Daily Archives: August 3, 2013

Registration Still Open for KGLC Tallgrass Range School

With less than a month until our TallgrassRangeSchoolstarts we still have our scholarship process and registration open,” said Tim Christian, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition (KGLC) state coordinator.  “We are extending the scholarship cut-off to August 13 to encourage interested people to apply for underwriting to cover up to half the fee for the school.”

            The annual school runs from August 20-22 at Camp Wood YMCA near Elmdale in ChaseCounty, he said. Fees are $300 per person and covers materials, on-site lodging and meals, and other related costs.  Scholarships are available to eligible participants including ranchers, students, and agency staffs.  Ranchers, landowners, and students may qualify for a $150 scholarship if they meet eligibility and request one using KGLC’s scholarship form.  Agency staffs may qualify for $100 in scholarships.  The form and more information on the schools are available at www.kglc.orgunder 2013 Range Schools found in the navigation bar.

            Rangeland ecology and management topics with plenty of hands-on, in-the-field training highlight the course. Wednesday features a day on the Miller Ranch southwest of CottonwoodFalls with the owner and operators discussing their challenges, successes, and opportunities to continue to improve the grazing lands and be profitable.

            The school would not be as affordable without funding partners including the NRCS; Fort Hays State University; Kansas State University; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Kansas Farm Bureau; The Nature Conservancy; Kansas Section of the Society for Range Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners Program, Graze the Prairie, and the William F. Bradley Jr. Trust.

            Get more information on the RangeSchool by contacting Christian, at 620-241-3636, 620-242-6440, email to [email protected], or Ken Sherraden, assistant coordinator, 785-922-7061, email to [email protected]  Also, visit the web at www.kglc.org.

Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas

Registration is now open for the annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas to be held October 24-25 at the Hilton Garden Inn and ConferenceCenterin Manhattan. Make sure you take a few moments to register as registration is limited and the conference sold out last year.

This year highlights the latest policy and research development of water issues in Kansas. The conference brings together scientists, water managers, state and federal officials and legislators, city and county administrators, environmental organizations, irrigators and citizens who share an interest in Kansaswater resources. Many great speakers and topics are planned; a few are highlighted below:

·         Charles Fishman will be discussing the value of water. The author of two bestselling books: The Big Thirst and The Wal-Mart Effect, he speaks nationally on economic and social issues.

·         Pat Mulroy who oversees the Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority, will talk on drought management.

·         Dr. James Stack, Director, of the Great Plains Diagnostic Network and Professor of Plant Pathology, KSU, will speak on day 2.

Visit http://www.kwo.org/Ogallala/Governors_Conference/Governors_Conference.htmto find conference details, our sponsors and hotel information. Registration deadline is October 15. 

Calling All Turkey Callers

At the Midwest Huntfest August 10th, which is going to be held at Century II in Wichita, TurkeyTalker Game Calls is sponsoring a turkey calling contest. Winners of this event will be able to compete at the nationals in Nashville.

            Registration starts at 9 am and the competition starts at 10 am. Registration cost is $25.00 for adults. There will be two categories: Open and Friction. Youth registration is $10 and there is only an Open division for youth. Registration information and rules can be found on the NWTF (http://www.nwtf.org/in_your_state/calling_events.php) site under ‘Kansas‘.

Also, Turkey Talker Game Calls is looking to sponsor some callers to participate in the competition. Turkey Talker Game Calls will pay registration, provide a shirt, and all the calls you need. There is a chance for any winner to help design future calls, name them, and even have all travel expenses to Nashvillefor the competition paid for!

Turkey Talker Game Calls is especially interested in Kansasresidents and youths. If you are interested in being sponsored, call Clint McBroom at 316-641-5946 or look them up on Facebook ‘Turkey Talker Game Calls’.

Westar Energy Green Team to Host Youth Dove Hunt

Participating youth will have the opportunity to hunt wheat stubble and sunflower fields during the Labor Day weekend hunt

 

The Westar Energy Green Team will host a youth-only dove hunt Sept. 1-2 at the Jeffrey Energy Center (JEC) Wildlife Area, north of St. Marys. The event is open to youth age 16 or younger and hunts will take place during early morning and late afternoon on both days.

According to JEC wildlife area staff, the fields are in great condition, and there should be plenty of birds flying at close range. The hunts are an excellent way for kids 16 and younger to get hands-on experience and learn the basics of dove hunting.”

