Johnson County Pheasants Forever to host family fun day


The Johnson County Pheasants Forever (PF) Chapter is hosting the Outdoor Family Fun Day/Youth and Women’s Hunt on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Eckman’s Hunting Preserve, 988 E 1800 Rd., Baldwin City. Free activities include target shooting, wingshooting instruction with NSCA Level III Instructor John Francis, a casting challenge, archery, and pellet gun shooting. Lunch and snacks are provided and participants can win raffle prizes.


Hunting opportunities will be available for youth age 12-15 who have hunter education certification and are accompanied by an adult sponsor, and women who are novice hunters. All women participants must have a valid hunting license and be accompanied by a licensed mentor.


Hunters must reserve a spot in advance by calling (913) 636-3369 or emailing [email protected]. For more information, visit

National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates hunters and anglers


National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) is Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, to recognize the amazing contributions hunters and anglers have made to wildlife conservation over the past 100 years. Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a proclamation officially dedicating Sept. 24 as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Kansas, crediting Kansas hunters and anglers for their positive impact on wildlife conservation and the state’s economy.

The 2016 Honorary Chair is Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, and the theme of this year’s nationwide celebration is “Hunt. Shoot. Fish. Share the pride.” Since the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act was passed in 1937, hunters have provided more than $7 billion to state wildlife conservation programs through excise taxes on hunting and shooting equipment. Currently, hunters pay more than $371 annually into the federal program, and when you add the nearly $800 million they spend on licenses and permits and another $440 million they donate to conservation organizations each year, it’s evident that hunters fund wildlife conservation programs in the U.S.

On the fishing side, U.S. anglers and boaters have paid nearly $8 billion into the Sport Fish Restoration Program since it was established in 1950. That money is distributed to state agencies for fisheries conservation programs, aquatic resource education, boating access, and the Clean Vessel Act program. Annually, anglers pay nearly $400 million into the federal program, $657 million in license fees and more than $400 million in private donations annual for fisheries conservation programs.

In Kansas, hunters and anglers pump more than $600 million into our state’s economy annually, supporting 9,300 jobs and paying $69 million in state and local taxes.

While the money provided to wildlife and fisheries programs by hunters and anglers is impressive, the wildlife success stories are even more amazing. Species, such as white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, wild turkey, and giant Canada geese, that were on the brink of extinction around the turn of the century are now abundant and existing in healthy populations across the country. Today’s state fisheries programs produce a variety of quality angling opportunities that were unthinkable just 50 years ago. And while the focus is usually on game animals and sport fish, the conservation programs implemented benefit far more non-game species.

To learn more about the National Hunting and Fishing Day 2016, go to To learn more about the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, go to Contact your local Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism office to see if any NHFD events are planned near you.

Salina’s Lakewood Lake undergoing complete renovation

The fishery in the Salina’s 13-acre Lakewood Lake will be renovated this fall with a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Community Fisheries Assistance Program. Owned and operated by Salina Parks and Recreation and located in Lakewood Park, Lakewood Lake will be opened for public fish salvage Sept. 11-30 during Phase 1 of the renovation. A public salvage allows anglers to harvest fish prior to the complete renovation. Creel and length limits will not be enforced during public salvage and additional means of take will be allowed.

On October 1, all angler access to fishing at Lakewood will be suspended and KDWPT staff will supervise fish removal through the end of the month. During this phase, no fish may be taken from the lake. All fish will be disposed of by KDWPT and park staff.

Once fish have been removed, the lake’s new life will begin with a fresh stocking of bluegill later in the fall. Largemouth bass and catfish will be stocked next spring. Pending water quality testing results, rainbow trout will be stocked for the trout season, which opens Nov. 1.

To learn more about the renovation and the factors that triggered the project, plan to attend the information night Sept. 27 at the Lakewood Discovery Center, beginning at 5 p.m. KDWPT district fisheries biologist Bryan Sowards will describe some of the techniques biologists use to sample and assess fish populations in Kansas lakes. He will also take questions about fisheries management programs.

Salina Parks and Recreation is also hosting a free trout fishing clinic at Lakewood Discovery Center on November 1, beginning at 5.p.m. To fish for trout, anglers age 16 and older must have a trout stamp, which can be purchased anywhere licenses are sold. Call Lakewood Discovery Center for more information, (785) 826-7335.

Lovewell State Park 3D shoot and free park entrance day Sept. 11

Lovewell State Park, in Jewell County, is sponsoring a 3D archery shoot on Sunday, Sept 11. Beginning at 9 a.m., participants can register at the state park archery range, located just north of Cottonwood Campground. All shooters must complete the course by 12 p.m. A $10 donation is suggested to enter and prizes will be awarded for the first place shooters in each of three divisions – Men, Women and Youth.

A Steel Deer Competition will begin at noon, with a $5 donation suggested to participate and cash payback to the winner. The challenging steel silhouette target rewards only those shots that put arrows into the vitals zone.

