Benedictine Bottoms Wildlife Area

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Benedictine Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report


The area is a 2,112 acre wildlife area in the flood plain of the Missouri River. The river borders the area on the south and east. This site is managed for 3 habitat types that existed in the area before development, timber, native grass and wetlands. During construction more than 175,000 trees were planted, 550 acres of native grass were planted and 450 acres of wetlands were developed.

Construction on the area started with tree planting consisted of a variety of hardwoods and shrubs. These varieties will provide mast as well as escape and winter cover for many wildlife. Though most of the hardwood trees are still small many Cottonwood trees are mixed in and are doing quite well.

The grasslands were created from a mixture of big bluestem, Indian, eastern gama and switch grasses along with wildflowers and legumes. Most of the grasslands have done very well and is providing valuable nesting and escape cover as well as a source of food.

The 450 acres of wetlands were built using low-profile earthen berms and using the natural contour of the land. Three well and distribution pipe provide water to approximately 45 acres. Water control structures were placed on the wetlands to allow for control of water depth.

Currently the area has a great variety of wildlife. Many species of song birds use the area and can be seen throughout the year. Many water birds also use the wetlands including shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl.

Many game species are common to the area. Good numbers of deer stay on the area with several large bucks seen every year. A large population of pheasant are found on the area and is a favorite of the locals. Good numbers of quail and rabbits can also be found.

Area News - Updated: 08/04/2017

Area News

The hunting on Benedictine Bottom should be good this season. Very good habitat exists for all species this year. Upland habitats are very good over most of the area and bird numbers continue to be good for both pheasant and quail. Hunting for upland bird will be tough due to the thick habitat.

Deer hunting should be good again this year also. Numbers appear to be about the average, and a couple of larger bucks have been seen.

Area open in the month of September only to hunting for the dove and teal seasons. Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting. All other hunting on the wildlife area is regulated through a drawing in the department's special hunts program.

General Information

Benedictine Bottoms WA (PDF 602.78 kB)

Manage: Kirk Thompson
Phone: (913) 367-7811

Special Regulations
  • The area is open to the public from April 1 through September 30. From October 1 Through March 31 an access/hunting permit is required. These permit are by computer draw only. Applications period will start in July and will be acepted on-line only at, look for "Special Hunts"
  • Off road vehicle, ATV and horse use is prohibited.
  • No alcohol or cereal malt beverages of any kind are allowed on the area.
  • non-toxic shot required for all shotgun hunting

Here is a complete list of Public Land Regulations or you can download the regulation summary.


The US Army Corps of Engineers purchased the area as a Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project in 1993 and 1994. This area was purchased under authorization of Congress through the Mitigation Project in Section 334(a) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986. The 2,112 acre Benedictine Bottoms was then leased to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks for management in 1999 after development.

Benedictine Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report - 01/19/2018
Waterfowl numbers

Mallard Migration Rank:  8  (Estimate of potential mallard numbers. 1=lowest, 10=highest) 

A large number of Mallards are using the wetland southwest of the shop,  around 500 to 1,000.  There is about 3,000 ducks using the refuge at this time. The west wetlands have some open water, but no ducks using these areas at this time. 

Water level

A map of our wetlands is now available under the Wetland Map tab to the right.

All pumps are currently running. 

Wetland #1

  • Wetland is currently full but 95% froze over.  With the warmer temps this weekend, more open water should be present.  There is a small hole near the pump but no birds have been observed.  No vegetation in this wetland. 

Wetland #2

  • Wetland is full.  There is a hunt-able pool near the pump. With the warmer temps this weekend, more open water should be present. Few birds have been observed here recently.  No vegetation in this wetland. 

Wetland #3

  • Wetland is mostly froze over.  Rising temps are opening portions currently.  This wetland has minimal vegetation including milo and some chufa.  Invertebrate production should be good as well. 

Wetland #4

  • There is a large area of hunt-able open water near the pump.  Birds have been observed using this wetland more recently.  Excellent vegetation including annual smartweed, barnyard grass, and foxtail.  Invertebrate production is good.  

Wetland #5

  • We attempted to put some sheet water on the lower portion of the pool but could not get enough to make it hunt-able without losing to much water from pool #4. It is unlikely that this wetland will have any water for the remainder of the season. 

Refuge(NOT open to hunting)

  • West unit is full.
  • East unit is currently froze over. 
  • With good open water in this unit more birds should hopefully stay in the local area until season opens again. 
  • There is to be 7000+ birds on the refuge.  Predominantly Mallards and occasionally 20-150 Canada geese.

October 1 through March 31 the area can only be accessed with a special permit obtained through a drawing. The application and drawing will take place online only in 2017. Look for "Special Hunts" on our home page under "HUNTING".

Hunting conditions Should have an opportunity to shoot a few ducks when season opens again.  
Expected hunting success Good.  Success could vary day to day. 

In an attempt to hold water longer in our wetlands, #1 and #2 have been sheepsfooted.  Rains during the summer months prevented us from doing them as early as we had hoped.  This has caused those two wetlands to have no vegetation this year, but invertebrates should still be present.

With reduced vegetation this does provided much more visibly open water on the area.  

Dove Fields
Wetland Map