Fall turkey season offers second chance at gobblers

If lady luck wasn’t on your side this spring turkey season, or you simply want to enjoy a unique fall hunting experience, the fall turkey season is an opportunity for a second chance. From Oct. 1 – Dec. 1 and Dec. 14, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016, turkey hunters may hunt both male and female turkeys in turkey management units: 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. Hunters with a fall turkey permit and valid Kansas hunting license may also purchase up to three additional turkey game tags valid in Unit 2, offering plenty of opportunities to stock up this winter.

All hunters must have a hunting license, unless exempt, and a turkey permit. Residents 15 and younger, 75 and older and hunters hunting on land they own are exempt from hunting license requirements. Resident permits are $22.50 for hunters 16 and older and $7.50 for hunters 15 and younger. Resident turkey game tags are $12.50. Nonresident turkey permits are $32.50 and nonresident turkey game tags are $22.50.

For information on turkey hunting regulations, legal equipment, unit maps and public hunting areas, pick up or download an electronic copy (www.ksoutdoors.com) of the 2015 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary and 2015 Kansas Hunting Atlas. Permits and game tags are available wherever licenses are sold and at www.ksoutdoors.com.

License fees, duck zones and fishing regulations on Commission agenda

The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will conduct a public meeting in Burlington on October 22, 2015 at the Coffey County Library, 410 Juniatta Street. The afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m. and will recess for supper at 5 p.m. The meeting will reconvene for the Public Hearing portion at 6:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend all portions of the meeting.

Items on the afternoon General Discussion agenda include a report on the fiscal status of the agency and state by Secretary Robin Jennison; the upcoming 2016 session of the Kansas Legislature; Kansas tourism, staff report on the Coffey County Lake fishery, the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge, and antelope and elk regulations. Workshop items include deer hunting regulations and big game permanent regulations.

The Public Hearing portion will begin at 6:30 p.m. Items to be discussed and voted on by the commission include hunting and fishing fees, big game and turkey permit applications, definitions concerning setline fishing, fishing regulations near fish ladders, length and creel limits and duck zone boundary changes.

Time will be available during the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on non-agenda items. If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., October 23, to complete any unfinished business.

Live video and audio streaming of the meeting will be available at ksoutdoors.com.

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired.

To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at (620) 672-5911.

The next Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2016 at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan.

Game Wardens, KHP Troopers to conduct checkpoints

Joint effort will check drivers’ licenses and possession of wildlife

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) game wardens and Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) troopers will conduct one or more joint checkpoints in central Kansas on Sunday, October 11, 2015. Deer, dove and duck seasons will be underway. Checkpoints are intended to help enforce state and federal wildlife laws, as well as the state’s driver’s licensing laws.

KHP troopers will operate the first stage of the checkpoints to be sure drivers are properly licensed to be driving. If a driver does not have a valid license, appropriate enforcement actions will be taken. Travelers should not expect major delays from this portion of the checkpoints.

Occupants of vehicles in the first check lane will be asked if they are hunters or are transporting wildlife. If yes in either case, drivers will be directed to a nearby KDWPT check lane where Kansas Game Wardens will check for required licenses and permits, count the game and gather biological, harvest, and hunter success information. This portion of the checkpoints should also cause minimal delay.

The following locations may be used if weather conditions and manpower allow:

US-81 at milepost 161, Ottawa County

US-56 & K-46 intersection, McPherson County

K-156 at milepost 165, Ellsworth County

US-281 & US-50 intersection, Stafford County

K-156 & US-56 intersection, Pawnee County

US-281 & K-4 intersection, Barton County

Additional wildlife checkpoints will occur around the state during the fall and winter hunting seasons.

Pintails, redheads and mallards, oh my

The 2015 Kansas duck season is about to kick off – are you ready for the marsh madness? Before you throw on your waders and start unraveling decoys, there are a few things you need to know. iSportsman, the free and convenient electronic check-in system, is now offered at 23 locations throughout the state. If you have yet to create an account, consider signing up at www.kdwpt.isportsman.net. Federal Waterfowl Stamps, required of all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older, have increased in price and can be purchased for $26.50.

All hunters who are required to have a hunting license must also have a State Waterfowl Permit, $7, and a Kansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit, $2.50, before hunting ducks, geese, or mergansers. Licenses, stamps and permits, except for Federal Waterfowl Stamps, may be obtained wherever licenses are sold and online at ksoutdoors.com. Apart from post offices, Federal Waterfowl Stamps may also be obtained online from www.duckstamp.com and www.usps.com.

Federal and state waterfowl permits are not required to hunt coots, doves, rails, snipe, woodcock, or sandhill cranes; however a HIP Permit is required.




