Monthly Archives: October 2014

Buffalo auction at Maxwell Wildlife Refuge

Approximately 55 cows, heifers, bulls, and calves will be available


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will host its annual Maxwell Wildlife Refuge Buffalo Auction Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Approximately 55 buffalo from the KDWPT herd will be available for purchase, including three cows; five yearling heifers; eight heifer calves; seven cow/calf pairs; 10 yearling bulls; eight two-year-old bulls; and seven bull calves. The corrals are located six miles north and one and a quarter miles west of Canton.

Auctioneer services will be provided by Lyle Leppke and Roger Hiebert, and lunch and concessions will be served by Friends of Maxwell.

The Department reserves the right to reject any or all bids. All purchases must be paid in cash. Personal checks will be accepted if accompanied by a notarized authorization letter from the issuing bank.

Buffalo over one year old will be brucellosis and tuberculosis tested and accompanied by a health certificate. Heifer calves will be vaccinated for brucellosis and certificates will be issued.

Buyers must pick up buffalo the day of the sale or make arrangements with the refuge manager prior to the sale. Animals become buyer’s responsibility upon settlement on sale day. Load out assistance is available until dusk. Stock racks and trailers should be covered or lined as buffalo transport is best done in darkened conditions.

For more information, call refuge manager Cliff Peterson at (620) 628-4592, KDWPT Wichita Regional Office at (316) 683-8069, or KDWPT Pratt Operations Office at (620) 672-5911.

November Hunting Seasons in Kansas


For most people, Christmas comes on Dec. 25, but for hunters and anglers, the best gifts arrive one month earlier. November marks the start of four hunting and fishing seasons that are a must-do in the SunflowerState, and if you’ve never partaken in these fall festivities, you may want to reconsider your plans this upcoming month.


From Nov. 1, 2014-April 15, 2015, anglers can enjoy some of the best fishing opportunities in the state as nearly 30 public fishing areas will be stocked periodically with this special species.

Special permits apply, so consult the 2014 Fishing Regulations Summary for complete details on your favorite waters.

To view a complete trout stocking schedule for a specific location, visit and click “Fishing/Special Fishing Programs for You/Trout Fishing Program.”


If wild turkeys aren’t your idea of a hardy holiday bird, consider bagging a goose this season. Hunters can pursue geese during the following seasons:

Canada Geese

Season: Nov. 1-9, 2014 AND Nov. 12, 2014-Feb. 15, 2015

Daily bag limit: 6 (including Brant). Possession limit: 18.

White-Fronted Geese

Season: Nov. 1-Dec. 14, 2014 AND Jan. 17-Feb. 15, 2015

Daily bag limit: 2. Possession limit: 6.

Light Geese

Season: Nov. 1-9, 2014 AND Nov. 12, 2014-Feb. 15, 2015

Daily bag limit: 50. No possession limit.


Recent rains leading to increased brood-rearing habitat across the state have several areas harboring more birds this year. Consider taking a peek at the 2014 Upland Bird Forecast on to locate your next hunting honey pot.


Regular Season: November 8, 2014 – January 31, 2015

Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014

Daily Bag Limit: 4 cocks in regular season, 2 cocks in youth season.

NOTE: Pheasants in possession for transportation must retain intact a foot, plumage, or some part that will determine sex.


Regular Season: November 8, 2014 – January 31, 2015

Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014

Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season.


Although not as widely sought-after as geese and ducks, sandhill cranes are a challenging quarry to hunt. Consider experiencing this unique season this year.

Season: Nov. 5 2014-Jan 1, 2015

Daily bag limit: 3. Possession limit: 9.

All sandhill crane hunters must take an online crane identification test each year before obtaining the required federal permit to hunt. The test can be found by visiting  and clicking “Hunting/Migratory Birds/Sandhill Crane.”

Quivira and Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge are closed to crane hunting.


Delmarva Fox Squirrel officially recovered

By National Wildlife Refuge Association

Delmarva Fox Squirrel | Kathy Abend

Delmarva Fox Squirrel | Kathy Abend


Great news! On September 19 Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe announced at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to delist the Delmarva Fox Squirrel. This is the 52nd species to be delisted from the Endangered Species Act. The species was listed in 1967 due to habitat loss from development and timber harvesting in their native range.

