Kansas Posts Hunter Education Class Schedule Online

Wildlife and Parks Posts Hunter Education Class Schedule Online

Class required of all hunters born on or after July 1, 1957; youngsters may hunt under adult supervision without course until age 16

Late summer is the time when hunters’ thoughts turn to fall seasons, which begin with dove season Sept. 1. For first-time hunters, preparation usually means taking a hunter education course.

In most cases, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must successfully complete an approved course in hunter education before hunting in Kansas. Those hunting on their own land are exempt. Anyone 16 or older may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education, called an “apprentice hunting license.” This license is valid only through the calendar year in which it is purchased, and the holder must hunt under direct supervision of a licensed adult 18 or older. Hunter education must be completed before the individual can purchase a hunting license in subsequent years. Anyone younger than 16 may hunt without a hunter education certification if they are under direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Hunters 12 years of age and older may hunt without adult supervision provided they possess a valid hunter education certificate and the appropriate licenses and/or permits. No one younger than age 11 can be certified.

Kansas hunter education volunteer instructors have scheduled a number of hunter education courses in all regions of the state, and more will be scheduled in the future. Most courses require pre-registration. Usually, multiple-day courses are traditional classroom courses, and single-day courses are internet-assisted courses. The internet-assisted class requires students to complete several hours of internet course work before attending a field day. Students must pre-register for a field day before completing the internet course.

A calendar of scheduled courses, including contact information for pre-registration, is regularly updated on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website, For updated course listings, click “Hunting/Hunter Education/Class Schedule.”

The following is a list of currently-scheduled courses. Check the website regularly to find a class that fits your schedule and to confirm dates, which are subject to change.

Region 1, northwest Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

July 25 — Phillipsburg

Aug. 11 —Stockton

Aug. 17-18 — Colby

Aug. 18 — Osborne

Aug. 25 — Hill City

Traditional Courses

July 23-28 — Salina

Aug. 13-18 — Salina

Oct. 8-13 — Salina

Nov. 12-17 — Salina

Region 2, northeast Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

Aug. 6 — Fort Riley

Aug. 11 — Shawnee

Sept. 8 — Shawnee

Oct. 27 — Clay Center

Nov. 13 — Randolph

Traditional Courses

July 27-28 — Junction City

Aug. 2-4 — Olathe

Aug. 11-12 — Abilene

Aug. 13-16 — Hiawatha

Aug. 15-19 — Topeka

Aug. 16-18 — Basehor

Aug. 21-25 — Gardner

Aug. 21-28 — Manhattan

Aug. 24-25 — Atchison

Sept. 4-8 — Gardner

Sept. 6-8 — Olathe

Sept. 20-22 — Basehor

Sept. 25-Oct. 2 — Manhattan

Oct. 13-14 — Abilene

Oct. 18-20 — Basehor

Oct. 23-30 — Manhattan

Nov. 23-24 — Atchison

Region 3, southwest Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

Aug. 18 — Syracuse

Aug. 25 — Great Bend

Traditional Courses

Aug. 3-4 — Holcomb

Oct. 19-20 — Holcomb

Region 4, southcentral Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

July 24-25 — Wichita

Aug. 14-15 — Wichita

Aug. 18 — Arlington

Aug. 28-29 — Wichita

Sept. 8 — Inman

Oct. 13 — Arlington

Oct. 13 — El Dorado

Traditional Courses

Aug. 3-4 —Hutchinson

Aug. 10-11 — El Dorado

Aug. 17-19 — Eureka

Sept. 14-15 — El Dorado

Region 5, southeast Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

Aug. 2-7 — Parsons;

Aug. 7 — Columbus;

Aug. 10-14 — Fort Scott;

Aug. 28-29 — Iola;

Sept. 7-11 — Fort Scott;

Oct. 4-16 — Parsons; and

Oct. 12-16 — Fort Scott.

Traditional Courses

Aug. 7-11 — Fort Scott

Aug. 13-25 — Parsons

Aug. 24-25 — Iola

Sept. 11-15 — Fort Scott

Oct. 9-13 — Fort Scott

Oct. 14-21 —Garnett

Oct. 15-27 — Parsons

The majority of classes are held from August through October, the period of peak demand. A number of classes are also offered in early spring prior to the turkey season. Few classes are offered from November through February.

