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Important News from Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
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February 2015
Pheasants Forever Inc. and Quail Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.
Click Here to Register for the 2015 Kansas PF/QF State Convention in Wichita, KS
Don't forget to register for the 2015 Kansas PF/QF State Convention by clicking the link above. We are looking to have one of the best line ups yet for the educational series on Saturday as well as a great time on Friday and Saturday evenings.  

Below you will find the draft Agenda for the weekend.  If you have any questions or concerns please let us know.
Playa Lakes Joint Venture Recognized for Partnership with PF/QF in Kansas
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in Kansas has been on the rise and we are continuing to grow.  Our success and growth is not only a tribute to all the hard work and effort put in by our volunteers and staff but is also based upon great partnerships we have with other organizations.  Many times we as any organization see a great opportunity to achieve a conservation project but realize that we can not do it alone so we seek out help from other entities which we cultivate into a long lasting partnership.  These partnerships allow us the ability to achieve many things on the conservation landscape such as hiring specialized employees, grant opportunities, conservation easements, and many other opportunities that might otherwise be lost with out the help of great partners.  Anytime we have an opportunity to recognize and thank our partners we like to do so.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in Kansas presented PLJV with its Partner Award at the recent PLJV Board Meeting in Amarillo, Texas. Steve Riley, Regional Director for PF & QF said "The PLJV is a vital partner to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in Kansas and throughout the region. The Joint Venture provides important decision support guidance and various GIS tools that help in day-to-day decision-making. In addition, PLJV has been a consistent supporter of our efforts to work with partners to put boots on the ground, through which we work with farmers and ranchers to conserve habitat."

We are very grateful to have such great partners such as PLJV.  We fully understand that we would not be as far as we are without them.  We continually look to expand are relationships with our partners and further grow conservation on the Kansas landscape.  So not only do we say thank you to PLJV but also but also a big thank you to the other partners we have. 

Prescribed Burning Trainings and News

Zac EddyKS Senior Farm Bill Biologist
As hunting season comes to a close and the days get longer, many of us start gazing at the calendar longing for Spring, hoping for plentiful, well-timed moisture and a successful nesting season for our birds.  With that, a number of us will also start thinking about what we can do to improve conditions for nesting birds.  Many landowners have Conservation Reserve Program contracts that require some type of mid-contract management practice be implemented.  Folks with grazing lands may also be considering ways to improve their ground for wildlife and beef production.  A number of those management plans include a prescribed fire to stimulate insect-attracting forb production, reinvigorate native bunch grasses, reduce thatch and litter at ground level, as well as controlling invasive eastern red cedar trees.
 
Traditionally, most prescribed fires in Kansas are undertaken during the early spring, right before the native warm season grasses are set to break dormancy.  Burning during other times of year can also provide many benefits to the prairie, but because of traditions, programmatic constraints that may necessitate landowners burn before the upland bird nesting season, and a myriad of other reasons, most areas where fire is intentionally applied have the burns conducted in March and April.  As such, many agencies and organizations come together at the start of each year to offer landowners prescribed burn training events. 

This year is no exception, and at least 10 workshops have been scheduled around the state in February and March.  These workshops allow landowners the opportunity to learn about prescribed fire in an informal setting that creates the chance for folks to ask questions, learn about creating their own burn plan, hear about local regulations and much more.  Topics presented include reasons for prescribed burning of grazing lands, fire’s benefits to wildlife habitat management, appropriate weather conditions for safe burning, equipment needed, burning techniques, and hazards—to name just a few.  Workshops typically run from mid-morning to mid-afternoon with a lunch provided by the hosting organizations.  A listing of the currently scheduled workshops can be found by clicking this link, and I’ve provided a simple table at the end of this article so you can see if a workshop has already been scheduled for your area.

Another thing I’d like to mention to our members considering a possible burn in 2015 is the ability to now purchase supplemental liability insurance coverage for prescribed burning.  At the end of January, conservationists were pleased to announce that the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association and the Kansas Prescribed Fire Council had reached a deal with an Oklahoma insurance provider to offer landowners the opportunity to purchase this added coverage for additional piece of mind while they are burning.  The policies, offered by The Bramlett Agency in Ardmore, OK, provide up to $1 million in liability coverage for two prescribed burns.  Coverage for additional burns can also be purchased.  The premium for the two-burn coverage is $500—which seems a small price to pay for the additional confidence that an escaped fire won’t potentially bankrupt the landowner.  At this point, I should remind readers that I’m not an insurance expert, be sure to consult your insurance agent to see how this supplemental coverage fits with any of your existing policies.  If you are interested in learning more, you can contact Leslie Kutz, Bramlett Farm and Ranch Specialist, at 580-223-7300 or lkutz@bramlettagency.com. 

And please don’t think that just because liability coverage is now available that proper planning is no longer important.  Bramlett policies require that burn plan be on file with the company and burning is conducted according to local and state regulations during safe climatic conditions.  Ways to satisfy those details will all be covered at the introductory burn workshops, giving you even more reason to make time to attend.
 
2015 Prescribed Burning Introductory Workshops
         
Date Location Contact Person
Monday - Feb 9 Alta Vista Kara Mayer - (785)765-3821
Wednesday - Feb 11 Russell Dusti Lynn Betts - (785)483-3157
Wednesday - Feb 11* Westmoreland Austin Sexten - (785)457-3319
Wednesday - Feb 18* Scott City John Beckman - (620)872-2930
Monday - Feb 23 Howard Richard Fechter - (620)515-0149
Tuesday - Feb 24* Larned Zac Eddy - (620)338-7132
Wednesday - Feb 25* Pratt Zac Eddy - (620)338-7132
Wednesday - Feb 25 Osage City Rod Schaub - (785)828-4438
Thursday - Feb 26 Jewell John Forshee - (785)632-5335
Thursday - March 5* Viola (Sedgwick Co.) Zac Eddy - (620)338-7132
 
* These workshops will have a PF/QF Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist in attendance.

