Norton Wildlife Area

Keith Sebelius Reservoir/ Norton Wildlife Area News


Department staff has once again been busy this spring!  The brome conversion project is still in full stride and looking promising!  The 2014 project site is looking good for upland nesting and with a little rain will provide some great brood habitat.

The early intensive grazing system will continue in 2015 on different acres of brome grass.  Grazing is being utilized as another tool to help in the fight against smooth brome!  The animals will be on the property from April 1 until the middle of June. 

Approximately 200 acres of smooth brome was treated with glyphosate in the fall of 2014.  Glyphosate is used to set back the brome grass to allow for the release of existing native grasses as well as beneficial forb species.  

90 more acres of treated brome grass are to be seeded to a native warm season grass and forb mix.  With any luck, some much needed moisture will come to our area and help the new grass establish.  All seed was purchased by the local Norton Longspur chapter of Pheasants Forever!  The National Wild Turkey Federation also provided funding for the project through a superfund grant awarded in the fall of 2014.  With out the help of PF and NWTF the large scale brome project would not be possible!

One buffer was planted on the west end of the property on a field bordering the Prairie Dog Creek.  Plans are being drawn up for more buffer work in the fall.

Some new firebreaks have been installed on various locations.  The firebreaks will be used to help with controlled burns when the burn ban is lifted.  The firebreaks will also provide some needed brood habitat when left to grow to annual weeds.   

Norton Wildlife Area –Spring Hunting Forecast

The turkeys have been slowly showing back up after a pressure filled fall hunting season.  Most of the birds will move off the area starting in October and remain on private land through out the winter months.  The birds then slowly return starting in the early spring.  Several hens and jakes have been seen running around the south side with a few old toms mixed in.  Look for the early season to be a success for the first hunters on the property.  The drought has had a negative effect on the birds, but they were able to have a semi-successful hatch in the spring of 2014.  Hopefully weather will cooperate with us this year and make things a little easier on the birds!  Please feel free to contact the Area Office with any hunting questions.