High Plains Unit: Oct. 3-4, 2015

Low Plains Early Zone: Oct. 3-4, 2015

Low Plains Late Zone: Oct. 24-25, 2015

Southeast Zone: Nov. 7-8, 2015

(Bag limits for the youth seasons are the same as during the regular seasons and include ducks, geese, coots and mergansers.)


Oct. 10, 2015-Jan. 4, 2016 and Jan. 23-31, 2016


Oct. 10-Dec. 6, 2015 and Dec. 19, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016


Season: Oct. 31, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 23-31, 2016


Nov. 14, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 9-31, 2016

Hunters may take six ducks daily, including no more than, 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens; 3 wood ducks; 3 scaup; 2 pintails; 2 redheads; and 2 canvasbacks. Possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

Hunters taking mergansers may possess up to five a day, only two of which may be hooded mergansers. Possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

For more information on Kansas duck hunting, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” “Seasons and Limits,” then “Migratory Bird Seasons,” or pick up a copy of the 2015 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary wherever licenses are sold.

Waterfowl hunters’ breakfast at Kansas Wetlands Education Center

As many as 500 waterfowl hunters from across the U.S. will flock to Cheyenne Bottoms for the opening weekend of duck season, which begins Oct. 10 in the Low Plains Early Duck Zone.

Knowing all too well how important a good breakfast can be, staff at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC) invite each and every one of those hunters to their 3rd Annual Hunter Appreciation Breakfast. Visiting hunters will enjoy a hot plate of biscuits and gravy, as well as coffee and juice. And the best part? It’s all free. Hungry hunters can stop by KWEC, located at the southeast corner of Cheyenne Bottoms along K-156 Highway, from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. and refuel after their morning hunts.

Following breakfast, hunters can explore Cheyenne Bottoms’ history at the education center, peruse through items in the Cheyenne Bottoms Ducks Unlimited Chapter raffle and silent auction, and brush up on their waterfowl identification, among other activities.

Hunters can also get a complimentary waterfowl boat inspection done, courtesy of Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Boater Education staff.

For more information, call the KWEC at (877) 243-9268.

This event is sponsored by Great Bend Regional Hospital.

KDWPT: Mountain lion seen in Barton County


Video from a trail cam shows a mountain lion north of Great Bend in the Barton Hills area.


Officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism have confirmed the video.

The short 20 second video that was shot at 10:06 p.m. on September 7th, made the rounds on Facebook.


It was a video that has also been seen by Wildlife and Parks biologist Charlie Swank who says he checked out the area and confirmed that the video was authentic.


“We go out and check and make sure the area matches the photograph or vide we receive,” said Swank. “We’ve had everything from pigs, dogs, house cats and more show up and be called a mountain lion.”


Swank says having mountain lions in Kansas is nothing new, but with the advent of trail cams they can now get a better handle of the number of cats that move through the state.


The first confirmed mountain lion in Kansas in modern times was shot and killed in 2007 in Barber County in south-central Kansas.


Ten more have been verified since then, for a total of 11 confirmed sightings.


The latest sighting prior to the recent sighting in Barton County was confirmed last August in Rooks County, north of Webster Reservoir.

Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission approves duck and goose seasons

The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission approved the duck and goose seasons at a Public Hearing, conducted Thursday, August 20 at the Kansas Wetland Education Center, Great Bend. Following frameworks provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the following seasons and bag limits were approved.



High Plains Duck Zone (see duck zone map at www.ksoutdoors.com)

Oct. 10, 2015-Jan. 4, 2016 and Jan. 23-31, 2016

Youth season: Oct 3-4, 2015

Low Plains Early Zone

Oct. 10-Dec. 6, 2015 and Dec. 19, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016

Youth season: Oct. 3-4, 2015

Low Plains Late Zone

Oct. 31, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 23-31, 2016

Youth season: Oct. 24-25, 2015

Low Plains Southeast Zone

Nov. 14, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 9-31, 2016

Youth season: Nov. 7-8, 2015

Duck daily bag limit: Six ducks, which may include no more than five mallards (no more than two which may be hens), three scaup, three wood ducks, two redheads, two pintails and two canvasbacks.



Canada Geese

Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2015 and Nov. 4, 2015-Feb. 14, 2016

Canada goose daily bag limit (including brant): Six

White-fronted Geese

Oct. 31, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016 and Jan. 23-Feb. 14, 2016

White-fronted goose daily bag limit: Two

Light Geese

Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2015 and Nov. 4, 2015-Feb. 14, 2016

(Light goose Conservation Order: Feb. 15-April 30, 2016)

Light goose daily bag limit (including snow and Ross’ geese): 50

(No daily bag limit during the Conservation Order)

All waterfowl hunters 16 and older must have a Federal Duck Stamp, and all hunters required to have a hunting license must also have a Kansas Waterfowl Habitat Permit and Kansas Harvest Information Program permit.