“It takes a real village to protect a squirrel,” said Jewell at the announcement, noting the many partners who banded together to help with recovery efforts. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD, and Gov. Martin O’Malley also attended, thanking the community members and private landowners who worked together to protect wildlife and the local forest economy.

These cute fluffy critters were once found throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. Unfortunately, at the time of listing, their range had been reduced to 10% of its original size and only occurred in three counties and a small island in one other county. This was due in large part to habitat loss from development and timber harvesting. The squirrels need mature trees for den sites as well as for a food source: mature trees provide more acorns.

Recovery efforts for this wonderful little creature began in 1945 when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources bought LeCompte Wildlife Management Area in DorchesterCounty. In 1971, legal hunting of the squirrel was banned. And then after the listing of the species, the Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel Recovery Team began to work with the State on conservation efforts including reintroduction of the species into counties where it was originally found.

Over 10 years later, 11 out of the 16 reintroduced populations are succeeding. The Delmarva Fox Squirrel is primarily found on privately owned land and can thrive in a landscape that is managed for farming and sustainable timber harvest. Uncut corn or soybeans along hedgerows can be left for the squirrel’s winter food provided by the farmers. Developers and timber harvesters also help the squirrel by leaving woodlot trees that produce nuts, seeds, and berries and also provide corridors from one woodlot to another.

Thanks to the wonderful efforts of these private landowners, the state of Maryland, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the population of this squirrel is finally high enough to be taken off the endangered species list since it has been fully recovered.

For more information see these resources:

Fact sheet from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Species information from the Chesapeake Bay Program 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Profile

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Species Profile

Conservation funding issues on Nov. 4 ballots

From Wildlife Management Instituteimage001

On Election Day this year, a number of state and local conservation funding initiatives will be on the ballot for voters to consider with the potential of over $25 billion being dedicated for conservation and restoration. The largest initiatives in Florida, New Jersey, North Dakota, California and Maine bring a variety of opportunities for funding land conservation, water quality and outdoor recreation. But support for these initiatives also vary with opponents like state chambers of commerce actively working against some of the efforts, reports the Wildlife Management Institute.

By far the largest initiative is being considered in Florida where an estimated $18 billion is at stake. Amendment 1 is a constitutional amendment that would dedicate 33 percent of annual revenue raised through an existing tax on real estate transactions over the next 20 years to conservation projects. While the state has had bipartisan support for conservation spending, appropriations have declined dramatically in recent years undermining efforts for land conservation and Everglades restoration. Amendment 1 would fund the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including: wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites. The amendment requires a 60 percent supermajority vote in support to be approved and is broadly supported by diverse organizations. While the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau and other groups oppose the initiative, current polling suggests that it is receiving strong support from voters.

New Jersey is also considering a constitutional amendment for long-term, dedicated funding for a variety of environmental and conservation programs. The state has a long history of support at the ballot for programs like the state’s Green Acres land preservation efforts. However, this is the first time the state is seeking dedicated funding that is estimated to total $2.15 billion over the next 20 years to acquire land prone to flooding, protect natural areas, farmland and watersheds, and provide for parks, historic preservation, underground storage tank removal and brownfield remediation. If approved, Public Question #2 will reallocate 4 percent of an existing state corporate business tax for an estimated $71 million annually for the first four years, and beginning in 2019, it would dedicate an additional 2 percent of business tax revenues increasing the annual funding to $117 million. While municipalities, counties and agricultural boards across the state generally support the amendment, Americans for Prosperity has led opposition against the amendment along with the state’s governor, Chris Christie.

In North Dakota, the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks constitutional amendment, Measure 5, would dedicate 5 percent of tax revenue from oil development for conservation and recreation over the next 25 years. Funds would be used for water quality, natural flood control, fish and wildlife habitat, parks and outdoor recreation areas, access for hunting and fishing, the acquisition of land for parks, and outdoor education for children. While North Dakota has seen dramatic losses of prairie habitat in recent years, this initiative is receiving the greatest opposition from business interests including the American Petroleum Institute, the Chamber of Commerce and state agricultural interests who claim that farmlands would be purchased to take them out of production. However, the amendment does not change the North Dakota Corporate Farming Law that prohibits most conservation groups from buying land without governor approval.

