Glen Elder Wildlife Area
Hunters can go here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin to check-in / check-out using your licensing login credentials.
Glen Elder Wildlife Area encompasses almost 13,200 land acres surrounding the 12,500 acre Glen Elder Reservoir. Click here for a Google Earth map of the area. Located 13 miles west of Beloit, KS. on U.S. Highway 24, the lake was built in 1968 for irrigation, flood control, and recreation. Because the irrigation district below the reservoir was never fully established, the demand is lower than other western Kansas lakes, and the water level remains relatively stable.
You can see and photograph a diversity of wildlife species. In winter, bald and golden eagles visit. Deer and pheasant are common sights. Waterfowl stop on their migrations, and a small Canada goose flock make the area home.
For more information about the area, check the kiosks located around the reservoir or contact the Glen Elder Area Office.
Public hunting areas are limited in Kansas, so demand is high. Less than 1% of Kansas land is public. Management continually seeks to enhance quality.
YOUTH-MENTOR AREA: 450+ acres along the north shoreline of Waconda Lake have been designated for Youth-Mentor hunting from October 1st through January 31st. Youth must be age 17 or younger. Adult mentors must be at least 18 years of age and are allowed to hunt with the youth. Remember, each hunting mentor must be accompanied by at least 1 youth who is actively hunting. Check-in/ out is required of all hunters (including youth).
There is also a deer blind available for use in the Youth-Mentor area. It is located near the corn fields in the western portion of the Y/M area and can be seen from HWY 24.
SPECIAL HUNTS: Special hunts for pheasant, waterfowl and deer are offered through the season. Special hunts for youth only are also available. Online applications for these hunts will begin in July on the KDWPT website. For more details about special hunts, contact the Glen Elder Office. KDWPT and the Waconda Lake Association have organized and held a Youth, Women and Celebrity Pheasant Hunt for the past 14 years, and the Osborne County Pheasants Forever Chapter has co-sponsored a youth dove hunt since 2011.
SPECIAL DISABILITY AREA: There is a 160 acre area on the southeast corner is open to vehicle access for disabled persons through a special permit. Contact the Glen Elder Area Office for details.
BIG GAME: Deer populations cycle with habitat and hunter harvest. Most deer are whitetails with a few mule deer in the area. Turkey numbers are fair in the local area, but their usage of the WA varies seasonally.
UPLAND GAME: Pheasant populations fluctuate yearly with the most hunting pressure during the season opener. Diverse habitats - grass, crops, weeds- produce the best results. Quail numbers are generally fair. In some areas vegetation is heavy and can be difficult to walk through.
MIGRATORY BIRDS: Doves are plentiful until cold weather moves in. Sunflower fields are the best hunting. Geese and ducks use the area during migration, depending upon habitat conditions. Most goose hunting occurs when the geese leave the area to feed. Early season duck numbers depend on flooded shoreline vegetation. A water level plan that lowers the lake in June and raises it in September is planned each year, but only rainfall makes the plan work. Duck and goose numbers usually peak in December.
LAKE LEVEL: 5 1/2 feet below conservation (normal) pool (and still dropping slowly) as of November 2023. Current lake level can be seen at Waconda Lake Information - U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
BOAT RAMPS: With low water, the Boller Point boat ramp is the only functional ramp for small craft outside of the State Park. The Boller Point ramp is still usable, but it's condition is poor. It is planned to be replaced in early 2024.
CAMPING: Camping is available in Glen Elder State Park (N.E. corner of the lake) where numerous sites are open including showers and electric and water hookups. Primitive camping on the Wildlife Area is only allowed in designated locations. Camping in parking lots is not allowed. The designated locations are North Fork, Fisherman's Bridge, Carr Creek, Boller Point, Schoen's Cove, and the Bluffs areas.
CAMP FIRES must be in established metal fire-rings only. Users are not allowed to burn ANY other items (ie.- trash) except wood or charcoal.
There are no TRASH receptacles on the Wildlife Area. Please take your trash with you.
