Sign your kids up for Southwest Kansas Youth Day

A flurry of fun activity will be had at the upcoming 2017 Southwest Kansas Youth Day at Historic Lake Scott State Park in Scott City and youth ages 16 and younger are invited to attend. During the Oct. 1 event, taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., youth can enjoy a snake presentation, shotgun and BB gun shooting, and a 3D archery shoot.

Lunch will be provided, and registered participants will get a free event t-shirt.

A variety of prizes will be given away at the event, including mentored hunts, shotguns and pellet guns for youth ages 9-16, and a separate set of prizes for youth 9 and younger.

For more information and to register for this event, contact Manuel Torres at (620) 966-8570 or by e-mail at [email protected].

2017 NWTF Kansas State JAKES camp

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) will hold the 2017 Kansas State JAKES Camp Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at White Memorial Camp, 6 miles north of Council Grove, off Highway K-177.  The camp is open to youth 17 and younger who want to learn more about hunting and outdoor skills.

On Saturday, participants can select up to six activities from a list that includes fishing, arts and crafts, JAKES Take Aim BB gun shooting, trap shooting, still target shooting, archery, canoeing, and turkey calling with NWTF Grand National and World Turkey Calling Champion, Billy Yargus.

On Saturday evening, JAKES members can participate in the annual NWTF Kansas State JAKES (ages 12 and under) and Xtreme JAKES (ages 13 to 17) turkey calling contests. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each division. The evening will close with Yargus entertaining everyone with stories of becoming a world-class turkey caller.

On Sunday, Pastor Gary Cargill will start the day with a sunrise service. After the service, participants will enjoy presentations by Master Falconer Doug Burt and a naturalist from the Milford Nature Center.

The cost of the event is $20 for JAKES members, $30 for non-JAKES members (which includes a JAKES membership), and $20 for adults. Options for Saturday night include commuting, tent camping (bring your own tent), RV camping (a few RV hook-ups are available) or for an additional fee, staying in a resident cabin (bunk beds and shared bath). Boys and girls will have separate cabins. The cost includes lunch and supper on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. Meals will be prepared by the White Memorial Camp kitchen staff. All youth 17 and younger will receive a commemorative t-shirt and win a prize in a drawing at the end of the event on Sunday. One lucky youth will win a shotgun.

The NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp was awarded the “Best State JAKES Event” in 2012, the “Best Special JAKES Event” in 2013 at the NWTF National Convention in Nashville, Tenn. and “Honorable Mention” in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

For more information and to register, contact Gib Rhodes at (620) 437-2012.

Soar over to KWEC’s Butterfly Festival

All things “butterfly” will be the focus of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center’s (KWEC) Butterfly Festival from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 16.

From magic shows to tagging monarch butterflies, kids and adults will find plenty to do during this free event. New this year, “Butterfly Magic” – a puppet magic show performed by the Fishin’ Magicians, Steve Craig and Amy Short – will explore the mystery of the butterfly life cycle through magic, puppets and humor.

“We’re excited to have Steve Craig and Amy Short present their unique brand of humor and magic during the festival this year,” said Curtis Wolf, KWEC site manager.

The Fishin’ Magicians will perform three 30-minute shows at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., sponsored by the Grace Van Skike Memorial and Landmark National Bank.

After filling up on laughs, visitors can grab a net and tags to help capture and tag butterflies. Participants will receive information about the tagging process before heading out with a tagging leader to search for monarch butterflies. Over the past two years, 13 tagged monarchs released from KWEC have been recovered from winter roosts in Mexico.

Weather permitting, an exhibit beehive will be on display in the insect zoo, in addition to giant walking stick insects, hissing and peppered cockroaches, butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises.

Kids can play in the mud, make a seed bomb filled with soil and native flower seeds, channel their inner insect by taking a photo at the monarch butterfly and caterpillar photo boards and dress-up area, and create caterpillar and butterfly crafts in the classroom.

