Low Plains season opens Sept. 9, High Plains Sept. 16
PRATT -- What a difference a few days can make. Two weeks ago, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks reported that wetlands in central and northwest Kansas were in dire straits due to lack of rainfall. One of the agency's premier wetlands -- Cheyenne Bottoms, near Great Bend -- was nearly dry.

All that changed in mid-August when up to 8 inches of rain fell in the rainwater basin west of Cheyenne Bottoms, filling the wetland and making the prospects for the opening of early teal season bright. As the Bottoms fills, the outlook is good, and improving as more water enters the basin through the inlet canal.

Nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, in Stafford County, also received good rainfall and is reporting that all pools now have water. However, the rainfall was spotty. Wetland conditions at most areas in northcentral and northwestern Kansas remain dry. For weekly updated waterfowl reports on these and other areas of the state, visit the KDWP website, Click "Hunting," then "Migratory Birds," then " Waterfowl Reports ."

The September early teal season is just around the corner. Both blue-winged and green-winged teal are arriving in the Sunflower State, and the season could be promising in areas that have received significant rainfall -- and others if rain comes soon.

Early teal season dates and bag limits are as follow:

  • Low Plains, East of U.S. 283: Sept. 9-24;
  • High Plains, West of U.S. 283: Sept. 16-23;
  • Daily Bag Limit: 4; and
  • Possession Limit: 8.

Hunters who plan to hunt public waterfowl areas should phone the KDWP office nearest the area to check water conditions before going afield.