Elk City Wildlife Area News
January 6, 2016
Due to an extremely wet period in May and June 2015, Elk City Reservoir flooded up to within 5 feet of the emergency spillway, inundating a large portion of the property. This pales in comparison to the 2007 flood in which flood waters were 4 feet over the emergency spillway. The quail and turkey nesting period has been impacted by the floodwater and extreme rain events, so nesting success was reduced significantly across the area.
PRAIRIE RESTORATION - Native grassland restoration continues with the use of a skid steer mounted saw to remove trees from existing blocks of native grass. Brush is being piled and stumps treated to prevent re-sprouting. These work areas are scattered across the area and have targeted native grasslands as well as quail habitat areas.
DOVE SEASON - Due to flooding, all sunflower dove fields on the Elk City Area have been ruined or impacted. Harvest from past years has been variable with just over 3400 harvested in 2014, 700 in 2013, 2400 in 2012 and just over 4000 in 2011. Since 2008, over 20,000 dove have been harvested on managed fields. No Lead shot is allowed dove management hunts in 2016. The non-toxic requirement is in response to the concentrated hunting of doves and accumulation of lead in the fields, available to wildlife while feeding. Non-Toxic shot is required on numerous dove management areas across the state.
A reminder to hunters, the Berentz-Dick Wa (Buffalo Ranch) is open to hunting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday only. Mandatory registration before hunting is in effect and I-Sportsman is now available for registration. it will be MANDATORY for use in 2016 for all hunting.
WETLAND MANAGEMENT - Following a wet spring, the wetlands have been inundated or extremely wet allowing little in the way of soil manipulation. Good moist soil vegetation responses were successful in seed production.
The Chetopa Creek / Quaker Cemetery Road: This road will be seasonally closed (September to April) The Road WILL BE OPEN during duck hunting seasons in 2015-2016. Vehicle access will be allowed during early teal, youth and all of regular duck season, and will closed immediately following duck season. This is to decrease vehicle disturbance while increasing wildlife utilization and improve hunting opportunities in the Chetopa Creek area for deer and turkey.
DEER HUNTING: Hunters are reminded that changes were made for public land hunters regarding baiting and the use of blinds. No individual may use more than two portable blinds or tree stands on any single department owned or managed property. Portable blinds or decoys shall not be left unattended overnight. Each portable blind or tree stand shall be marked with the users name and address or the users department issued identification number in a visible, legible and weather proof manner. Stands are to be removed two weeks after season closes.
No person may place or use bait while hunting on department lands. Bait is defined as any grain, fruit, vegetable, nut, hay, salt, sorghum, feed, other food or mineral that is capable of attracting wildlife. Liquid scents and sprays are not considered bait. Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of any baited site for up to 10 days after removal of the bait. Hunting is not prohibited over standing crops or food plots found on the area.
Commercial guiding on public land is not allowed without a commercial guide permit issued by the department for a specific area. An annual report must be submitted before July 1 on a form provided by the department.