Plan to spend the morning, as door prizes will be presented around noon, along with free milkweed plants (one per family). Information on butterfly-friendly plants will be also available, along with examples of butterfly-friendly plants in the KWEC pollinator garden.

Light refreshments and drinks will be provided.

For more information on this event, contact the KWEC at 1-877-243-9268 or visit

Fun-filled day planned for Outdoor Youth Fair Sept. 9

If you’ve got a kiddo who is champing at the bit to learn how to shoot a bow, go fishing, shoot a shotgun, or paddle a canoe, sign them up for the Annual Northcentral Kansas Outdoor Youth Fair on Sept. 9. Held each year in Osborne, this free and fun-filled event is packed with more outdoor activities than your youngster can imagine. The festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and all youth ages 17 and younger are invited to attend. Participants 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult, and all participants must pre-register by 11 a.m. the day of the event to receive lunch and be eligible for prizes.

Fair activities include archery, wingshooting, flyfishing, rifle and muzzleloader shooting, canoeing, trapping, whittling, biking and many others. All equipment and supplies will be provided.

The Annual Northcentral Kansas Outdoor Youth Fair is made possible by the Osborne County Pheasants Forever Chapter, Osborne Gun Club, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Nex-Tech, and the Keith Hahn Memorial.

To register for this event, contact Cleo Hahn at (785) 346-4541, John Cockerham at (785) 346-6527, or Chris Lecuyer at (785) 218-7818.

Tuttle Creek Lake youth/handicap assisted deer hunt Oct. 7th & 8th

Plans are underway for the 15th annual youth/handicap assisted deer hunt at Tuttle Creek Lake. The event is sponsored by the Riley County Fish & Game Association, Tuttle Creek Lake Association, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the Lloyd Johnson Outdoor Youth fund, and the Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake.

Participants wishing to qualify for this hunt as a disabled hunter are required to have a handicap identification card or similar proof of their permanent disability. Youth 11 through 16 years of age are also eligible to participate in this hunt.

The hunt itself will be held on October 7th & 8th, 2017 during the Pre-Rut Antlerless rifle season for 12 lucky applicants. This is a change from previous assisted hunts; during the Pre-Rut Antlerless rifle season hunters may only harvest a doe/antlerless deer.

Prior to the hunt we will hold a rifle sight-in at the Fancy Creek Range near Randolph on Saturday, September 16th at 4:00p.m. The sight-in is mandatory for all participants. We will be providing a meal that evening so bring your rifle, ammo (a rifle and ammo will be provided if you don’t have your own) and your appetite. During the sight-in, all participants will qualify for the hunt by demonstrating the ability to hit a “pie-sized” target (provided) 2 out of 3 shots at 50 yards. Don’t worry; you will have plenty of time to warm up before qualifying. On the afternoon of the sight-in we will also be addressing the hunting license and deer permit needs of each participant. Limited scholarships are available for those that need this assistance.

On October 7th & 8th, to begin the hunt, hunters and guides will meet at 5:00 a.m. at the Tuttle Creek Lake Visitor Center (located at 5020 Tuttle Creek Blvd. Manhattan) for breakfast. After breakfast, all hunters and their guides will disperse to their predestinated hunting blinds. All hunters will have a guide and a hunt location assigned to them well before the hunt. Guides will know the assigned hunting locations. Hunters who are unsuccessful during the morning hunt can make arrangements with their guides for afternoon/evening hunts on these days.

Hopefully eve1ybody will have the opportunity to harvest a deer. We have made arrangements to have the deer processed free of charge at area lockers for those participants that need these services. We also have made arrangements for the deer to be transported to these lockers.

If you would like to participate in this hunt, please contact Wyatt Cooper for an application and send it back to in no later than August 25th. Applications will be prioritized shortly thereafter and all applicants will be notified of their status.

If you have any questions about this event please contact Wyatt Cooper, Natural Resource Specialist, at 785-539-8511, ext. 3170, or at [email protected].