Sept. 11 is also a Free Park Entrance Day at Lovewell State Park. Vehicle permits are not required to enter the state park on that day, however camping permits are still required if camping overnight.

For more information, call Lovewell State Park (785) 753-4971.

Kansas Wetlands Education Center to host Butterfly Festival

The Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC), 592 NE K156 Hwy, Great Bend, will host a Butterfly Festival from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 17.

From making milkweed seed bombs to tagging monarch butterflies, kids and adults will find plenty to do during this free event. In addition to old favorites – monarch tagging, insect zoo, crafts and door prizes – kids and adults can view a honey bee hive exhibit and add their “hand art” to the butterfly mural.

Nets and tags will be available for those who want to capture and tag monarch butterflies. Participants will receive information about the tagging process before heading out with a tagging leader to search for Monarch butterflies.

Last year’s tagging efforts resulted in the return of nine tags from winter roosts in Mexico. The tagged monarchs were found on Feb. 4, 24 and 26 and March 6 and 7 at El Rosario and Macheros Cerro Pelon.

Weather permitting, a honey bee hive will be on display in the insect zoo in addition to giant walking stick insects, hissing and peppered cockroaches, butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises. Plan to spend the morning at KWEC as door prizes will be presented just before noon, along with free milkweed plants.

Kids, and adults who want to be kids again, can play in the mud and make a take-home seed bomb, composed of clay, compost, water and native flower seeds. Visitors can also get some practice in by slinging premade milkweed seed bombs into KWEC’s prairie area using giant slingshots.

Find your inner insect by taking your photo at monarch butterfly and caterpillar photo boards. Create a butterfly, then paint your hands in the pattern and apply it to the butterfly mural. Refuel with light refreshments and drinks. Temporary tattoos, games and other activities round out the morning’s activities.

Milkweed plants, with growing instructions, will be available free to those who would like to encourage monarchs to their yards and gardens. Information on butterfly-friendly plants and other attractants will be available and visitors may also walk through the wildflower/butterfly garden to view examples of butterfly-friendly plants.

For more information, contact KWEC at 1-877-243-9268 or visit

September smiles on hunters

After months with nothing to do but plan, scout and dream, hunters are in action now that September has arrived. Of course it kicks off with the dove season, which opened Sept. 1, but there’s so much more to come.

While not as popular as doves, snipe and rail hunting seasons also opened Sept. 1. The snipe season runs through Dec. 16, and the daily bag limit is 8, possession limit is 24. Rail season closes Nov. 9, and the daily bag limit is 25, possession limit is 75.

On Sept. 3 the deer season for youth 16 and younger and hunters with disabilities begins. This is a firearm season, allowing qualified hunters to hunt with the legal equipment listed on their permit. Youth hunters 15 and younger qualify for reduced price deer permits. The season is open through Sept. 11.

On Sept. 10, the Early Teal Season opens in the Low Plains Duck Zone (the portion of Kansas east of Kansas Highway 281). The Early Teal Season opens on Sept. 17 in the High Plains Zone, and the season closes on Sept. 25 in both zones. Daily bag limit on teal is 6 and the possession limit is 18. Hunters must have a hunting license, unless exempt by law, and all hunters required to have a hunting license must also have a Kansas State Waterfowl Permit and a Kansas HIP permit. All hunters 16 and older must also have a Federal Duck Stamp.

On Sept. 12, the Muzzleloader and Archery Deer seasons open. The Muzzleloader Deer Season ends Sept. 25, and the Archery Deer Season is open through Dec. 31, 2016. In addition to a deer permit valid during the Archery or Muzzleloader seasons, all hunters must also have a Kansas hunting license, unless exempt by law. Equipment and unit restrictions listed on permit apply.

The Early Prairie Chicken season opens on Sept. 15 in the Greater Prairie Chicken Unit. This season is open through Oct. 15, and allows hunters to walk up prairie chickens while the birds are still in loose flocks and are likely to hold for pointing dogs. In addition to a hunting license, all hunters need a $2.50 prairie chicken permit to hunt prairie chickens.

For more information on hunting seasons, license and permit requirements, and regulations, pick up the 2016 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary wherever licenses are sold, or go online, September is only 30 days long, so get ready and get busy.

Enter Wild About Kansas photo contest by Nov. 4

Kansas Wildlife and Parks magazine staff invite you to enter your favorite outdoor photographs in the 4th Annual Wild About Kansas photo contest ending Nov. 4. Participants can submit up to three photos in select categories including wildlife, other species, hunting and fishing, outdoor recreation, and landscapes. There is no fee to enter or age restrictions, and both residents and nonresidents may participate.

Participants can submit up to three photos total. Photos must be taken within the state of Kansas and must be the entrant’s original work. Images should be in JPEG or TIFF format and file size should be not less than 1mb and not more than 5mb.