Drought Emergency Relief Requested

State Emergency Board (“SEB”) Chairman Adrian J. Polansky announced he is recommending that Governor Sam Brownback request USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack declare 37 additional Kansas counties as disaster areas. The added counties are Atchison, Brown, Chase, Cherokee, Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Ellsworth, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Marion, Miami, Mitchell, Morris, Nemaha, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Rush, Russell, Saline, Shawnee, Smith, Wabaunsee and Wyandotte. The SEB reviewed and verified loss assessment reports that document at least a 30% loss of production of one or more crops in these counties. The losses are due to drought, extreme heat, high winds and wildfire plaguing a large part of Kansas again this year.

The loss assessment reports are compiled by each County Emergency Board (“CEB”) and are the first step in the declaration process for counties that are not included in the Drought Monitor Index as D2 (severe drought) for at least 8 weeks during the growing season or reaching a D3 (extreme drought) level at any time during the growing season. The CEB’s are chaired by the County Executive Director of FSA and include local KSU extension, NRCS, Rural Development and Emergency management personnel.

If Governor Brownback recommends—and USDA Secretary Vilsack makes—the disaster designation for these 37 counties, qualifying producers in the counties would be eligible for USDA-FSA emergency loans.

            Polansky stated “Unfortunately for Kansas producers, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (“SURE”) does not cover 2012 crops and is not extended by the farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate and the House Agriculture Committee”.

            Livestock disaster programs are included in the Farm Bill language at this point–one of the reasons Congress needs to move the process forward sooner rather than later.

Nebraska Bighorn Herd Grows

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, with the help from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, recently bolstered its bighorn restoration project begun in 1981 by reintroducing 40 more animals, captured in February in Alberta, Canada, into the pine Ridge region. Officials hope they will strengthen the genetics of the existing herd. Historically, bighorn sheep were found throughout Nebraska but were extirpated there in the early 20th century.

Kansas Court Supports Black-footed Ferrets

Audubon of Kansas sent this important E-Newsletter today.

Kansas Court of Appeals Supports Position of Landowners Hosting Reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets

Audubon of Kansas is applauding the decision of a Kansas Court of Appeals panel that affirmed an earlier decision by Senior Judge Jack Lively, which permanently enjoined the Board of County Commissioners of Logan County from eradicating prairie dogs on approximately 10,000 acres of ranchland owned by Larry and Bette Haverfield, Gordon Barnhardt and Maxine Blank.


Prairie dog colonies are scattered over several thousand acres of rangeland on these jointly managed ranches, making it the largest and possibly the most ecologically important Black-tailed Prairie Dog complex in the state of Kansas.  It serves as a principle focus for the reintroduction of federally endangered Black-footed Ferrets in Kansas.  This small predator relies almost exclusively on prairie dogs for prey and lives in the burrows they create. 


After being regarded as extinct in the state for fifty years, fourteen captive-raised ferrets were released on the Haverfield/Barnhardt complex in December 2007.  Several additional releases followed, and the ferrets have been reproducing in the wild on the property and another nearby reintroduction site.


In addition, prairie dog colonies provide prey and habitat for several other imperiled species, including Ferruginous Hawks, Golden Eagles, 
Burrowing Owls and Swift Foxes.


As argued by attorney Randall Rathbun on behalf of the landowners–who wanted to retain prairie dogs, the ferrets and other wildlife on their land-the Endangered Species Act (ESA) preempts the county from unilateral eradication of prairie dogs within the complex.  Eradication as “authorized” under K.S.A. 80-1202 would destroy the food supply and habitat of the Black-footed Ferret, constituting an unlawful taking under the ESA.


In summary, the Court of Appeals declared that the ESA preempts K.S.A. 80-1202 because eradication may constitute an unlawful taking within the meaning of the act. The district court was correct that it did not have jurisdiction to determine the issues the County has presented that clearly fall under federal jurisdiction.  “The County’s contention lacks legal merit because it is an attempt to do an end run around the ESA and the protection afforded the black-footed ferret.”


