Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lovewell State Park Sends off Summer with Two Days of Events

Saturday, Sept. 7th, Lovewell State Park will host its first-ever “Tailgating Saturday”

Lovewell State Park will celebrate the end of the summer with two days of events Sept. 7 and 8, including a free park entrance day on Sunday. Events include a football-themed campsite decoration party, a chili cook-off contest and a 3D archery shoot.

The weekend will kick off with the park’s first-ever “Tailgating Saturday,” a friendly football-themed competition where campers will compete to see who can decorate their campsite with the most pride for their favorite team. No registration is required.

After taking in the scenic views of campers in all their pigskin-glory, park goers can fill up on good eats at the chili cook-off contest Sunday at the Lovewell Marina. Those wishing to compete in the cook-off must register with the park office no later than 9 a.m. Judging will be done by the first 100 people who contribute a $5.00 donation for a taste-testing ticket. Judges will have from noon to 1:00 p.m. to score entries and vote for their favorites. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.

For park goers who would rather compete outside of the kitchen, a 3D archery shoot will be held Sunday for archers of all skill levels. Registration for the shoot will begin at 9 a.m., with course completion by noon. Shooters are asked to donate a $10 entry fee and will compete in men’s, women’s and youth divisions. Following the 3D shoot, archers may also participate in a steel deer competition, for a donation of $5. Prizes will be awarded for the first, second and third places.

For more information, contact the Lovewell State Park office at (785) 753-4971.

Commercial Pheasant Producer to Speak at KSU

Bill MacFarlane aided in the creation of the Wildlife Management Degree program at KSU

Bill MacFarlane, Owner and President of MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., will share his knowledge of commercial pheasant production at Kansas State University, Sept. 12, 2013. The lecture will be held in room 1018 of the Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center at 6:30 p.m., preceded by refreshments at 6:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend, and the lecture is open to the public.

Shipping birds throughout the U.S. and Canada, MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. is currently the largest pheasant farm in North America. Some of his clients even include Kansas’ very own Flint Oak Hunting Resort. Topics covered in MacFarlane’s presentation will include running a commercial pheasant farm, breeding and hatching processes, and the raising of pheasants.

“It’s quite an operation,” said MacFarlane. “I think this is a great way for students and the public to learn what it looks like to be in commercial pheasant production.”

Apart from his extensive hands-on experience with gamebirds, MacFarlane has also been an active member of the North American Gamebird Association for several years, where he has served as president for three separate terms.

MacFarlane’s plans for this year include the production of 1.6 million pheasant chicks and 200,000 partridge chicks, the selling of 425,000 adult pheasants, 100,000 chukar and redleg partridges, and 50,000 Hungarian partridges. MacFarlane also has plans to process 150,000 pheasants for food production in 2013. For more on MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., visit

For more on this event, contact Dr. Peg Althoff at (785) 532-1949.

Deer Season Debuts with Archery and Muzzleloader

Hunters are always encouraged to refer to the 2013 Kansas Hunting & Furharvesting Regulations Summary before hitting the field

For some, the beginning of fall is heralded by leaves changing colors, for others it’s cooler temperatures and shorter days, but for hunters fall is marked by the start of deer season. In less than two weeks, hunters will take to tree stands and blinds throughout the state, bow in hand and powder horn packed.

The 2013 muzzleloader season will begin Sept. 16 and run through Sept. 29. New this year, hunters are allowed to use muzzleloading rifles, muskets and pistols, .40 caliber or larger.

The 2013 archery season will begin Sept. 16 and run through Dec. 31. New this year, crossbows are legal archery equipment for all archers. However, anyone who hunts big game or turkeys with a crossbow must obtain a free Crossbow Survey ID Number available online at

Hunter orange, a hat and vest, must be worn by all hunters during the muzzleloader season, and shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

The next deer season will be the new two-day Pre-rut Whitetail Antlerless Only season from Oct. 12 – Oct. 13, 2013, followed by the Regular Firearm season Dec. 4 – Dec. 15, 2013.

To download an electronic version of the 2013 Kansas Hunting & Furharvesting Regulations Summary, visit and click “Hunting/Hunting Regulations.”

Printed copies can be found at local license vendors and at any Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism regional office.

Zebra Mussels Found in Two Kansas Lakes

Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake) and Lake Wabaunsee have the invasive species

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake) in Mitchell County and Lake Wabaunsee inWabaunsee County. Zebra mussels are bean-sized mollusks with striped, sharp-edged, two-part shells. Twenty-one Kansas lakes have now been confirmed to have zebra mussels.

