Elk burgers attracted landowners and state officials to the FairgroundsAndersonBuilding on Tuesday, Oct. 29, for the Kansas Quail Initiative workshop.
About 110 people from Lyon and surrounding counties attended, listening to state representatives and scientists discuss their plans for quail conservation and habitat management.
Presentations were given by various local officials from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, and other local conservation agencies, about the different aspects of protecting the quail population. State wildlife biologist Bob Culbertson says there are good incentives for people to join.
The cost-sharing initiative would reimburse landowners 100% of the estimated costs of turning some of their land into quail-friendly property. Landowner and rural LyonCounty resident Richard Porter just got started with the process of clearing some of his acreage for wildlife habitat and says the process is going well so far.
Private landowners are the biggest partner with the KDWPT on this project and the state is committed to spending up to $100,000 a year on private land improvements. Porter says it’s well worth the effort, especially if done smartly.
The Quail Initiative project was designed to improve habitats and foster changes in the quail population in eastern Kansas. That population, along with other grassland birds, has been declining steadily over the past 40 years.
The primary goals of the initiative are to increase the bobwhite quail population by 50%, and to see a 5% net increase in suitable quail habitat within each of the two focus areas in eastern Kansas.
Whooping cranes are North America’s tallest bird, some reaching 5-feet when standing erect
The first migrating whooping crane was spotted on Oct. 24 at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, near Stafford in central Kansas. A rare and fantastic sight, this whooping crane is part of the only sustaining wild population estimated at 250 birds. Whooping cranes from this population will fly through the state in upcoming weeks, making their way to wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the TexasGulfCoast.
Past records indicate that most whooping cranes will pass through Kansas between Oct. 17 and Nov. 10, usually travelling in small family groups. However, on November 9 2012, 18 whoopers were spotted together at Quivira as they migrated south from their Canadian nesting grounds at WoodBuffaloNational Park in the Northwest Territories.
As part of a cooperative monitoring program supervised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) encourages anyone who has spotted a whooper to contact their local natural resource officer or KDWPT office. Sighting information can be used to alert managers of key areas along the flyway — such as Quivira and Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area in central Kansas — and to provide sighting records for the Whooping Crane Recovery Plan and for whooping crane research in the U.S. and Canada.
Buffalo from Maxwell Wildlife Refuge herd are available for purchase
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will auction off surplus buffalo at the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 beginning at 11 a.m. Those interested in bidding are encouraged to arrive early to receive a bidder number. The auction is open to the public and lunch and concessions will be served.
Each fall, surplus buffalo are sold as available habitat can support only a finite number of animals. This year, a total of 60 buffalo will be auctioned, including seven cows, 13 yearling heifers, eight heifer calves, 13 yearling bulls, eight two-year-old bulls, eight bull calves, and three three-year-old bulls. Bison over 1-year-old will be brucellosis and tuberculosis tested and accompanied by a health certificate. Heifer calves will be vaccinated for brucellosis and certificates issued. Prices paid per animal range from several hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on market demand, condition, sex and age of the animal.
Cash and personal checks (if accompanied by a notarized authorization letter from the issuing bank) will be accepted. KDWPT reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Buyers must pick up the bison the day of the sale or make arrangements with the refuge manager prior to the sale. Animals become the buyer’s responsibility upon settlement on sale day. Load-out assistance is available until dusk the day of the sale. Stock racks and trailers should be covered or lined because bison transport best in dark conditions.
The sale will be outside and will take place rain or shine, so attendees are encouraged to dress accordingly. For more information, contact Maxwell Wildlife Refuge manager Cliff Peterson at (620) 628-4592, or KDWPT’s Region 4 Office in Wichita at (316) 683-8069.
Youth hunters may hunt pheasant and quail free of competition during this special season
The beginning of November marks one of Kansas’ most prized hunting seasons – pheasant and quail – and for hunters age 16 and younger, a jump-start on the regular season can mean the difference between a decent hunt and an unforgettable season. Nov. 2-3 is the Kansas youth pheasant and quail season, which will be open to youth hunters under adult supervision.
Established as part of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Pass It On program, the youth season provides young hunters and their mentors the opportunity to be in the field before the crowds of opening day. Public lands and Walk-In Hunting Access lands are open, and hunting pressure is usually light. Adult mentors may not hunt during the two-day youth season, but they can pass on their hunting knowledge without giving up their own opening-day.
Resident youth 15 and younger do not need anything other than an adult supervisor to hunt during the youth season, although a hunter education certificate is recommended. Hunters age 16 will need a hunting license and a hunter education certificate, unless they purchase an apprentice license, which is a one-time deferral of the hunter education requirement. However, adult supervision is required at all times for an apprentice license holder, even during the regular season.
Daily bag limits during the youth pheasant and quail season are half those of the regular season; two rooster pheasants and four quail.
Resident youth age 16-21 also have the privilege of qualifying for a multi-year hunting license at $42.50 and a multi-year combination hunting/fishing license at $72.50. A great bargain, this multi-year hunting license is valid through the year the hunter turns 21.
If Pass It On is one of the 2 top vote getting organizations on that date, they will win a new Toyota Tundra! Having a new Tundra will greatly enhance their program, giving them a tremendous resource to travel about the state, taking kids hunting and fishing!
Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program will award 100 vehicles over the course of 50 days to 100 deserving nonprofit organizations based on votes from the public. Winning organizations will use the Toyota vehicles to help expand their reach and missions within their communities.
Please support Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors on November 3rd! Voting will take place at www.100carsforgood.com Put a reminder in your calendar today and please share this with everyone you know!
Thank you for helping Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors give kids a chance to get outdoors!