Near Great Bend on April 21, state biologists will ask the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission to approve some of the latest duck and goose season dates in many years.
For example, they are hoping for a Nov. 1 opening of the low plains late zone duck season, which has opened the last weekend of October for more than a decade. The agency will also request the Canada goose season end Feb. 15. It ended a week earlier last season. They will also be asking for the season on white-fronted goose season to have more January and February days than ever before.
Tom Bidrowski, Wildlife and Parks waterfowl biologist, said the later requests are to help mesh duck and goose seasons together, and to appease some sportsmen who have requested later days.
You can read more about the upcoming meeting at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center on Sunday’s Outdoors page. Waterfowl season recommendations can be viewed at http://blogs.kansas.com/outdoors/.
Last weekend’s cold front seemed to hamper fishing success in some places, though action seems to be getting better as our weather stabilizes and stays warm. Wipers and catfish are the main species being caught, though I’ve heard some reports of some nice walleye being caught by trollers at Cheney and El Dorado reservoirs.
One morning a friend and I got into some really nice white perch at Cheney, with several of the fish measuring around 12 inches. Those are certainly big enough to clean, and white perch is a very firm-fleshed, mild-tasting fish. I’ve had them fried and grilled and appreciated both ways.
Reports indicate we surely have more pheasants than the past two years, but the hunting may be complicated by some of the thickest cover we’ve had in many years. That should provide good survival for the birds, though. Another couple of springs and summers like we’ve had recently and the populations may bounce back a lot. We’ll see.
I’ve been getting a lot of reports of people who are scouting deer seeing quality and quantity, after several years when both seemed lacking. Some are noticing there is an absence of many 2 1/2-year-old bucks, though, which would have been deer born during the year of extreme drought and high temperatures. There’s probably a shortage of does of the same age, too, but they’re harder to distinguish from other ages of does.
Sunday’s Outdoors page should have details about the upcoming commission meeting, including a preview of a regulation scheduled for a vote that would allow the use of leashed dogs for trailing and recovering wounded and dead deer. The department will also be providing information about a new system that will allow hunters on some public lands to check in via online or by telephone, rather than just filling out cards when the arrive and leave an area like the McPherson Wetlands.
The Outdoors page should also have a feature, and some photos, of this weekend’s Kansas Bowhunter Association’s annual summer rendezvous east of Newton. It’s kind of a last social event for the archers before they head out for weeks of solitary hunting when the seasons open.
Down the road, I’m hoping for an article on fly-fishing on Aug. 23. The same Outdoors page should have a round-up of what happened at the commission meeting near Great Bend. I’ll probably file a blog right after the meeting is over with some of the highlights.
The last weekend of the month I hope to run an article on El Dorado State Park as an installment for the six-part series that features some of the best state parks in Kansas. Hopefully I’ll have a fishing article from El Dorado Reservoir the same weekend.
Plans call for a feature on the Wichita State shooting team. Even with no financial support from the school, the team is attending some college shoots. They’ll also be hosting one in September, too.
Sometime within the next month I also hope we’ll be announcing a special project we’ve been working on in the sports and photography departments for several weeks. I think it’s pretty exciting and am anxious to share some details.
I wouldn’t be surprised if my tomato plants created a union this summer. They’ve been severely over-worked for about the last five weeks. Some individual plants look like jungles, and I know I’ve taken more than 200 tomatoes off of one plant. I’ve been picking about two gallons every day or two, and have been sharing a lot with friends and co-workers. Personally, I’ve had to lay-off BLTs for several days because all the acid from the tomatoes was starting to leave my mouth sore. I’ll make up for it in a week or two, I’m sure.
After working pretty much every day for more than a month, I’m hoping to take a few days off next week and do some fly fishing. I’ve fly fished less this year than any since I started the sport back in about 1982. Other than a combined three hours of casting over three days in the Ozarks, I haven’t been at all. That’s pretty sad considering how much I really like all aspects of fly-fishing. Heck, I have a new four-weight that’s been mine for about two months and it’s maybe caught 10 fish. That’s not even a decent hour of catching when I’m really into fly fishing.
Hank, our old Lab, continues to struggle but he is doing somewhat better. Thankfully our vet diagnosed an infection and the antibiotics he prescribed have given the dog some relief. No matter, I’m pretty sure hunting is out of the question for Hank, and that will impact how much I want to go, too.
Maybe I’ll take some friends up on some invitations to do some fly-fishing for trout in the Ozarks this fall. They keep telling me about some really nice brown trout they catch when the fish are making their spawning runs.
That sounds fun, especially since I’ve worked so much and fished so little this year.