26 F
Saturday, January 16, 2021

KDWPT Working to Combat Declining Turkey Numbers

Sports Headlines

Iowa State at Kansas Men’s Basketball Game Postponed

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In accordance with Big 12 Conference men’s basketball interruption guidelines, the Iowa State at Kansas game scheduled for Saturday,...

K-State to Open 2021 Football Season in Allstate Kickoff Classic

Courtesy of K-State Athletics MANHATTAN, Kansas – Kansas State will kick off the 2021 season on September 4 against Stanford at AT&T Stadium in Arlington,...

MUDECAS Tournament Reaches Semifinal Round in Beatrice

Semifinals tip off Thursday and Friday in the Mudecas basketball tournament at Beatrice. The Southern girls are in the winners’ bracket facing Pawnee City at...

TVL & Thunder Classic Tournaments Set To Begin Next Week

Twin Valley League basketball tournament pairings were released for play beginning Saturday, with girls’ action at Frankfort and boys at Onaga. In the girl’s division,...

2021 Twin Valley League Basketball Tournament Brackets Released

The 2021 Twin Valley League Boys & Girls basketball tournament brackets have been released. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the boys and girls games will...
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

PRATT – Wild turkey populations are declining across the Midwest and Kansas isn’t immune. Though the Sunflower State still boasts one of the strongest wild turkey populations in the region, statewide surveys suggest immediate action is needed if Kansas is to have any measurable impact on slowing the decline.

Leading the charge is Kent Fricke, small game coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). Fricke, who chairs the Department’s Wild Turkey Committee, has presented on the matter to the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission since June 2019.

“Our primary concern is declining nest and brood survival rates, which are influenced by habitat availability and weather,” said Fricke. “In recent years, we’ve observed declines in both habitat quantity and quality, as well as significant weather events that have negatively impacted nesting and brood rearing seasons. Collectively, these factors are likely contributing to turkey declines.”

While Fricke and others continue to examine potential causes behind the widespread decline, spring flooding is believed to be at the forefront for 2019, as Kansas’ estimated statewide turkey production was the lowest on record.

In an effort to give populations an adequate opportunity to recover from this year’s hard-hitting spring and reduce long-term declines, staff developed progressive recommendations for the 2020 spring and fall turkey seasons. Though not all staff recommendations were approved as presented, Commissioners approved the following at their Nov. 14 meeting in Scott City:

  • Bag limits in Turkey Management Units 3, 5, and 6 (Northeast, Southcentral, and Southeast) will be reduced from two turkeys to one turkey beginning with the spring 2020 season; bag limits in Units 1 and 2 (Northwest and Northcentral) will remain at two turkeys. Hunters will still be able to purchase a permit, game tag, or combo; however, game tags (which allow the take of a second turkey) will not be valid in Units 3, 5, and 6.
  • An amendment to reduce the fall 2020 season to 41 days for all open Turkey Management Units. Currently, the fall season runs Oct. 1, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020; however, under the new regulation, the 2020 fall season will run Oct. 1-Nov. 10, 2020. Unit 4 remains closed to fall hunting.

    Staff recommended suspending the fall season in Units 3, 5, and 6. However, Commissioners were hesitant to agree, for fear of losing fall turkey hunting opportunity indefinitely. An amendment to create a bearded-only fall hunting season was introduced by the Commission, but was unable to gain a majority vote. The fall season bag limit – one either sex permit valid statewide, except for Unit 4 – remains unchanged.

  • Spring 2021 turkey season dates. Youth and hunters with disabilities – April 1-13, 2021; archery – April 5-13, 2021; and the regular season – April 14-May 31, 2021.

“The Wild Turkey Committee continues to refine and update our Adaptive Harvest Strategy, which provides a consistent and transparent method of developing staff recommendations for spring and fall season bag limits,” said Fricke. “Our goal is to maintain a robust turkey population that provides high hunter satisfaction.”

Fricke adds that landowners interested in improving turkey habitat on their property are encouraged to contact KDWPT biologists to develop strategies. There are many resources available to assist landowners with habitat improvements, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Private-Landowner-Assistance for more information.

To view population data, staff recommendations, or minutes from previous meetings, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Past-and-Future-Meetings/Archived-Meetings/2019.

To view a video recording of the Nov. 14 public hearing, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Current-LIVE-Commission-Meeting.

For a complete list of 2020 and 2021 turkey season dates and Turkey Hunting Units, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/What-to-Hunt/Turkey.

Kansas Headlines

Governor Laura Kelly Appoints Christopher Etzel to Fill District Court Vacancy in the 2nd Judicial District

TOPEKA – Today Governor Laura Kelly appointed Christopher Etzel, Havensville, to the 2nd Judicial District vacancy created by the retirement of Chief...

Governor Laura Kelly Announces FY 2022 Kansas Budget to Protect Fiscal Foundation and Kickstart Economic Recovery

Governor Laura Kelly today announced her third budget recommendation. The fiscally responsible budget protects and invests in core services – like education, infrastructure, and...

KBI Seeks Person of Interest In Death Investigation

CRAWFORD COUNTY – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office are searching for a person of interest in a...

Commercial Industrial Hemp Program Applications Now Available

MANHATTAN, Kansas — Applications to obtain a license to participate in the new Kansas Commercial Industrial Hemp Program are now available on the Kansas...

KDA Announces 2021 Bluestem Pasture Survey

MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Kansas Department of Agriculture is seeking respondent feedback for the 2021 Bluestem Pasture Survey to collect information on native tallgrass...

Kansas News Service

Kansas Hospitals Seek Help From Nearby States, But The Whole Midwest Faces A COVID Surge

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen - Kansas News Service Hospitals in Colorado and Nebraska are calling Kansas in desperate search of beds for coronavirus patients. But Kansas...

Kansas Republicans Keep Their 3 Congressional Seats; Davids Reelected In Kansas City Suburbs

By Stephan Bisaha Stephen Koranda, Nadya Faulx, Aviva Okeson-Haberman - Kansas News Service Democrats and Republicans in Kansas will keep their seats in the U.S....

Republicans Keep Kansas’ Open Senate Seat By Electing Roger Marshall

By Jim McLean - Kansas News Service OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Kansas Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall is moving up to the U.S. Senate after...

‘It Is Not Sustainable’: Kansas’ Online Teachers Are Overworked And Quitting

WICHITA, Kansas — Less than a week into the new school year, the warning came: the school district’s COVID-19 learning plan expected too much from...

Kansas Nursing Homes Still Waiting On Coronavirus Testing Gear From The Feds, And Can’t Afford Labs

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen - Kansas News Service Phillips County Retirement Center got a coronavirus testing machine this month from the U.S. Department of Health and...