McPherson Valley Wetlands
Dove Management - 2012:
All of KDWPT's share of the two dove managment fields have been mowed. A few strips will be left standing for hunter cover and future wildlife benefits. Harvest on the 70 acre field began yesterday (8/29), and will hopefully be finished today. Moisture content on the smaller 30 acre field is still unknown, but will likely be tested today. Hopefully both fields will be harvested prior to the Saturday opener. Observed approximately 1,000 doves yesterday.
Harvest was attempted early last week, and moisture content was too high. This is not an uncommon problem, and in the past we have used a round-up type herbicide to burn down the sunflowers and help dry them out a little faster once the seed has made. However, according to our local agronomist, this year's drought has basically shut the plant down. Spraying with roundup will not do much as the plant will not "take in" the herbicide. Basically, we have to let the plant dry down naturally. Recent rains have compounded the situation. We are still hopeful that harvest will occur next week prior to the opener, but it will depend on a little help from mother nature.
Staff did mow several strips in the sunflowers to scatter a little seed and help attract doves. Over 1,000 doves were observed during mowing activities on 8/21. Hunting opportunity will be available whether the sunflowers get harvested or not by the 1st. It will just be a little more difficult to locate down birds in standing sunflowers if harvest is not possible prior to the opener.
This year McPherson Valley Wetlands will have two dove management fields, both located at the Farland Lake / Little Sinkhole marsh unit southeast of Inman. (see map below). Harvest of most of this field is planned for later this week (August 15 - 19), depending on moisture content. Updates will be posted as available.
Field 1 is located 1/2 mile south of 9th and Buckskin Road, and is approximately 30 acres of sunflowers. This field will be restricted to youth and their mentors only on the opening morning of dove season (one-half hour before sunrise - noon on 9/1/12). This is a first come, first served opportunity, with no need to register. After noon on opening day, this field will be open to all hunters.
Field 2 is located 1/2 mile south of 10th and Buckskin Road and is approximately 70 acres of sunflowers. This field will be open to all hunters.
Please check back for updates on these fields. Remember, non-toxic shot is required to hunt doves at McPherson Wetlands.
Staff at the McPherson Valley Wetlands will be producing a newsletter that will include season results, upcoming projects, special opportunities, fall flights, and other information that hunters / users may need to know if planning to visit the area. The newsletter will be produced bi-annually, prior to hunting season (mid August to mid September) and following waterfowl season (mid March to mid April). This document will be distributed electronically, and if you are interested in getting on the mailing list Click here.
The newsletter is an attempt to get information to more of our constituents since attendance at our public informational meeting has been very low due to a variety of reasons.
In the past, area staff has (after the fact) been informed of regulation violations during the hunting season. Even though selective law enforcement by Public Lands and Law Enforcement division employees, is done routinely at the wetlands, we can't be everywhere all the time. If you witness a violation, please call the area office at (620)-241-7669 and leave a description of the violation including the vehicle tag number if possible.