The registration deadline is Aug. 26, with hunters being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Youth must bring their own shotguns and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Non-toxic shells will be provided to all participants. Hunters age 16 must possess a Kansashunting license and HIP permit.

Hunters or mentors interested in participating in this event can contact Barb Cornelius at (785) 575-8125.

The 2013 dove season is Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 – 10. For more information on dove hunting, visit www.ksoutdoors.comand click “Hunting/Migratory Birds.” 

End of Summer Bash at Elk City State Park Aug. 10

From dawn until dusk, ElkCityState Parkwill be hosting a plethora of family-friendly events

 

A 6 a.m. catfishing tournament will kick off a day’s-worth of festivities on Aug. 10 during ElkCityState Park’s End of Summer Bash. The tournament, which requires no pre-registration, isn’t the only thing that will be offered free of charge on Saturday – ElkCityState Parkis also offering park goers a free vehicle entrance that day, as well.

After catching a limit of catfish, visitors can enjoy a host of other activities revolving around water including a jet ski simulator, canoeing and kayaking, and a seemingly-endless supply of water balloons.

For those who wish to stay ashore, visitors can help raise funds for the Elk City State Park Friends Group by trying their luck at a dunk tank.

As the catfish tournament comes to a close around 6 p.m., park goers can enjoy a free cookout that will begin at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the ElkCityState Parkoffice at (620) 331-6295.

Clinton State Park to Host Special Kids Event

Youth can complete up to eight of the 15 required activities for the WildLifer Challenge during this one day event

 

For those visiting ClintonState Park Aug. 10, Saturday will be anything but ho-hum. From free park entrance, a fishing derby loaded with tons of prizes to a reptile “show and tell” session that will showcase venomous species, visitors will experience more than just the average “day at the park.”

The first event of the day will be a kids fishing derby at 9 a.m. at LakeHenry, just south of the park office. Prior to lines hitting the water, staff from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism fisheries division will teach youth about fish identification, casting skills, as well as how to properly bait a hook. At the tournament’s close at 11 a.m., prizes will be awarded to the youth anglers who caught the biggest fish caught, the smallest fish, the most fish, as well as several other categories. Poles, bait and goodie bags will be provided.

As evening temperatures cool, visitors can get up-close views of native reptiles during the evening snake and turtle program from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at shelter No.6 in campground No.3.Take-home snake identification booklets will also be given out to those in attendance (while supplies last).

Youth participating in the Kansas Wildscape Foundation’s “WildLifer Challenge,” can complete up to eight of the 15 challenges within the confines of the park. As an added bonus, youth who complete the WildLifer Challenges will be eligible to earn extra prizes. For more information on the WildLifer Challenge, visit kansaswildscape.org.

For more information on the activities being offered, or directions to ClintonState Park, contact the Clinton State Park Office at (785) 842-8562. 

Recent Rains have Boaters and Anglers Singing

Rains improve boating access at several central-Kansas lakes

 

Singing in the rain; that’s what some state park managers, boaters and anglers were doing last week.

After two years of drought conditions, low lake levels and limited boating access, recent rains have been well received.

Heavy rain in central Kansasbrought a welcomed change to Kanopolis Reservoir in EllsworthCounty, and no one is happier than Rick Martin, KanopolisState Park manager. Kanopolis Reservoir had been so low over the past year that boat ramps were high and dry. After a little inflow and some dredging work by park staff early this summer, one boat ramp allowed boaters on the water. However, water levels were less than ideal for recreation and fishing. According to Martin, that changed this week with the rain and the lake is predicted to be above normal conservation pool level by the weekend. And while that will allow the marina to open, make most boat ramps usable, and the beaches to open, the level will still be below what is considered the ideal summer elevation. Kanopolis is normally held at 4 feet above conservation for the summer recreation season.

That’s music to Martin’s ears because he wants to see the state park full of happy campers. While KanopolisState Park offers a variety of outdoor fun, including hiking, biking and horse riding trails, boating and angling are big draws.

Other reservoirs returning to normal include El Dorado and Marion. El Dorado Reservoir came up two feet and was 2.5 feet below conservation pool level on July 31. Marion Reservoir came up to just above conservation pool level as of July 31. Cheney Reservoir west of Wichitaalso saw some increased inflows, but still remains below conservation pool. The boat ramp in Marina Cove at Cheney allows boating access.