Youth dove hunting events provide high-quality experiences

Dove hunting can be a perfect opportunity to get a young hunter started in wingshooting. The weather is mild, action can be fast and shot opportunities numerous. It is safe and allows close supervision by a mentor as hunters sit quietly and wait for doves to fly into a feed field or water source. With a little pre-season shotgun practice, a young hunter can enjoy a fantastic hunting experience. And to improve the odds of success, a youth dove hunting event like those listed below offer limited access to fields specially managed to attract doves.

In northcentral Kansas, the Osborne County Pheasants Forever (PF) Chapter and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will host an opening weekend dove hunt. This hunt is expected to provide young hunters with plenty of shooting action as the birds flock to grain fields for morning feeding.

Youth between the ages of 10 and 16 who have had limited dove hunting experience are invited to register. Applicants who have not hunted before will be given preference to participate. Only the youngsters will be hunting, and each hunter will have at least one adult mentor at their side. All hunters must be strong enough to handle their guns safely.

The hunt will begin early Saturday morning, Sept. 2, on the Glen Elder Wildlife Area near Waconda Lake in Mitchell County. A managed crop field on the lake property will be reserved exclusively for this 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 be paired with adult mentors before heading to the field. After the hunt, all participants will enjoy a free lunch provided by Osborne County Pheasants Forever where stories of the morning’s hunt can be re-lived and shared.

Young hunters who would like to participate in the hunt must pre-register by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345 (8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays). The sign-up deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. Spots are limited, so hunters are encouraged to register early.

Shotguns can be provided for kids who do not have one. Twelve- and 20-gauge non-toxic shotgun shells will be provided. Hunters 16 and older must have hunting licenses and Harvest Information Program (HIP) permits.

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

In northeastern Kansas, the Jayhawk Chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) and KDWPT will host the chapter’s 10th Annual Youth Dove Hunt on Sept. 2. Hunters 16 and younger are invited to register for the hunt, which will take place at Clinton Wildlife Area west of Lawrence and begins at sunrise. Mentors will accompany all participants, but non-hunting family members are encouraged to attend.

Non-toxic shells and eye and ear protection will be provided to participants, who are encouraged to dress in camouflage or dark-colored clothing. Shotguns are available on request. Participants age 16 must have a Kansas hunting licenses and HIP permits.

For more details and to register, contact Dr. John Hill at (785) 841-9555 or (785) 550-5657, or by e-mail at [email protected].

The Westar Energy Green Team is hosting its annual youth dove hunt at Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys Sept. 1-4. Early-morning and late-afternoon hunts will be offered.

Youth 16 and younger are invited to register. Hunters must bring their own shotguns and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Sixteen-year-olds must have hunting licenses and HIP permits. Non-toxic shells will be provided. Wheat and sunflower fields have been prepared to attract doves, so action should be lively.

Hunters will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To request an application, call Jeanine Heinisch at (785) 575-6355 by Friday, Aug. 25.

Youth outdoor festival in Hays August 19

If you’re interested in introducing your child to the world of shooting sports, hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related activities, head out to Hays on August 19 for the 20th Annual Youth Outdoor Festival. Hays area businesses, conservation groups and shooting sports groups have teamed together to offer a free day of target shooting and outdoor activities for youth 17 and younger and your family is invited to attend. The event will be held Saturday, August 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hays City Sportsman’s Club, located 1/4 mile north of I-70 Exit 157.

Youth will learn the ins and outs of trap and skeet shooting, archery equipment, air rifles and BB guns, muzzleloaders, small-bore rifles, and more. There will also be a casting competition, paintball target shooting, and a furharvesting demonstration.

Youth will be closely supervised at each station by experienced volunteer instructors, and all equipment will be supplied. Hunter Education certification is not required, however, youth are required to be accompanied by an adult.

There is no cost to attend and families can register onsite the day of the event.

A free lunch will be provided courtesy of Eagle Communications and the Hays Chapter of Pheasants Forever. Youth will also have chances to win prizes, including guns, fishing tackle and other outdoor equipment.