“My family has always prided itself on having a strong conservation ethic. Conservation programs funded through Measure 5 will be 100 percent voluntary and could benefit all farming and ranching operations in North Dakota if producers wish to take part. Producers could use grant dollars for things like buffers along waterways, cover crops to advance soil health, enhanced grazing systems, and improved wildlife habitat on marginal areas,” said Gabe Brown, an agricultural producer supporting the amendment. “The fact is, Measure 5 will benefit family farms and ranches across North Dakota.”

Both California and Maine are considering bonds that will improve the states’ water infrastructure. California will be considering a $7.5 billion bond for watershed protection and restoration, forest health, wetland habitat and for additional water storage. Proposition 1 would make improvements to a water system that has been significantly impacted by the current drought in the state. In Maine, Question 6 would create a $10 million bond to fund natural and built infrastructure to reduce threats to the state’s water resources, improve stormwater management, and conserve habitat for recreational fisheries, waterfowl, and aquatic and other wildlife species.

In addition to the statewide ballot initiatives, a number of counties and local communities are also considering conservation funding proposals. This includes Los Angeles County, California; Portland, Oregon; Missoula, Montana, Larimer County, Colorado; Benton County,Washington; Bernalillo County, New Mexico, and Beaufort County, South Carolina. In total there are 39 measures being tracked by The Trust for PublicLand’s Land Vote this election season.

Woolly bear caterpillars

Woolly bear caterpillars by

Woolly bear caterpillars by

Woolly bear Caterpillar   Photo credit:

The Woolly bear caterpillar is the easily recognized larva of the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia Isabella). In the Fall, the Woolly Bear begins its life as a tiny egg that hatches into a caterpillar. This Woolly bear caterpillar is black at both ends, usually with a reddish orange midsection. This colorful two toned sweater is composed of setae (bristles) radiating away from the body. The bristles form tufts emanating from the 13 segments of the body. The number of black setae increases and the reddish orange central band diminishes as the Woolly bear matures. Folklore that the relative width of these black and reddish copper bands along the Woolly Bear’s body is a predictor of how harsh the winter will be has been disproven. The setae of the Woolly Bear caterpillar do not inject venom or histamine that causes pain or itching, although some people may develop mild dermatitis after handling them. To defend itself, the Woolly bear will role up into a ball when handled. The Woolly bear is a herbivore that feeds on grass, clover, plantain, dandelion, spinach and cabbage.

It can survive the winter because it produces a cryoprotectant to prevent its tissues from being damaged by sub zero temperatures. In the spring it thaws out and grows some more. After enough growth, the caterpillar begins pupation by spinning a cocoon around itself made of silk and its own body hairs. After metamorphosing within the pupa, it emerges in the spring as the Isabella Tiger Moth. The moth’s wings are a muted yellow color with a few scattered black spots. The moth has only a few days to find a mate and lay eggs. The resulting caterpillars will hibernate (freeze) over the winter and renew their life cycle.

To view the Woolly bear caterpillar constructing its cocoon visit


Kansas Trails and rural economies

Meetings will help communities, entrepreneurs serve the trail enthusiast market


How communities and businesses can attract and serve trail-goers is the focus of four community meetings to be hosted this week by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, in partnership with USDA Rural Development, NetWork Kansas, the KansasSmallBusinessDevelopmentCenters, Advancing Rural Prosperity and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. Attendees will learn how to leverage the trails to grow their businesses, attract visitors to their communities and boost the local economy.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Kaw Valley State Bank,

1015 Kaw Valley Park Circle

De Soto

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

De Soto City Hall

32905 W. 84th St


Council Grove

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Morris County Courthouse

501 W Main Street

Extension Meeting Room (in Basement)


Thursday, October 23, 2014

10 a.m. – Noon

Neosho CountyCommunity College – Ottawa Campus

Main Auditorium

900 E Logan St.

Each meeting will have information about the nearby trail, review business development opportunities, making communities a tourism hub along the trail and supporting resources. There will be time for questions and exchanging ideas.

For more information, contact Dana Williams, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, 402-323-7336, or email [email protected].

Angler Education Certification in southeast Kansas

Angler Education Certification prepares folks to teach fishing techniques in Kansas.