Heavy rains farther east pushed Toronto Reservoir to almost 7 feet above normal; however CrossTimbersState Park manager Kimberly Jones didn’t anticipate any impact on state park activities. Fall River Reservoir had risen just 2 feet above conservation pool by July 31.

And while summer fun is still on everyone’s radar, duck hunters are keeping an eye on Cheyenne Bottoms, which finally received some runoff this week. Water is being diverted into the deep-water storage pool to prevent evaporation loss. With water stored, hunting pools can be flooded this fall just prior to hunting season.

Some parts of western Kansasstill feel the effects of long-term drought, but recent rains have improved conditions and perhaps show a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. 

2013 Duck and Goose Seasons Set

Goose daily bag limits increased; possession limits for ducks and geese increased

 

The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission listened to department staff recommendations and comments from waterfowl hunters before approving the 2013 duck and goose seasons during a public hearing held in YatesCenter on August 1. Summer breeding bird surveys show most species well above long-term averages, and with good to excellent nesting habitat conditions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provided liberal season frameworks. Waterfowl hunters may be surprised to learn that the daily bag limit for teal during the early teal season was increased from four to six, the daily bag limit for Canada geese was increased from 3 to 6 and the daily bag limit for light geese was increased from 20 to 50. Possession limits for ducks and geese were increased from twice the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. The Commission approved the following waterfowl hunting seasons:

High Plains Duck Zone: Oct. 5-Dec. 2, 2013 AND Dec. 21, 2013-Jan. 26, 2014. Youth: Sept. 28-29, 2013

Low Plains Early Duck Zone: Oct. 5-Dec. 1, 2013 AND Dec. 21, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014. Youth: Sept. 28-29, 2013

Low Plains Late Zone: Oct. 26-Dec. 29, 2013 AND Jan. 18-Jan. 26, 2014. Youth: Oct. 19-20, 2013

Low Plains Southeast Zone: Nov. 2-3, 2013 AND Nov. 16, 2013-Jan. 26, 2014. Youth: Oct. 26-27, 2013

Duck bag limit: Six ducks, including no more than 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens; 2 redheads; 3 wood ducks; 3 scaup; 2 pintails; and 2 canvasbacks. Possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

White-fronted geese: Oct. 26-Dec. 29, 2013 AND Feb. 1-Feb. 9, 2014. Daily bag limit: 2. Possession limit is 6.

Canadageese: Oct. 26-Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 6, 2013-Feb. 9, 2014. Daily bag limit on Canadageese: 6. Possession limit: 18.

Light geese: Oct. 26-Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 6, 2013-Feb. 9, 2014. Daily bag limit: 50. No limit on possession

Light Goose Conservation Order: Feb 10-April 30, 2014. No bag or possession limit.

To view a map of duck zones and to see all 2013 hunting seasons go to www.ksoutdoors.com, click on “Hunting” then “When to Hunt.” 

Kansas BASS Nation 2013 Youth 2man Team State Championship

The top eight youth teams showed up at CouncilGrove CityLakeon July 28 for the Kansas BASS Nation Youth 2man Team State Championship. From the first Qualifying tournament held on Cedar Valley Lake near Garnett, Kansas were Robert McNutt and Tate Galloway; Nick Luna and Cole Miller (Cole could not make the State Championship); Austin Clements and Clayton Gerbranct; and Logan Folse and Cole Tullis. From the second Qualifying tournament held on Wilson Reservoir were Andrew Almquist and Daniel Wiens; DaltonRoberts and Ethan Fulmer; Zach Vielhauer and Travis Eckstrom; and Connor Nimrod (fishing by himself).

While July can be a hot, humid month, the day of the championship saw a cold front move through. The high temperature of the day was 68 degrees. Couple that with rain the entire day long, and it seems the fish just did not know what to do. Another issue for the anglers was the fact that the lake has a 13” to 18” slot limit. Only fish shorter than 13” or longer than 18” could be brought to the scales.

At the weigh in it was evident that the weather and the slot limit made for a tough day; although all the teams did get to bring fish to the scales. The top four places all got medals; the winning team also got plaques and will receive KBN Youth State Champion jackets. In addition there was a Big Bass Award, and a Second Big Bass Award.

In fourth was the team of Robert McNutt and Tate Galloway with 2.84 pounds. Third place went to Austin Clements and Clayton Gerbrandt with 3.63 pounds. Second place, fishing by himself, was Connor Nimrod with 4.24 pounds.