“These latest discoveries show how important it is for the public to be aware of the dangers of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” said Jessica Howell, KDWPT Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator.

There is no known method to rid a lake of zebra mussels. According to Howell, prevention is the best way to avoid spreading ANS. “By always cleaning, draining, and drying boats and other equipment and by not moving water around, we can stop the spread of not just zebra mussels, but most aquatic nuisance species that may be present,” she said.

The lakes will be added to the list of ANS-designated waters in Kansas, and notices will be posted at various locations around the lakes. The sharp-shelled zebra mussels attach to solid objects, so visitors should be careful when handling mussel-encrusted objects and when grabbing an underwater object when they can’t see what their hands may be grasping. Visitors should protect their feet when walking on underwater or shoreline rocks, a helpful precaution any time they are outdoors.

Zebra mussels are just one of the non-native aquatic species that threaten our waters and native wildlife. After using any body of water, boaters and anglers must remember to follow regulations and precautions that will prevent their spread:

• Clean, drain and dry boats and equipment between uses

• Use wild-caught bait only in the lake or pool where it was caught

• Do not move live fish from waters infested with zebra mussels or other aquatic nuisance species

• Drain livewells and bilges and remove drain plugs from all vessels prior to transport from anyKansas water on a public highway.

For more information about aquatic nuisance species in Kansas, report a possible ANS, or see a list of ANS-designated waters, visit

For more information, contact Howell at (620) 342-0658 or by e-mail at[email protected].

Early Prairie-chicken Season Requires Legwork

Early season prairie chicken hunters can cover miles in a day’s hunt

The early prairie-chicken season (Northwest and East units), Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2013, gives bird hunters a unique opportunity to walk up Greater Prairie-chickens and work bird dogs long before traditional upland bird seasons open. The early season was established to provide additional hunting opportunity for this tallgrass prairie icon and let hunters enjoy a true one-of-a-kind grassland hunt.

The traditional prairie-chicken season is Nov. 16-Jan. 31, 2014 in the East and Northwest units, and Nov. 16-Dec. 31 in the Southwest Unit, and during this season, most prairie-chickens are taken by pass shooting. Hunters scout feed fields near large tracts of native prairie for feeding prairie-chickens, and then take up stations around feed fields well before sunrise. As the sun crests the horizon, prairie-chickens will lift out of the prairies and fly to feed. Hunters lucky enough to be positioned in just the right spot may get shots. However, prairie-chickens are strong fliers and challenging quarry for expert wingshots. Prairie-chickens rarely flush within shotgun range of walking hunters during the regular season.

During the early season, flocks of young birds are more likely to hold for walking hunters and pointing dogs. However, prairie-chickens are truly birds of the prairie, and hunters will walk many miles of grassland to find birds. While it can seem like finding a needle in a haystack, the unique hunting opportunity, scenery and connection to the prairie keeps hunters coming back.

All prairie-chicken hunters must have a $2.50 prairie-chicken permit in addition to a hunting license. Permits may be purchased wherever licenses are sold and online. Information provided by hunters at the time of purchase will help biologists estimate prairie-chicken harvest and hunting pressure.

During the early season, the daily bag limit for prairie-chickens in the East and Northwest zones is 2, and the possession limit is 8. For more information and a map of prairie-chicken hunting zones, go

Twin River Junior Shooting Sports at Bluestem Wildlife Appreciation and Conservation Days, September 6-7

Twin River Junior Shooting Sports, whose mission is to provide youth the opportunity to learn firearm safety education and shooting sport disciplines will be at the Bluestem Wildlife Appreciation and Conservation Days, September 6-7 at Bluestem Farm and Ranch in Emporia. TRJSS will be selling chances on a Ruger LCR 22 Mag handgun. With each chance sold for the handgun, TRJSS will include a chance in a drawing for a half pig.

This special offer is during the Bluestem event only, Friday Sept. 6th and Saturday Sept 7th, 2013. There are a limited number of tickets left so please come early! Only 100 tickets for the handgun were printed and some have already been sold.

Please come and help support our local youth shooting sports and firearm safety education programs. 100 % of the money raised stays in this area to support their mission.

Eco Schools Cause Change and Save Money

Here is link to a brand new four minute video that explains (and shows) what NWF Eco Schools are and how they change the worlds and futures of young people.  Take a quick look.

Steven Bender

National Wildlife Federation

Director, Vanishing Paradise Program and

Regional Representative (IA, KS, OK & TX)

44 East Avenue, Suite 200

Austin, TX 78701

Mobile: 512-560-2035

Facebook: Vanishing Paradise

Twitter: @vanishparadise