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Daily Archives: August 31, 2017

Kansas Game Wardens deploy to aid hurricane victims

 

At 1:30 a.m., August 31, a 14-member team of Kansas game wardens from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) departed Wichita for Texas to assist with search and rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The game wardens come from around the state. The team will use seven boats consisting of four flat-bottom jon boats, two enclosed rescue air boats and one open air boat, as well as their mobile command trailer. The wardens will report to College Station, Texas to receive their working assignments.

 

Kansas game wardens train for and are often called upon to help with water search, rescue or recovery operations on Kansas lakes and rivers. The air boats and jon boats can enter waters that are often too shallow for conventional watercraft.

 

The game wardens join a number of other state, county and city emergency responders from central and eastern Kansas being deployed to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As reported by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, their objectives will be to search for and rescue individuals, provide basic life support (BLS) medical care, transport people and animals to the nearest location for secondary air or land transport, provide shore-based and boat-based water rescue, provide animal rescues, and support helicopter and urban search and rescue in water environments.

iSportsman data makes our wildlife areas better

 

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) manages more than 400,000 acres for public hunting. That’s a relatively small number when compared to what’s available in surrounding states, so KDWPT Public Lands staff are dedicated to making what we have the best it can be. One tool staff use to guide management practices and improve hunter satisfaction is data collection through Daily Hunt Permits. In the past, select wildlife areas required hunters to fill out a card when they arrived to an area and keep a portion of that card with them while hunting. At the end of the outing, hunters then completed a survey, marking what they were hunting, what they harvested, and their overall satisfaction with the experience before placing the remaining portion of the card in a lock box.

 

The data collected gave managers an accurate view of hunting pressure, preferred game species and harvest. On some areas, this data was much different than managers’ assumptions and allowed them to change management goals to better serve hunters. However, collecting paper cards was labor intensive, requiring as much as a day or more per week and many miles of travel. Then the data had to be entered into a database by hand before it could be analyzed, which often took months.

 

To make the data collection process more efficient and make data available more quickly, Public Lands staff implemented the electronic iSporstman Daily Hunt Permit system on several wildlife areas in 2014. Thirty wildlife areas now require iSportsman Daily Hunt Permits. Those areas are listed on Page 39 of the 2017 Kansas Hunting & Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available wherever licenses are sold.

 

To use the iSportsman system, first register for an account at kdwpt.isportsman.net or call (620) 672-5911. Once a permit and PIN number has been issued, you can “check in” and “check out” from a smartphone, computer or by calling 1-844-500-0825 each time you hunt on an iSportsman-designated wildlife areas. It’s easy and convenient because you can check in the night before a hunt and check out at any time the day of your hunt. No more standing in the cold at a wildlife area kiosk at dark, filling out a dank paper card with a dull pencil.

 

As easy and convenient as iSportsman is for hunters, it’s even more efficient for wildlife area managers. Staff no longer have to visit each kiosk lock box to get the paper cards every week, and the data is entered into the database automatically, providing managers with real-time information. If you hunt public lands and haven’t registered with iSportsman, do it today.

New fish cleaning station for anglers at Kirwin

 

A new, modern fish cleaning station is open east of the dam at Kirwin Reservoir. The new facility – located on U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) property, a half mile west of the town of Kirwin – features a “Barracuda” model fish carcass disposal system, and is equipped with ample parking for vehicles and trailers. In order to benefit as many anglers as possible, American Disabilities Act considerations were also incorporated into the facility’s final design.

 

The Kirwin fish cleaning facility will close mid-October, after which it will close for the winter to prevent damage from freezing.

 

Over the course of 15 months, several entities came together to make the new facility possible, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Stockton Correctional Facility, BOR, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT).

 

For more information about this project, contact USFWS staff at (785) 543-6673, or KDWPT staff at (785) 628-8614.

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.