Each photo will be judged on creativity, composition, subject matter, lighting, and overall sharpness. Winners will be featured in the 2017 Special Photo Issue of Kansas Wildlife and Parks magazine.

Only electronic images will be accepted and must be e-mailed, with a completed entry form, to Nadia Reimer at nadia.reimer@ksoutdoors no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2016.

Entry forms and additional information are available at

Spots available for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop


There is still time to sign up for the Becoming An Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop, Sept. 16-18 at the Rock Springs 4-H Center in Junction City. While the deadline for enrollment is Sept. 4, the workshop, which is limited to 100 women, still has openings. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about enjoying the Kansas outdoors in a friendly, safe and welcoming environment, BOW is worth your time and money.

Each spring and fall, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism hosts this women-only workshop designed to give ladies age 18 and older a crash-course in outdoor life. BOW classes are taught by friendly and experienced instructors who pride themselves on providing a low-pressure atmosphere, and the best part is, participants can pick and choose which classes they attend. Sessions are provided on a multitude of topics, including archery, fly fishing, camping, rifle shooting, wild game cooking, canoeing, outdoor photography, geocaching, wilderness survival, and more. No experience is necessary to attend.

The cost to attend is $235 per participant and includes seven meals, two nights of lodging, instruction, supplies, and use of equipment. Three $100 scholarships are available for first-time participants, based on financial need.

For more information, visit and click “Education,” then “Becoming an Outdoor Woman,” or visit the BOW Facebook page at “Becoming An Outdoors Woman KANSAS.”

Youth invited to hunt doves at Glen Elder Wildlife Area

The Osborne County Pheasants Forever Chapter and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) invite hunters ages 10 to 16 to participate in an opening-weekend dove hunt at Glen Elder Wildlife Area on Saturday, Sept. 3. This hunt is open to youth with limited dove hunting experience, and those who have not hunted before will be given preference to participate. All hunters must be strong enough to handle their guns in a safe manner. After the hunt is finished, participants can enjoy a free lunch. Hunters must preregister by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345. Deadline to sign up is August 30. Spots are limited, so hunters are encouraged to register early.

Plenty of shooting action is expected as the birds flock to a managed crop field on the wildlife area reserved exclusively for this youth hunting event. Hunters will meet before sunrise on the morning of the hunt at the Glen Elder Wildlife Area shop in Cawker City to organize and pair up with adult mentors before heading to the field.

Some shotguns can be provided upon request, and 12 and 20 gauge shotgun shells will be provided for all youth hunters. All dove hunters must use non-toxic (steel) shot. Hunters 16 and older must have a hunting license and HIP stamp prior to hunting.

For more information, or if you would like to assist with this event, please contact Chris Lecuyer at (785) 545-3345 or John Cockerham at (785) 346-6527.

Zebra mussels found in Cedar Bluff Reservoir

Invasive, sharp-shelled mollusks are among the state’s most unwanted species


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Cedar Bluff Reservoir in Trego County. The lake is owned and operated by the federal Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). In July, the BOR conducted its annual plankton sampling survey which revealed zebra mussel veligers (larvae). The results were reported to KDWPT aquatic nuisance species staff on Wednesday, August 24. Department fisheries staff began a search on August 25 and found a population of adult zebra mussels near the Muley Boat Ramp on the south side of the reservoir. Cedar Bluff Reservoir is the western-most reservoir in Kansas confirmed to have zebra mussels. There is no known method to completely rid a lake of this invasive species.

While the reservoir is managed by the BOR, KDWPT manages the fishery. The lake consists of about 6,869 surface acres at conservation level and has a maximum depth of 42 feet. Cedar Bluff State Park and the lake are popular destinations and offer a variety of recreational activities such as boating, skiing, swimming, fishing, camping and hiking.

Lake enthusiasts play the primary role in stemming the spread of zebra mussels to uninfested lakes. “Zebra mussel larvae, or veligers, are microscopic and undetectable to the naked eye, so everyone who visits a Kansas lake needs to be aware that transferring water between lakes can lead to more infestations,” said Jeff Koch, KDWPT Aquatic Research Biologist.

Prevention is the best way to avoid spreading ANS. They often travel by “hitchhiking” with unsuspecting lake-goers. “Everyone who recreates on Kansas lakes should clean, drain, and dry their boats and equipment before using another lake.  In addition, don’t transfer lake water or live fish into another body of water, as this is a main way that all aquatic nuisance species move between lakes,” Koch said.

Cedar Bluff Reservoir and the Smoky Hill River downstream from the reservoir east to Kanopolis Reservoir will be added to the list of ANS-designated waters in Kansas, and notices will be posted at various locations around the reservoir. Live fish may not be transported from ANS-designated waters. The sharp-shelled zebra mussels attach to solid objects, so lake-goers 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.

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

♦ Clean, drain and dry boats and fishing and water recreation 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 any Kansas 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