Fishing's Future LogoFish Kansas Logo



The Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is having an upcoming class designed to certify future angler educators. The class will be held December 6 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Greenbush Camp and RetreatCenter, 947 W 47 Hwy, Girard, KS66743. There is no cost to attend but the class will be limited to the first 40 registrants. Lunch will be provided.

Apart from becoming certified, participants will also be given valuable information regarding working with children, sample curriculums, and tips for preparing a class or clinic. Other subjects covered in the four-hour class include current fishing regulations, species identification, fishing ethics, equipment, knot-tying, casting, fish habitat, aquatic nuisance species, and conservation practices.

The Program, in its first year and a half, has certified 230 Angler Education Instructors including nearly 100 Kansas school teachers.  In 2014 Angler Ed Instructors and KDWPT employees held 135 events that ranged from fishing derbies and casting events to community outreach and aquatic education in the schools. The events reached 60,000 participants. Certified instructors have donated 1,100 hours of their time to this successful program.  These volunteer hours translate not only to a public awareness and appreciation of natural resources but to money reimbursed back to Kansas for aquatic education supplies (fishing poles, lures, fish trading cards, etc.) and towards enhancing the state’s fisheries’ resources.

Kansas offers some of the best public fishing opportunities in the nation, and we think this is a great way for anglers to pass on their passion for fishing to those who may have yet to experience Kansas fishing.

Anglers interested in registering for the December 6 class must sign up by visiting and clicking “upcoming events,” then “Kansas Angler Education Training Program.”

For more information, contact Fishing’s Future coordinator Kevin Reich at [email protected] or by phone at (785)577-6921.


Chipmunk photo by Gilles Gonthier

Chipmunk photo by Gilles Gonthier

Chipmunk         Photo credit: Gilles Gonthier

Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) are small squirrel-like rodents native to North America. They reside in the far eastern portion of Kansas in oak-hickory woodlands as well as suburban neighborhoods. They have five dark stripes and two white stripes along their reddish-gray and brown bodies. There are also two dark stripes crossing the face, one at eye level and another stripe underneath the eye. Their birdlike chirping can alert others to the presence of threats.

The eastern chipmunk has internal cheek pouches used to carry food to their underground burrows.  These pouches are also used to carry dirt away from the burrow during construction to avoid leaving evidence. Their burrows can be more than 30 feet long with multiple entrances. The chipmunk burrow has several chambers including clean sleeping quarters, a food cache chamber, and a refuse chamber.

Although chipmunks hibernate, there is no need to store fat since they can partake of the cache of nuts and seeds they have stored for the winter. Their diet consists of nuts, tree seeds (maple & oak in Kansas), berries, mushrooms, earthworms, slugs, grubs, insects, caterpillars, bird eggs, even frogs and salamanders. They also eat buds, shoots, and fungi including those involved in symbiotic relationships with trees such as truffles. The chipmunk plays an important role within the forest ecosystem by dispersing of seeds of trees, fruits and berries and the spores of fungi.

With only a 30-day gestation period resulting in a litter of two to eight, their numbers are kept in check by hawks, foxes, coyotes, weasels, and snakes.

The name “chipmunk” may be derived from the American Indian “Adjidaumo” pronounced a-chit’-a-mauk referring to their “head-first” descent of trees.

Wild Horse

Wild Horses; Photo from Wichita Eagle

Wild Horses Photo from Wichita Eagle

Some 10 million years ago, up to a dozen species of horses roamed the Great Plains of North America. They were initially smaller than todays horses and had three toes; some lived in primeval forests. Others became larger with single hooves and ate grass on the plains. The horse then became extinct in North America about 12,000 years ago. However, the Spanish explorers brought domesticated horses from Europe in the late 15th century. The first horses to return to the continent were 16 horses brought by the explorer Hernan Cortes. Some inevitably escaped and developed into wild herds. Wild mustangs roaming the west were descendants from these Iberian horses. Nearly ten years ago, Flint Hills ranchers convinced the Bureau of Land Management to reintroduce wild horses into Kansas where they could run on the prairie. There are now 7,000 roaming some 60,000 privately owned acres in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

For more information on horses from the American Museum of Natural History, visit: