Michael Pearce

Time to grow homes

On March 21, the El Dorado chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association will be holding an outdoors workshop on habitat improvement in the Flint Hills.
On March 21, the El Dorado chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association will be holding an outdoors workshop on habitat improvement in the Flint Hills. The Wichita Eagle

About three years ago the fledgling chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association in El Dorado decided to have a field day in the Flint Hills. Tim Donges, chapter president, then and now, remembers not being sure of attendance and interest going into the outdoors event. When the day ended, he said he had a new appreciation for how much many Kansans wanted to learn about managing lands for deer and other wildlife.

“I was amazed at how many people came out and went through the day and then took what they learned and started their own projects,” said Donges. “I learned there are lot of people that sure want to do something (to improve habitat). When that day was over a lot of people asked me when we were doing a field day again. I still hear from some telling me how they implemented what they’d learned.”

This year, on March 21, the chapter is planning an outdoors field day from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., then their annual fund-raising banquet begins at 5 p.m.

During the field day, to be held at 3250 NE 110th, near Cassoday, Donges said a team of wildlife experts will give direct demonstrations on such subjects as tree plantings, hinge cuttings, cover crops, food plots and predator control trapping. Headlining the day is Craig Harper, a nationally-respected whitetail deer researcher and author from the University of Tennessee.

“Basically, it’s a full-fledged educational event. We want to motivate local deer hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to do habitat improvement work on land they own, or maybe land where they have permission,” said Donges. “We’re not just wanting to show them how to improve their hunting, but how to improve all habitat for all kinds of wildlife in Kansas.” The the group’s main focus is deer, Donges named a variety of game and non-game species that benefit from management techniques they’ll be demonstrating.

Pre-registration before March 19th is required. Donges said those who -repregister before March 13 are put in for a drawing to win a gun. The price is $45 for singles and $60 for couples. Youth 17 and under are free if accompanied by an adult.

“We’re really encouraging people to bring their kids,” said Donges. “We’re really hoping to make this something that gets the entire family involved.”

Costs for the evening banquet are $65 per singles and $80 per couples. Youth are again free, if with an adult.

For more information, and/or registration materials, call Donges at 316-641-0011or tim.donges@hotmail.com

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