The Logan County Commission began a campaign to force landowners throughout the county to eradicate prairie dogs in the summer of 2005.  During the past seven years the commission has hired and sent extermination contractors and a county employee to the Haverfield ranch complex with mandates that the land be poisoned with toxicants including Rozol Prairie Dog Bait and Phostoxin, a dangerous gas that kill everything in treated burrows.  The Logan County Commission and the Kansas Farm Bureau have spearheaded litigation to force landowners to comply with eradication orders. The landowners have defended their interests in various court proceedings.


The recent Kansas Court of Appeals decision is likely to bring the string of litigation on this ranch complex to a close.  However, the property rights of other landowners who seek to provide refuge for the diverse species that depend on prairie dog colonies for existence may encounter similar assaults on their stewardship efforts.


Audubon of Kansas and other wildlife conservation organizations have argued in the Kansas Legislature that the eradication statutes (K.S.A. 80-1202) used by counties to force landowners to poison prairie dogs, enacted more than a century ago, is antiquated and should be repealed.  When eradication mandates are imposed, they drastically infringe on private property rights and they promote extinction of wildlife when conservation and stewardship should be the state’s role.


A detailed article on the controversy and issues relating to the efforts of these landowners to protect prairie dog colonies and host the reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets was published in Audubon of Kansas’ PRAIRIE WINGS magazine.  Entitled “CONSERVATION of Prairie Dogs and Reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets REQUIRES COURAGE”, the article can be viewed online at, pages 14-18.


Larry and Bette Haverfield, Gordon and Martha Barnhardt, and Maxine Blank are regarded by many wildlife enthusiasts throughout the country as wildlife conservation heroes.

Missouri River Corridor Cover Crop Funds

Missouri River Corridor Cover Crop Initiative Funds Available for 4 Northeast Kansas Counties

Salina, Kansas, July 12, 2012—Eric B. Banks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Kansas, announced that applications are being accepted to support cover crops planted on lands damaged by the 2011 flooding along the Missouri River to assist producers in controlling erosion and building organic matter. Eligible areas are land affected by the Missouri River flooding in Atchison, Doniphan, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties. Producers may apply for the funds through July 27, 2012, and funds must be obligated by August 10, 2012.

Kansas received $125,000 for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Missouri River Corridor Cover Crop Initiative for cover crops and associated practices to address the damaged areas.

The EQIP helps address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers who have natural resource concerns that need to be addressed on their land. Qualifying Kansas producers compete separately and receive higher payment rates.

For more information visit the Kansas NRCS Web site or your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center. To find a service center near you, check in your telephone book under “United States Government” or on the Internet at Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Jim Gerrish Grazing Workshops Set

Jim Gerrish, well-known Idaho rancher, researcher, grazing educator, author and co-founder of the Missouri Grazing School, will deliver two 2-day workshops in Topeka and Hays, Kansas in August. Each workshop will be tailored for the grasses, forages, rainfall, growing conditions and grazing potential in that area of the state.

   The workshops will be held:

  Monday-Tuesday, August 13-14, 2012,

  at the Ramada Inn, 420 SE 6th St. (Lower Level Meeting Rooms) 

  Topeka, Kansas 

  Wednesday-Thursday August 15-16  

      Whiskey Creek Restaurant West Meeting Room,

 3203 Vine St., Hays, Ks.

The workshops will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. each day. The workshops are made available by a grant award to the Kansas Rural Center from the USDA Risk Management Agency. Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, and Kansas SARE are joining KRC as co-sponsors

   Registration fees, which include lunch and beverages, are $80 per individual for each workshop; and $50 per workshop for students (high school or college).  Please register for food count by August 8.

   You are responsible for your own hotel or motel reservations.  The Topeka meeting will be held at the Ramada Inn, 420 SE 6th, and you can opt to stay there by calling 785-234-5400 for room reservations.  Hays has many options; select your favorite.

For more information contact Mary Howell, KRC workshop coordinator, at 785-562-8726 or [email protected]; or contact KRC at 785-873-3431, or [email protected].