The Kansas BASS Nation 2013 Youth 2man TeamState Champions are Nick Luna and Cole Miller. Even though Cole couldn’t make the tournament, his partner Nick Luna won the event with 4.80 pounds.

The Second Big Bass Award went to the team of Dalton Roberts and Ethan Fulmer with 2.59 pounds. They received a selection of soft plastics and their boater/coach received a gallon of Mercury oil.

The Big Bass Ward went to Connor Nimrod with 3.80 pounds. He received a collection of items donated by Cabela’s, including two spools of Cabela’s Pro line monofilament, six Cabela’s Pork Chop crank baits and two packages of Cabela’s Go-to plastic worms. Connor’s boater/coach received a gallon of Mercury oil and a bottle of Eagle One Wax-as-U-Dry.

Once again thanks go to the McPherson youth bass club for providing the tournament staff with a nice meal of hamburgers, beans, chips and brownies.

Thanks also go to Joel Porter, the KBN Tournament Director, and KBN State Team Member Matthew Waller for their help with the weigh in.

Thanks to all this year’s anglers, parents, family, youth leaders, volunteers, and boater/coaches. Without all your support none of this could be possible.

Don’t forget the KBN Open Youth Team Tournament on September 8 at Wilson Reservoir. Go to the Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation’s website at www.ksbassnation.com to learn more about the organization and Open Youth Team Bass tournament.

STEVE HARPER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

One of the best-known Kansans of his time, Steve Harper left his mark on Kansas through photographs and words. During his career, he was a photojournalism instructor at WichitaStateUniversity, the Wichita Eagle’s photography editor and eventually, the newspaper’s outdoors writer and photographer.

            Steve’s trademark works were photographs and articles working together on the natural beauty of Kansas. His series in the Eagle on Kansas day trips led to the publication of his popular book, “83,000 square Miles, No Lines, No Waiting,” His outdoor page was several times voted the best of its kind in the nation.

            Sadly, Steve died of cancer on February 6, 2000, at the age of 55 in the same Newton house where he had grown up and raised three daughters.

            The Harper Memorial Scholarship was started at the suggestion of Governor Bill Graves, among others, as a way to honor Steve’s dedication to Kansans and serving the Kansasoutdoors.

            The scholarship is sponsored and funded by the Outdoors Writers of Kansas, a group of Steve’s friends and assorted journalists, photographers and artists dedicated to sharing the greatness of the Kansasoutdoors through print, broadcast and online markets. For more information on the group, go to www.outdoorwritersofkansas.com. The Kansas Wildscape Foundation is also assisting with the funding and administration.

            As Steve would have wished, the scholarship is presented to Kansas youth pursuing wildlife or nature-based careers at Kansas colleges, with Kansas-based career goals.

            An excellent judge of character, Steve put as much stock in a person’s initiative and accomplishments as academic successes. The scholarship committee will give equal  consideration to all three qualifications.

            Eligibility –

            Scholarships are available to any graduating senior enrolled in a Kansas high school that plans to attend a four-year college or university in Kansasand study wildlife or nature-based curriculum including outdoor journalism. Also eligible are university students enrolled in a wildlife or nature-based curriculum.

            Scholarship award recipients are selected without regard to race, color, religion, or sex.

Applicant chosen as the recipient of this scholarship will be required to show proof of full time enrollment (minimum of 12 credit hours) in order to receive the scholarship funds.

            The Kansas Wildscape Foundation will be assisting in the scholarship administration where scholarship application and additional information can be requested from Debbie Brandt, Director of Administration, at [email protected]or 785-843-9453. Michael Pearce, Outdoors Writer for the Wichita Eagle and Chairman of the Steve Harper Scholarship Committee for the Outdoor Writers of Kansas, can be reached at [email protected]with further questions.

            Applications for the scholarship are available at Kansas’s high schools on or before March 1 of each year. The completed application and supporting documents must be returned to on or before April 15 to the following address:

KansasWildscape Foundation

Attn: Outdoor Writers of Kansas Steve Harper Scholarship

2500

W. 6th St.

, Suite G

Lawrence, KS66049

            A letter of recommendation must accompany the application. The letter of recommendation may be from a teacher, counselor, coach or employer. Those hoping for careers writing about or photographing wildlife or nature should send examples of their work.