Kansas soon will look more appealing to migrating waterfowl, thanks to projects planned by national conservation group Ducks Unlimited.
The largest of those projects will be at the Jamestown Wildlife Area in north-central Kansas, where a renovation will allow for an additional 430 acres to be flooded. Working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Ducks Unlimited soon will raise the dam at one of the marshes, and will install levees and a water-control structure.
“Historically, much of the project area was covered in wetlands,” said John Denton, manager of Ducks Unlimited conservation projects in Kansas and Nebraska. “This large project, including numerous landowners and partners, will provide more than 400 acres of additional migration habitat … while improving wetland management capability for one of our best partners, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.”
The projects is part of an $816,000 grant from the North American Waterfowl Conservation Association, with matching dollars from Ducks Unlimited and partners. Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is providing $530,000 in the project and additional sponsors The Nature Conservancy and Westar Energy also are helping.
Other Kansas projects also are planned. At the Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge, for example, Ducks Unlimited will build an impoundment to hold water and a control structure to pump that water into marshes.
Missouri duck numbers soar
Federal surveys indicated near-record numbers of ducks would migrate south this fall and winter.
And waterfowl counts in Missouri certainly back up that data.
An aerial survey by the Missouri Department of Conservation found 1,237,725 ducks using the state’s managed wetland areas. That far exceeds the five-year average for the second week of December of 772,213.
Some of that can be explained by the delayed migration due to mild weather.
“It appears that the waterfowl migration has been running about two weeks behind all season,” said Frank Nelson of the Department of Conservation.
He added that last year and 1994 were the only times in the last 45 years that duck numbers in Missouri peaked later than the second week of December.
That hasn’t necessarily translated into great hunting, though. Nelson characterized the hunting as “up and down,” with ducks that have been here for a while getting “educated.”
Good deer hunting continues in Missouri
Missouri deer hunters shot 9,733 deer during the firearms antlerless season that ran Nov. 25 through Dec. 6. That was an increase of 613 over last year’s antlerless season total.
Pike County led the state with 302 deer checked in, Callaway was second with 294 and Lincoln third with 263.
Two segments of the Missouri firearms season remain — the alternative methods season Dec. 19-29 and the late youth season Jan. 2-3.
Hunting fatality in Kansas
A 53-year-old man from Winchester, Kan., was accidentally killed Monday while hunting deer in Kansas.
Jefferson County authorities say it appears that the fatal shot was self-inflicted, while he was either getting into or out of his vehicle.