Conservation: Rescue Our Wetlands—banding together for waterfowl


DU’s bold new campaign seeks to raise at least $2 billion for wetlands and waterfowl conservation in North America

By Gregg Powers 

Ducks Unlimited has a bold vision—wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. DU’s work also benefits many other wildlife species and provides clean water, recreational opportunities, and other ecological benefits for people. During the Wetlands for Tomorrow campaign, which was completed in 2010, DU raised $1.88 billion in support of its conservation mission. Thanks to the generosity of DU supporters like you, 2 million acres were conserved and more than 4,865 projects completed throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

But our work is far from over. Wetlands continue to be lost at an alarming rate. Ducks Unlimited Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Ducks Unlimited de Mexico, along with Wetlands America Trust, are committed to making our vision a reality through the new Rescue Our Wetlands campaign. The goal of this unprecedented DU campaign is to raise at least $2 billion through 2018. These funds will be used to conserve vital wetlands and other wildlife habitats on North America’s most important waterfowl landscapes.

Rescue Our Wetlands focuses on five key priorities that are vital to the future of wetlands and waterfowl. Rarely have DU supporters had the opportunity to make a larger, more lasting impact at such a crucial moment in history.

To read more details regarding DU’s Rescue Our Wetlands program, go to:


California bans bobcat trapping, despite evidence


With a contentious 3-2 vote, the California Fish and Game Commission approved a statewide ban on trapping of bobcats.


The Sportsmen’s Alliance and its Al Taucher Conservation Coalition partners favored following the science amassed by the state and federal governments.


“Today’s narrow decision by the commission to ban bobcat trapping in California flies in the face of the science made available by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Josh Brones, government affairs coordinator of western operations for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “For the commission to willfully ignore the departments’ recommendations to not implement the ban, indicates an utter lack of regard for the role and value of science and wildlife professionals in resource policy-making decisions.”


In his presentation, Craig Martz, senior environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, provided ample evidence that the bobcat population in California was stable and possibly growing, and as high as 140,000 animals. When the maximum population was estimated to be no more than 72,000 bobcats nearly 30 years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife established a threshold of harvest by hunters and trappers to be 14,400 bobcats. Given the current average annual take of approximately 1,800 bobcats, the department’s staff appropriately summarized their presentation by stating that the trapping of bobcats would have absolutely no impact on the population.


In a disappointing turn of events, newly appointed commissioners Sklar and Williams voted against sportsmen and were the deciding factors in the needless statewide ban, with commission president Jack Baylis joining them. Commissioners Kellogg and Hostler-Carmesin voted against the ban.


“We are very disappointed by the willingness of the new commissioners to cave to the irrational and emotional arguments of the animal-rights community by taking such a radical stance on a very complex topic that has been debated for more than year – especially when their knowledge and experience with the subject matter has been confined to this single meeting,” said Brones.


“When they were appointed by Gov. Brown, we had hoped Williams and Sklar would recognize the environmental and economic importance sportsmen serve in wildlife management. At the very least, we hoped they would take a prudent and thoughtful look at the evidence and recommendation of state and federal scientists,” continued Brones. “Apparently, that was too much to hope for in this hotly debated contest. This glaring disregard for credible science will most assuredly be exploited as we pursue our options to reverse this decision.”

Now is the time for hunter education

Fall hunting seasons are just around the corner. That also means school is about to start, holidays are on the way, and finding free time isn’t going to be easy. If signing up for a Kansas Hunter Education course is on your to-do list, now is the time to make it happen.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is currently offering Hunter Education classes throughout the state, providing a variety of class times, formats, and locations to meet nearly any schedule. To view a current list of upcoming classes, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting” and then “Hunter Education.”

Kansas law states that anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must be certified by an approved course in hunter education before they can hunt in Kansas, except that anyone 15 or younger may hunt without hunter education certification provided they are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Students must be 11 or older to be certified.

Subjects covered include hunter responsibility, ethics, fair chase, history of firearms, firearms basics, ammunition, basic gun safety, field safety, bowhunting, conservation and wildlife management, wildlife of Kansas, outdoor emergencies, Kansas hunting regulations and boating safety for hunters.

Courses are offered in one of two formats: traditional and Internet-assisted. Traditional hunter education courses are 10 hours long, typically in a classroom setting, and are usually held over the course of two to three days. Internet-assisted courses are designed to meet the needs of individuals with busy schedules by providing online classwork that can be done at home. After the Internet work is completed, students must attend a field day, which often includes live-fire, trail-walk and safe gun handing exercises before final testing and certification. Students must register for an Internet-assisted course before completing the online portion.

Classes fill up quickly and hunting season will be here before you know it. Invest time in a class now, so you can be ready to enjoy opening day.