Education & Outreach Report

Brian Schaffer, KSOutreach Coordinator

I hope everyone had a successful fall and was able to spend time afield with family and friends!  With the break in the schedule between hosting mentored hunts and scheduling shooting clinics for this spring I hope to see many of you at the 5th Annual Kansas State Convention.

The convention will be in Wichita on March 13th-14th.  In regards to outreach and education, seminar topics will include “Mentored Hunts: Thinking Outside the Box”, “Wingshooting Fundamentals” and “Hosting a Youth Pollinator Habitat Project”.   I look forward to seeing you all in Wichita!

I would also like to announce that I have scheduled an informal Wingshooting Instructor Course with Master Class shooter, John Francis.  The course will be on July 17th-18th at the Ringneck Ranch in Tipton, KS and will focus on teaching the best practices for instructing new or youth wingshooters.  Event details will be announced in the coming weeks! 

 

The Smoky Hill River Pheasants Forever Chapter in Ellsworth recently used a late antlerless deer season and partnered with Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to host the 1st Annual Smoky Hill River Youth Deer Camp. All five of the youth hunters who participated were successful in harvesting their first white-tailed deer and spent the weekend at the cabins on Kanopolis Lake!
If your chapter has any questions regarding the planning, hosting or reporting of an outreach event, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at bschaffer@pheasantsforever.org or by telephone at (570) 994-7197. I am eager to work with all of you to get more kids involved in Kansas’ rich sporting heritage!

Kansas PF/QF Team Member Profile

Anna Walkowiak is Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist that is stationed out of Ness City Kansas. She covers nine counties in total including: Gove, Trego, Ellis, Russell, Scott, Lane, Ness, Rush, and Hodgeman. Anna started in early August and is very excited to have an influence on wildlife habitat.
 
Nebraska is her native home range, where she grew up and went to college. Her dad started her hunting at a very early age, even before she could walk, which made the outdoors a way of life. This sparked a passion for wildlife that carried its way into what she wanted to do for a career.  On top of enjoying hunting, camping and hiking outdoors, Anna enjoys wildlife photography and you will rarely she her without a camera at her side. She worked for the Nebraska Coop Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism during college. Both of these opportunities only strengthened her passion for wildlife. At the University of Nebraska, Anna graduated with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife in May 2014 and not long after accepted the position with Pheasants Forever.
 
Anna has been staying busy in western Kansas with habitat work. Sense starting she is already involved in many wildlife plans with more on the way. As time goes on more local people are getting to know her and coming in for their own wildlife habitat plans. Along with assisting landowners, she is getting involved with the pheasant forever chapters in her area with banquets/youth hunts, and looks forward to the upcoming events.
  • Taking pictures of a young Prairie Rattle Snake
Kansas Chapter Calendar
February - 2015
 
  • 21st Scott Co. Banquet, Scott City
  • 21st Flint Hills Banquet, Manhattan
  • 28th Smoky Hill Banquet, Hays
  • 28th McPherson Area Banquet, McPherson
  • 28th Slate Creek Valley PF, Caldwell
  • 28th K-16 QF, Hoyt
March - 2015
  • 5th Keeper of the Plains Banquet, Wichita
  • 5th Johnson County PF, Olathe
  • 7th Northfolk Tailgunners Banquet, Ulysses
  • 7th Rooster Boosters Banquet, Great Bend
  • 13th &14th Kansas PF/QF Convention, Wichita
  • 14th Dickinson Co. Banquet, Abilene
  • 14th Marion Co. Banquet, Marion
  • 20th Cloud Co. Banquet, Concordia
  • 21st Stubble Ducks Banquet, Dighton
  • 21st Osborne Co. Banquet, Downs
  • 28th Black Gold Banquet, Russell
April - 2015
  • 4th Solomon Valley Banquet, Stockton
  • 11th Smoky Hill River Banquet, Ellsworth
May - 2015

June - 2015
Kansas Field Staff Directory
2014 Team Photo (back row from left) Allie Rath, Andrew Page, Alex Thornburg, Marc Glades, Chris Blackledge, Luke Winge, Tyson Seirer, (front row from left) Zac Eddy, Holly Shutt, Steve Riley. (Not pictured Brian Schaffer & Hunter Baillie)
Marc Glades - Field Manger, South Team
620.218.0557     mglades@pheasantsforever.org

Chris Blackledge - Regional Representative
620.767.2121     cblackledge@pheasantsforever.org

Jordan Martincich - Development Officer
816.560.1070     jmartincich@pheasantsforever.org

Brian Schaffer - Youth Education Coordinator
570.994.7197     bschaffer@pheasantsforever.org

Zachary Eddy - Senior Farm Bill Biologist (South Central)
zeddy@pheasantsforever.org

Allie Rath - Farm Bill Biologist (Central)
arath@pheasantsforever.org


Anastasia Walkowiak-Esch - Farm Bill Biologist (West Central)
awalkowiak@pheasantsforever.org

Holly Shutt - Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist (North East)
hshutt@pheasantsforever.org

Tyson Seirer - Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist (North Central)
tseirer@pheasantsforever.org

Alex Thornburg - Habitat Specialist (Tuttle Creek)
athornburg@pheasantsforever.org

Luke Winge - Habitat Specialist (Cedar Bluff)
lwinge@pheasantsforever.org

Hunter Baillie - Habitat Specialist (Perry Wildlife Area)
hbaillie@pheasantsforever.org

Spencer Putman - Habitat Specialist (Grand Osage Wildlife Area)
sputman@pheasantsforever.org
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