You can also register by going to the Kansas Rural Center website and clicking onto the home page button: Jim Gerrish Grazing Workshops in August

Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill that Will Lead to Destruction of Prairies and Wetlands

Measure should be amended to better safeguard natural resources


The National Wildlife Federation criticized the Farm Bill passed July 11 by the House Committee on Agriculture for its damaging implications for the nation’s declining prairies and wetlands. A strongly supported bipartisan amendment to limit federal subsidies for farming on native grasslands was withdrawn after committee Chairman Frank Lucas expressed his strong disapproval to allowing it to apply in his home state of Oklahoma

“A national sodsaver measure to protect grasslands and minimum soil and wetland conservation requirements are common sense provisions that are broadly supported by hunters, anglers, budget hawks and farmers who are willing to meet some environmental standards in exchange for federal benefits like crop insurance,” said Julie SibbingDirector of Agriculture and Forestry Programs at the National Wildlife Federation. “These measures must be included in the final bill if taxpayers are to get a modest return on their enormous investment in agriculture.”

In addition to lacking a national sodsaver provision, the House bill also failed to close a new loophole in the longstanding soil and wetlands conservation requirements on eligibility for federal subsidies. Due to a shift in how farmers are subsidized in the new bill, those who receive only crop insurance, the largest subsidy most farmers receive, would not have to abide by these conditions. 

“We believe that providing taxpayer subsidized crop insurance to those who drain wetlands and who farm erosion-prone soil without conservation measures breaks a longstanding covenant with American taxpayers and could result in significant damage to our waterways and wildlife habitat,” said Sibbing.

The lack of  wetlands protection requirements on crop insurance means that the estimated $90 billion to be spent on taxpayer subsidies for crop insurance over the next ten years could be subsidizing the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of valuable wetlands, resulting in increased downstream flooding and loss of wildlife habitat. This provision was included in the Senate bill after an amendment on the floor.
The Kansas Wildlife Federation strongly supports the inclusion of a sodsaver provision in the Farm Bill that will cover native grasslands nationwide. KWF also supports a compliance requirement for landowners who receive assistance in crop insurance. We urge our Representatives to work for inclusion of these vital programs when the bill (H.R. 6083) comes up for a vote in the full House. We hope you will too.

Duck Populations at Record Highs

Trend continues for continent’s breeding ducks


Although breeding habitat conditions have declined from previous years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 2012 “Trends in Duck Breeding Populations” report estimates breeding waterfowl numbers in North America‘s duck factory is at a record high. This year’s estimate of 48.6 million breeding ducks is significantly higher than the 45.6 million birds estimated last year and 43 percent above the long-term average.

This annual report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats collected by wildlife biologists from the USFWS and the Canadian Wildlife Service for the “Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey.” The survey samples more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl habitat across the United States and Canada.

Highlights from the survey in the northcentral United States, southcentral and northern Canada, and Alaska include the following population abundance estimates:

♦ mallard — 10.6 million, a 15 percent increase over 2011 and a 39 percent increase over the long-term average of 7.6 million;

♦ gadwall — 10 percent above the 2011 estimate and 96 percent above the long-term average;

♦ American wigeon — 3 percent above 2011, but remains 17 percent below the long-term average;

♦ green-winged and blue-winged teal — 3.5 million and 9.2 million, respectively, 20 percent and 3 percent above 2011 numbers. Both species continue to remain well above long-term averages by 74 percent and 94 percent, respectively;

♦ northern shovelers — 5.0 million, 8 percent above 2011 and 111 percent above the long-term average;

♦ northern pintail — 3.5 million, 22 percent below the 2011 estimate and 14 percent below the long-term average;

♦ redhead — unchanged from last year but 89 percent above the long-term average;

♦ canvasback — 0.8 million, 10 percent above last year’s estimate and 33 percent above the long-term average; and

♦ lesser and greater scaup — 5.2 million, 21 percent above the 2011 estimate and 4 percent above the long-term average.

Habitat conditions observed across the survey areas during the 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were characterized by average to below-average moisture, especially in the southern portions, due primarily to a mild winter and an early spring.

