Monthly Archives: July 2015

Registration open for assisted deer hunt at Tuttle Creek Lake

Youth and disabled hunters have until July 30 to apply for a limited number of spots in an assisted deer hunt at Tuttle Creek Lake.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Riley County Fish and Game Association, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at Tuttle Creek Lake are accepting applications for the 2015 Tuttle Creek Youth/Disabled Assisted Deer Hunt, September 12 and 13. The hunt, which is offered free of charge, is open to resident youth age 11-16 and hunters with a certified disability. Applications are due July 30.

Participants will need a deer permit, and, if required by law, a hunting license and hunter education certificate. Assistance meeting these requirements, including scholarship funding to purchase a hunting license and deer permit, can be provided.

If needed, rifles and ammunition will also be available to hunters. Each participant will be guided by an experienced hunter, and arrangements have been made with area lockers to provide basic processing free of charge. Other items provided for this hunt include accessible hunting blinds, hunting locations, hunter orange hats and vests, and transportation to the field.

Participants will be required to attend a firearm safety presentation and sight-in at the Fancy Creek Shooting Range at 4 p.m., Sunday, August 16.

For more information, or to obtain an application, contact USACE natural resource specialist Steve Prockish at (785) 539-8511, ext. 3167, or by e-mail at [email protected]

This event is made possible by Friends of Fancy Creek Range, Kansas City Chapter of Safari Club International, Kansas State Rifle Association and the Tuttle Creek Lake Association.


Public fishing etiquette

The weather is good, the fish are cooperating, and you’re reeling in fish as fast as you can. Before you know it, a hook gets snagged and you have to break the line. There’s no trashcan nearby and you’re on a roll. You leave the line on the ground with the intention of throwing it away later ­– we’ve all been there. But the reality is, that line will mostly likely end up staying right where you left it.

Too often, line, plastic lures, and other trash are left behind by well-intentioned anglers. A small piece of a plastic worm here and a little bit of line there, hardly seem like cause for concern, but when every angler leaves a little bit of trash behind, a big mess can be the end result.

Today’s monofilament fishing line can last many years after an angler has left it behind. Not only is it an eyesore, but fishing line can have deadly consequences for fish, turtles, birds and other wildlife.

Here are some tricks and tips for leaving a public fishing spot better than you found it:

– Always carry a folded-up trash bag in your tackle box. It can serve as a poncho and gear protector during the rainy season, and as a trash container for empty cups and other food items when it’s time to clean up.

– Allot space in your tackle box for broken lures or lures in need of repair. At the end of every trip, empty it out at the nearest trash can, or take them home to repair on a Sunday afternoon.

– Keep a coffee can in your vehicle to collect old line. By cutting open a small slit in the plastic cover, you can stuff in old line. Also, always clean up the line of others you come across. (The good karma may pay off during your next fishing trip!)

– Consolidate hooks and lures where you can. When looking through your gear prior to a trip, consider placing similar lures together, especially if you only have one or two left. This will cut down on the number of bags or containers that need to be thrown away when out fishing.

Kansas has some great public fishing opportunities, and we owe it to the land and our fellow anglers to keep it that way. When fishing public waters, leave it better than you found it.

2015-2016 Federal Duck Stamps on sale now



The 82nd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, is now on sale. Waterfowl hunters, birders, outdoor enthusiasts, artists, and stamp collectors can obtain the $25 stamp online, at select post offices, and wherever hunting licenses are sold. For all buying options, visit

Previous purchasers of the stamp will notice a price increase of $10 from last year. This is the first price increase the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has implemented in 24 years, and also the longest single period without an increase in the program’s history. The increased price of the duck stamp will allow the Service to devote more funds to conserving wetland habitat that benefits birds and many other species.

Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from duck stamp sales go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition and conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since the program’s inception, sales of the stamp have raised more than $800 million to protect more than 6 million acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife.

The 2015-2016 Federal Duck Stamp features a pair of ruddy ducks painted by wildlife artist Jennifer Miller of Olean, N.Y. She is the third female artist in the program’s history to have her work featured on the stamp.

To learn more, visit

Duck numbers remain high


Drier conditions on the prairies demonstrate importance of Boreal Forest habitats

The 2015 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) indicates another strong year for waterfowl populations. The report is based on surveys conducted in May and early June by the USFWS and Canadian Wildlife Service in partnership with state and provincial agencies and private conservation organizations. Overall duck numbers were statistically similar to last year and remain high. Total populations were estimated at 49.5 million breeding ducks in the traditional survey area. This estimate represents a 1-percent increase from last year’s estimate of 49.2 million birds, and is 43 percent higher than the 1955-2014 average.

“We are fortunate to see continued high overall duck populations in North America’s breeding areas this year,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “Though conditions were dry in some important habitats, we had large numbers of birds returning this spring and good conditions in the Boreal Forest and other areas of Canada. It looks like some typical prairie nesters skipped over the U.S. prairies and took advantage of good conditions farther north. This is an important reminder about the vital need for maintaining abundant and high-quality habitat across the continent. The Boreal Forest, especially, can provide important habitat when the prairies are dry. But the Boreal is under increasing threats from resource extraction.”