Milford Wildlife Area News

The 2017 Youth Waterfowl Hunt will be held on Saturday, October 21st

Open to ages 10-15 years old.

Must register by October 16th.

Breakfast and ammunition will be provided.

Other equipment may be available for use with prior notice.

Please call 785-461-5402 with any questions or to register your youth.

This year we have 8 sunflower fields ranging in size from 3 to 10 acres each. The West Broughton Youth/Mentor Area field requires each mentor age 18 years old or older to be accompanied by a youth 17 years old or younger. Vehicles are not allowed past the parking areas or "No Vehicles Allowed" signs. 

Scouting is encouraged for best hunting results.
Non-Toxic Shot is Required on all managed dove fields 

All Hunters must be "checked in" on iSportman prior to hunting.

 All hunters must complete an annual registration with ISportsman online at  Once registered, hunters are required to "check-in" prior to hunting and "check-out" after hunting on Milford Wildlife Area.  A toll free phone number may also be used to check-in and check-out  1-844-500-0825.  Youth hunters are required to register and "check-in" and "check-out" using their own accounts and can not use an adult's account.

2017 Wetland Conditions

North Smith- the agricultural crops were unable to be planted due to early flooding, area was spring burned, 106 acres were sprayed due to cottonwood, willow, bindweed and cocklebur infestation,   millet and buckwheat were broadcasted in the bare areas, a few corn strips were planted but did not grow well, plan to start pumping in October

Lower Smith- area was spring burned, natural vegetation looks good, area has held water during the growing season and has reduced vegetation in the deeper water areas, plan to start pumping at the end of September

Mall Creek- the river bank dike was eroded during a flood event last winter, this cut helped drain some water out of the wetland which promoted more vegetation growth, plan to repair the break in the dike when conditions allow, hopefully before or during teal season if it dries enough to bring in the heavy equipment needed

Quimby Creek wetland-the south pool was burned this past spring, aquatic herbicides were used to knock back some cocklebur and cord grass, millet and buckwheat were broadcasted

Zach Hudec- this area is currently in corn, the second cell is natural vegetation and looks good, plan to pump in October

West Broughton Youth/Mentor Area- the agricultural crops were unable to be planted due to early flooding, the natural vegetation looks good, some trees and cockleburs were sprayed and millet was broadcasted in bare areas, plan to pump in October

Beichter Bottom- this area held high water all summer which has significantly reduced the vegetation growth and seed production in the open pools of water,  millet was hand seeded on some mud flats, plan to pump in October

Martin Bottom- the lower cell has been removed from agriculture and has seen a desirable vegetative response, cockleburs and trees were sprayed and millet was broadcasted on bare areas, plan to pump in October

2017 Spring Burning Season Totals:

8 prescribed spring burns were conducted between March and April this year totaling 1,530 acres.  We were fortunate to be able to limit the size of most of the burn areas to 100 acres or less and spread the burned areas throughout the wildlife area.  This will provide good brood rearing habitat near nesting habitat in many locations this year as well as provide more desirable nesting habitat in the next couple of years on the grasslands that were burned this spring. Prescribed fire is used as a habitat management tool to reduce woody invasion of trees and shrubs in native grass stands, minimize invasive grass species such as brome and promote fire tolerant desirable tree species in timber stands, all without using herbicides.  

2017 Completed Projects

West Broughton Youth Mentor Area:

The pumpsite streambank stabilization project was completed in early August.  This area was rapidly eroding and destabilizing the permanent pump structure.

Mall Creek Wetland:

The eroded spillway was repaired in early September.   The spillway was washed out during a flood in December of 2015 and we were unable to manage water levels and were completely dependent on the lake/river level.

Zach Hudec Wetland:

Soil tests were taken within the Zach Hudec wetland complex and the south cell of the Youth area.  Soil profiles have been and will continue to be evaluated and will impact future management decisions.

Lower Refuge:

The electrical service is currently being upgraded/replaced on the lower refuge and the lower wetland pool will be pumped for the first time since it was built.

Portable Pumps Upgraded:

The last two portable pumps are currently being replaced with a higher efficiency model that will pump more water than the older models and are more cold weather tolerant.

2017/2018 Planned Projects

West Broughton Youth Mentor Area:

A small stretch of streambank will be stabilzed near the seasonal gates by building three river weirs.  This project is quite costly and will be completed when conditions and budgets allow.

 Zach Hudec Wetlands:

A permanent wetland pump and hard lined water pipe will continue to be evaluated as a way to increase huntable acres within the wetland complex.

North Smith Wetland:

New infrastructure is being discussed as a way to increase additional water retention and expanding the huntable acres within the wetland.  The spillways on the interior dike separating Lower and Upper Smith are eroding due to flood waters and need to be reinforced with rock.  

Timber Stand Improvement (TSI)

Efforts are being made to improve the quality of our timber stands.  Chainsaws,herbicides, prescribed fire and mulching/mowing are being used in various areas to reduce undesirable tree species (Locust, elm, hackberry, cedar) and promote desirable species (Oak, walnut, hickory).  We recently completed some work near North Smith, Mall Creek, Quimby Creek and Beichter Bottom.  Undesirable trees were cut or girdled and left standing.   Several other timber stands, particularly creek drainages, have been targeted as areas in need of improvement.  In many areas, the majority of our desirable trees such as oaks are dying out or being shaded out by undesirable tree species.  Oaks are not a shade tolerate species meaning they require some sunlight to grow.  Many of the areas where TSI has been done will look pretty bare for the first several years until the seedlings develop into young trees.  In the meantime, the downed trees and increased growth of the understory will provide cover for many wildlife species including deer and turkeys.

Handicapped Vehicle Access Permits Available For Two Designated Areas on Milford Wildlife Area

Both areas will remain open to regular public hunting but will also be available for handicapped vehicle access by special permit.

A valid state issued handicapped permit and a permit from Milford Wildlife Area is required.

Please call the Milford Wildlife Area office for more information 785-461-5402.

North Area: Southwest of 13th Road and Rainbow Road Intersection

South Area: Northeast of Ava Road and Rebecca Road Intersection

Year-Round Prescribed Burning

The Milford Wildlife Area will be conducting prescribed burns throughout the year. The timing of these burns varies according to our management goals for each burn. Overall, we aim to control/reduce woody invasion, noxious weeds and promote more forbs in our grass stands to provide better brood rearing and nesting habitat for upland game birds and provide other benefits to many wildlife species.

Resprouting Hedgerows

Over the past several years we have been cutting mature hedgerows in hopes of promoting new growth that will offer a good quality of cover for numerous wildlife species, particularly upland birds.  We will move around the area periodically to cut hedgerows to promote various stages of vegetation growth on these hedgerows. Firewood permits are required to cut any dead AND down wood and are available free of charge by calling our office at 785-461-5402. Firewood is for personal use only and may not be sold commercially. Vehicles are not allowed off of maintained roads or inside gates or "no vehicles allowed" signs. Trees will be piled along roadways where practical. 

New Gates and Parking Areas

Numerous gates and parking areas have been and will continue to be constructed on the area. These parking areas are meant to provide a safe area to park vehicles off of roadways while visiting the area. Several dead end roads have been closed, some may be open seasonally as posted from March 1-October 1 unless posted otherwise. The primary objective of installing the gates is to improve the overall integrity of the wildlife area by restricting vehicle access. These gates should not only improve constituents wildlife interactions, they will also reduce the high volume of trash, off-road vehicle use, poaching and vandalism that has occurred on the area in the past. The Steve Lloyd upper and lower refuge is closed to all activities year round, while the rest of the Wildlife Area is open to foot traffic within the gated areas.