Glen Elder Wildlife Area News
- New Statewide Public Lands Regulations for the 2012 hunting seasons. "Highlights" are listed. See printed regulations for complete details.
- All hunting guide operations on Public Lands are required to obtain a free permit through the Pratt Headquarters office.
- Each hunter is only allowed to have 2 tree stands on a property. Stands must be labelled with hunter's information.
- Portable blinds and all decoys are not allowed to be left out overnight.
- Baiting for any hunting purposes is no longer allowed
- We've were busy putting new habitat on the ground this spring and repairing some of the habitat damages from last summer's flooding. Several shrub plots have been laid out with a total of 1,200 new shrubs. About 70 acres of grass strips were planted too. 100+ acres of sunflower fields and about 90 acres of upland milo and cane plots were also planted.
- A replacement courtesy dock was installed at Boller Point since the previous dock was destroyed by high water and winds last summer.
- We continue to make improvements on our WA roads with more rock and re-shaping. Please be respectful the many dirt roads we have around the area. If WA and county roads are muddy-STAY OFF OF THEM!!
- Our tree shearing contractor is continuing to work at several different locations on the WA. This work really improves the upland habitat. We will continue this work for the next several years.
- LAKE LEVEL is currently about 3 feet below conservation (normal) pool and will continue to drop with drought conditions. Current lake level can be seen at Waconda Lake Information - U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
- BOAT RAMPS - All WA ramps are open. As the lake gets close to or below conservation level, the Granite Creek ramp (closed while our refuge dates are in effect Nov. 1 through Jan. 31) can be challenging to use due to it's shallow slope.
- CAMPING: Camping is available in Glen Elder State Park (N.E. corner of the lake) where numerous sites are open including showers and electric and water hookups. Camping on the Wildlife Area is only allowed in designated locations. Camping in parking lots is not allowed. The designated locations are North Fork, Fisherman's Bridge, Carr Creek, Boller Point, Schoen's Cove, and the Bluffs areas.
- CAMP FIRES must be in established metal fire-rings only. Installation of new metal fire-rings and pads was completed in September 2010 and they really look sharp. Users are not allowed to burn ANY other items (ie.- trash) except wood or charcoal.
- There are no TRASH receptacles on the Wildlife Area. Please take your trash with you.
- The SHOOTING RANGE is open. If there are muddy conditions, users may have to walk in from the gates.
- Upland Game- Overall habitat conditions on the WA this year were good. The drought conditions had adverse effects on many of our crop fields, but some turned out OK. There was also a good flush of weeds in all the low spots that were flooded last year. Most of our pheasants had a hatch, but brood sizes that we saw through the summer were definitely smaller than normal. Pheasant numbers on the WA may be just slightly up from last year's numbers, but they are certainly below average again. As always, we are expecting extreme hunting pressure during the first weeks of the season. Bobwhite quail numbers should be up a bit also this year due to good brooding conditions after the intense heat ended at mid-summer. Praire chickens are rarely found on the WA, but are in the surrounding areas generally south and west of the lake. Rabbit numbers appear to be up and hunters should have some luck finding bunnies.
- Waterfowl- Low water levels are going to make for very tough waterfowl hunting conditions this year. Finding shoreline cover to hide in will be a challenge for hunters, and there is very little flooded vegetation for the ducks to feed in. We will probably hold decent numbers of birds on the lake throughout the season simply because we have water for the birds to loaf on when many surrounding farm ponds are dry. Duck hunters' best opportunities may be to hunt feed fields surrounding the lake. Geese also generally fly off the WA to private land crop fields to feed. If we would happen to be lucky enough to receive some large amounts of rain this fall and the lake rises a couple feet, hunting could be really good.
- Deer- Local populations remain at high levels and both hunting pressure and success has reflected this in recent years. Quality bucks are definitely becoming more challenging to find on the WA. We would really like to see our overall numbers at a lower level. Hunters must be willing to harvest antlerless deer to accomplish this. To help accomodate this, WA regulations were changed this year to allow hunters to harvest up to 5 additional antlerless deer if they have the appropriate unfilled tags. Hunters are reminded to BE SAFE AND SMART during the rifle seasons.
- Turkey- Several flocks can be found utilizing the WA, but many will move off of the property during and after high hunting pressure times such as the upland opener and rifle deer season.
In 2009, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) designated the west Walnut Creek area (1,000 acres) of the Glen Elder Wildlife Area as a year-round Mentor-Novice hunting area. The purpose of the Mentor-Novice area was to provide a public land area for beginning hunters with a good opportunity for success, while not reducing overall hunting opportunities on the entire property. Survey card information and other data was collected for 3 years and the results have been evaluated.
Although the new hunters that utilized the Walnut Creek area over the 3 years were generally pleased with the designated area, survey cards showed that the area was not being utilized to the extent that was originally hoped for. Based on these results and observations, several changes are now being made by the local KDWPT staff, with the continued goal to provide young hunters with a low pressure, high quality public hunting area.
The first major change is that the designated youth hunting area will no longer be located at Walnut Creek. It will now be located in the area that was formerly the Granite Creek Refuge on the north shore of Waconda Lake between Cawker City and the Granite Creek Bridge. The Walnut Creek area will return to its previous status of being open to the public year round with no additional restrictions. The water portion of the Granite Creek Refuge will remain in effect as a waterfowl refuge from November 1st
to January 31st
as it has been in recent years with no boats allowed during those dates. This new location for the youth area will provide hunters with easy all-weather road access to the 450+ acres of land, and should increase area users’ awareness of its existence being located directly adjacent to U.S. Highway 24.
Instead of being designated as a Mentor-Novice area, the new special use area will now be designated as the Glen Elder Youth-Mentor Area. This second major change means that the area is only open to hunting for youth and accompanying adult mentors. Mentoring adults are allowed to hunt with the youth. Youth must be ages 17 or younger, and the adult mentor must be at least 18 years of age. Each hunting mentor must be accompanied by at least 1 youth who is actively hunting. Older, experienced youth hunters are not required to have an adult with them, but definitely encouraged to do so.
Moving forward, the new Youth-Mentor Area will be in effect annually from October 1st
thru January 31st
. This will begin with the fall 2012 hunting season which is already upon us now. These dates were chosen as a reflection of when the youth area has been utilized in recent years, primarily during pheasant and deer seasons. During these dates, all youth and adult users will still be required to fill out free permit and survey cards before and after their hunts. These cards will be available from several “iron ranger” stations that will be placed at primary access points to the area. From February thru September the Granite Creek area will be open to all public users, and no permits will be required, just as it has been in prior years.
Youth-Mentor hunting will be allowed for all game species (when their appropriate hunting seasons are open) during the designated period of October 1st
thru January 31st
. This includes waterfowl species. Youth-Mentor waterfowl hunting will be allowed in this area from both field and shoreline locations. Waterfowl hunting locations must be accessed by foot from the north and west as no boats of any sort will be allowed. Youth-Mentor hunters are also reminded that all Kansas hunting regulations (including license requirements and bag limits) remain in effect for this special usage area.
This change at the former Granite Creek Refuge area will continually be monitored, and if changes are necessary going forward they will be made as needed. The goal of this new designation is to provide youth hunters and their mentors an easily accessible location with good prospects for success without any adverse effects on waterfowl populations using the area.
If there are any further questions, etc. concerning the revised Youth-Mentor Area, please contact Wildlife Area Manager Chris Lecuyer at the Glen Elder Area Office (785) 545-3345.