging their data into the online service, eBird, available on the CornellUniversity web site,www.ebird.org. Winners from each category will receive prizes to be awarded next January. Event sponsors include Acorn Naturalists, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Bushnell, and Walmart.
Participants must register for the competition, at http://ksoutdoors.com/birding-big-year or by emailing Rader at [email protected]. To compete, birders will submit their list totals online. Birds must be observed within Kansas boundaries, and must be species accepted by the Kansas Bird Records Committee of the Kansas Ornithological Society. Qualified birds must be alive, wild and unrestrained, and diagnostic field marks must be seen, and/or heard and documented by the recorder.
Visiting a local state park this summer can be fun and easy on the wallet
It’s summertime and Kansas state parks are gearing up with events for everybody under the sun. From fishing tournaments to music festivals, and Kids Days galore, Kansans are sure to find something fun and exciting to do this June at a Kansas state park.
Listed below are a variety of events being held this June at Kansas state parks. For more information on a specific event, please contact the respective state park. State park contact information can be found atwww.ksoutdoors.com by clicking “State Parks / Locations.”
National Trail Day
Free Fishing Day – Statewide
Kids Free Fishing Derby – PomonaState Park (Boat Ramp #2)
Hillsdale Music Festival (May 31 and June 1) – HillsdaleState Park
USD 365 Endowment Association Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk – PrairieSpiritTrailState Park
OK Kids Day – PrairieDogState Park (Keith Sebelius Reservoir)
Applications accepted only online; archery permits available over the counter beginning July 30
The antelope, also called pronghorn, is a species unique to North America and considered one of the fastest mammals on the continent. Numerous in the western two-thirds of Kansas prior to settlement, today a small, sustainable population of antelope thrive in the western third of the state. A limited firearm hunting season draws hundreds of applications for the highly prized permits.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is accepting applications for the resident firearm and muzzleloader antelope permit drawing. Applications must be submitted online through the KDWPT website, ksoutdoors.com. Click “License/Permits” in the upper right-hand corner of the page to begin the process. Paper applications are not available. For more information, call (620) 672-0728.
Open to Kansas residents only, nearly 1,000 applications are expected for the 142 firearm and 42 muzzleloader permits available this year. A hunter who is unsuccessful in the drawing will receive a preference point, which will give the hunter priority in a future drawing over applicants with fewer or no preference points. It may require six or more preference points for a general resident to draw a firearm permit, or three or four preference points to draw a muzzleloader permit, depending on the number of applicants. Half of the permits allocated in each unit are set aside for landowner/tenant applicants. Those who do not want to apply for a permit and want to purchase a preference point only may select “preference point only” online for $6.50. Only one preference point may be obtained per year.
Archery antelope permits are unlimited, and both resident and nonresident hunters can purchase permits over the counter. One open archery unit comprises the same area as the three firearm units combined. On average, fewer than 200 archery permits are sold each year. Archery antelope permits will be available over the counter from July 30 through Oct. 30.
2013 antelope season dates:
▪ firearm season: Oct. 4-7
▪ muzzleloader season: Sept. 30-Oct. 7
▪ archery season: Sept. 21-29 and Oct. 12-31
Shooting hours for all seasons are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Firearm and muzzleloader antelope general resident permits $47.50, landowner/tenant permits are $27.50 and youth permits are $27.50. General resident archery antelope permits are $42.50, landowner/tenant archery permits are $22.50, and youth permits are $22.50. Nonresident archery permits are $202.50. (Internet and processing fees apply.) Unless exempt, all permit holders must possess a Kansas hunting license.
Antelope were extirpated from Kansas by the turn of the century and remained absent until wild antelope trapped in other states were released in suitable habitat in the early 1960s. Kansas’ first modern-day antelope hunting season was held in 1974 when early 500 hunters applied for 80 permits and harvested 70 animals. Today, hunting is restricted to three management units that include parts or all of Sherman, Thomas, Wallace, Logan, Gove, Trego, Greeley, Wichita, Scott, Lane, Ness, Hamilton, Kearny, Finney, Gray, Hodgeman, Ford, Stanton, Grant, Haskell, Morton, Stevens, Seward, Meade and Clark counties.
For more information on hunting antelope in Kansas, go to Hunting/Big Game/Antelope on the KDWPT website.