The 2012 survey’s estimate of ponds for the northcentral U.S. was 1.7 million, 49 percent below the 2011 estimate of 3.2 million and similar to the long-term average. Significant decreases in wetland numbers and conditions occurred in the U.S. Prairies during 2012. Nearly all of the northcentral U.S. habitat was rated as good to excellent in 2011; however, only the habitat in the coteau region of North and South Dakota was rated as good in 2012, and no areas were rated as excellent habitat this year. Severe wetland declines in western South Dakota and Montana resulted in mostly poor to fair habitat conditions.

The annual survey guides USFWS waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The USFWS works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific – to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits, derived in part from the data gathered through this annual survey.

Using these frameworks as guides, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will establish the 2012-2013 waterfowl seasons and bag limits at its August 23 meeting. The meeting will be conducted at the Kansas WetlandEducation Center

592 NE K-156 HighwayGreat Bend

, with the afternoon session beginning at 1:30 p.m. Waterfowl seasons will be discussed at the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m.

KDWPT Accepting Applications for Private Land Grants

Program provides technical assistance and financial incentives to enhance wildlife habitat on private land; Oct. 1 application deadline


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is now accepting applications for State Wildlife Grants (SWG), which are awarded to qualified private landowners to enhance wildlife habitat on their land. Since its inception, the SWG Private Landowner Program has funded more than $1.4 million to complete 60 private land habitat projects. Projects include removing invasive woody plants from native mixed-grass prairie, constructing alternate watering facilities to help with native short-grass prairie management, conversion of cool season grass to native grass and forbs, and construction of perimeter fencing on expiring CRP fields to help maintain those fields in native grass. These projects will improve more than 20,346 acres of habitat that will benefit wildlife considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCG) in Kansas.

In the past, KDWPT received $586,000 of SWG funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to aid in the protection and management of priority habitats for SGCG in Kansas. In June 2012, the department received an additional $205,000 in SWG funds to further continue this private landowner habitat conservation work.

To be eligible, applications must address issues and strategies identified in the Kansas Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan. Applications will be scored based on established criteria to ensure all applicants are considered fairly and that the highest-ranking projects are selected. Proposals with potential to score highest will specifically address restoration and enhancement activities that will contribute to 1) development or maintenance of large grassland blocks capable of supporting area-sensitive wildlife species; 2) restoration or maintenance of areas supporting high densities of playa lakes surrounded by grasslands; and 3) restoration or enhancement of streams and associated riparian buffers.

Applications are being accepted immediately with a deadline of Oct. 1. Those landowners receiving funding will be required to match a minimum of 25 percent of total project costs. This match can either be a cash contribution from a non-federal source or contributions of labor, materials, or equipment use. Applications will be accepted until available funds have been committed.

Interested landowners should contact any KDWPT regional office or a private lands biologist for application materials or to schedule a consultation concerning a proposed project. Questions regarding program administration can be addressed to Roger Wolfe, KDWPT Region 2 Office, 

300 SW Wanamaker RoadTopekaKansas 66606

; phone 785-271-7388. Persons with special communication needs may use the Kansas Relay Center, 1-800-766-3777.

The Kansas River Water Trail designation will be officially announced Saturday, July 14

The Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will designate the Kansas River Water Trail as the newest addition to National Water Trails System.  The Kansas River Water Trail is an exemplary example of cooperation and partnering to benefit all communities along the river and the State of Kansas


Kansas Governor Brownback invites you to attend the special event with the Secretary.


 When: 9 a.m., Saturday, July 14, 2012

 Where: Flint Hills Discovery Center

315 South Third StreetManhattanKansas  66502


Prior to the announcement at 8:30am Secretary Salazar will take a boat tour on the Kaw from the Fairmont Access (inManhattan under the 177 Bridge) to Ogden. It would be wonderful if he could witness folks paddling on the Kaw (HINT, HINT!)  If any of Friends of the Kaw’s paddling friends could organize an early morning float from Ogden to Manhattan that would be greatly appreciated.


(Note from the Kansas Riverkeeper: I’m literally crying with joy writing this message! I want to recognize and thank my husband, Mike Calwell, for his years of service and hard work assisting river communities build ten boat ramps and riverside parks on the Kaw.  More ramps are planned and Mike truly helped to make this designation a reality.)