For more information, contact Kent Hensley at (785) 726-3212 or Troy Mattheyer at (785) 726-4212.

Sign up for Hunter Ed before fall seasons start


Taking Hunter Education has never been more convenient thanks to Internet-assisted courses designed to allow students to complete their classwork at home. After a student completes their Internet work, they can attend a field day to complete their final test and certification. Field days typically include live-fire, a trail-walk and safe gun handing exercises. Students must register for an Internet-assisted course (field day) before completing the online portion.

The easiest way to find a class that meets your schedule is to visit and click Hunting, then Hunter Education. Students must be 11 or older to be certified. However, hunters 15 or younger may hunt without hunter education certification provided they are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Otherwise, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must be certified by an approved course before they can hunt in Kansas.

Those who prefer to learn in a classroom setting may sign up for a traditional hunter education course. Traditional courses are usually held over two to three days, totaling 10 hours of class time. To access a list of traditional courses currently being offered, visit and click Hunting, then Hunter Education.

Classes fill up quickly, so register early and make sure you’re Hunter Ed certified before fall seasons start!

Listen to the animals at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center


Bioacoustics: chirps, whistles, croaks and clicks; sounds that combine in an animal opera of high drama for eavesdropping scientists. Discover what animals are saying during the free program, “Listening to Animals,” on Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in Great Bend.

Mark Nolen, professor of biology at Hutchinson Community College, will share information on the up-and-coming field of biology called bioacoustics – the study of animal communication and sound. Nolen will explain how studying the sounds animals use to communicate provides a window into animal worlds and information on their social interactions.

Apart from listening to a choir of interesting animal sounds, participants will learn how knowledge of bioacoustics in our environment can enrich our experience in nature and add a new dimension to the scientific understanding of biology and ecology.

“Listening To Animals” will be a kickoff to the KWEC’s Cheyenne Bottoms FrogWatch year. FrogWatch is a citizen science program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that enlists volunteers to monitor local frog and toad populations by listening for their calls. KWEC staff will provide training and resources to volunteers so they can identify local frogs and toads throughout the breeding season at Cheyenne Bottoms. Attendees of the March 12 program do not have to participate in FrogWatch, however information about FrogWatch will be available.

To participate in FrogWatch, call the KWEC at (877) 243-9268.

Waconda Lake to host annual youth and women’s pheasant hunt


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and sponsoring partners will conduct the 2016 Youth and Women’s Celebrity Pheasant Hunt at Waconda Lake (Glen Elder Reservoir) on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event will begin at 7:15 a.m. with breakfast in the Hopewell Church basement at Glen Elder State Park, followed by a pre-hunt safety program. Hunters, guides, and mentors will then spend the remainder of the morning and early afternoon hunting various limited-access refuge areas around Glen Elder Reservoir. Lunch will be provided by the Waconda Lake Association.


Youth ages 11-16 and women are eligible to apply for this hunt, which is designed to provide comfortable and positive hunting experiences for new or beginning hunters. Previous hunting experience is not required, and some shotguns and ammunition can be provided for those without equipment. Hunters must apply no later than Dec. 1 by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Forty spots will be available.


A unique aspect of this event is that participants will interact with and hunt alongside a few Hero-Celebrities invited to serve as hunting mentors. Past mentors include former professional athletes, television personalities, and military personnel who have recently returned from deployment.

Participants can also visit trap shooting stations that will be set up west of the KDWPT Glen Elder Area Office. From 1:30 – 4 p.m., the public is welcome to enjoy shooting at the stations.


All participants will receive a commemorative item from the event, as well as additional prizes provided by sponsors. The hunters’ banquet and dinner will be held Saturday night. All event participants are invited to attend and will be asked to RSVP for the banquet when they sign up for the hunt.


For more information on this event, or to serve as a volunteer mentor, contact Chris Lecuyer at (785) 545-3345.