SHOOTING RANGE: Open during daylight hours. If there are muddy conditions, users may have to walk in from the gates. Everything brought into the range should be taken home with you including spent casings and targets.
All hunters are required to check-in / check-out here, https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/event/wmasignin.aspx using your licensing login credentials. Sunflower fields will have portions of fields mowed leading up to the season. Wheat fields will be burned, mowed, or lightly disked. All managed dove areas will have mowed parking areas and mowed walking trails to the fields
The Oak Creek sunflower field has been designated as our youth-mentor field for this year. The field will be closed to hunting on September 1st and September 2nd as we may be holding a youth hunt on this field on Saturday 9/2. On Sunday 9/3 the field will be open for youth and mentor hunting only. Adults may only hunt the field if they have a youth 17 or younger hunting with them. On Monday September 11th the field will be open to all hunters for the remainder of the season.
All other dove fields at Glen Elder Wildlife Area are open for public hunting starting on September 1st.
- Here are some of the Statewide Public Lands Regulation changes from recent years. See printed regulations for complete details.
- GUIDED HUNTING OPERATIONS ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED ON KDWP PUBLIC LANDS.
- Each hunter is only allowed to have 2 tree stands on a property. Stands must be labelled with hunter's information.
- Portable blinds and all decoys are not allowed to be left out overnight.
- Baiting for any hunting purposes is no longer allowed
Each of the last few years, we have established several new shrub plots and over 300 acres of new warm season grass plantings. 80+ acres of sunflower fields and about 100 acres of various food plots are also planted every year.
We spray hundreds of acres of brome grass each fall on the area to encourage early succession growth to benefit our upland bird populations.
Please be respectful the many dirt roads we have around the area. If WA and county roads are muddy-STAY OFF OF THEM!!
Our tree shearing contractor is continuing to work at several different locations on the WA. This work really improves the upland habitat. We will continue this work for the next several years.
- Two areas are seasonally closed to all activities except special hunts by permit only. A refuge is in effect on 1,200 acres (land and water) west of the Cawker City Causeway and on 600 acres (water) near Granite Creek. Refuge dates for both areas are from November 1 to January 31.
- Six boat ramps are located around the wildlife area and two in the state park. Low water hazards may exist west of a line from Granite Creek to Mill Creek, so caution and reduced speeds should be used in this area.
- Developed campgrounds with modern facilities are available in the Glen Elder State Park located on the north-east corner of the lake. Primitive camping on the Wildlife Area is only allowed in designated areas which include: North Fork, Fisherman's Bridge, Carr Creek, Boller Point, Schoen's Cove, and Bluffs. Hunting and fishing are the primary activities on the area and camping is secondary. Due to shifts in work priorities and vandalism and abuse, the number of camping areas have been reduced. Hunters and anglers are fortunate to have Glen Elder State Park where camping is a priority. The State Park provides an excellent place for persons wanting to camp while hunting and fishing at Glen Elder.
- Campfires are only allowed at designated camping sites and only in the metal fire rings that are provided.
- Please leave the area cleaner than you found it. No trash receptacles are available.
- Hiking and bicycle riding is permitted throughout the area (except for the refuges). Horse riding is limited to open, maintained roadways.
- Motorized vehicles can only be operated on open, maintained roadways. Some roads are open seasonally to provide angler access.
Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake) was constructed in 1969 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1946 and built for both flood control and irrigation, with secondary uses of recreation, fish and wildlife. Current allocations of the 219,420 acre-foot storage water are Glen Elder Irrigation District (132,500 ac-ft./yr.), City of Beloit (2,000 ac-ft./yr), and Mitchell County RWD (1,009 ac-ft./yr.).
- Camping Available: No
- ADA Camping Available: No
- Reservable Sites: No
- Click for more information
|Waterfowl numbers|| |
ALL HUNTERS at Glen Elder WA are required to check-in AND check-out daily. Go to https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin or utilize the GoOutdoorsKS app and check-in using your licensing login credentials.
It is YOUR responsibility to know a property's regulations, refuge(s) and duck zone boundaries, etc. BEFORE you hunt.
Please be aware that the Low Plains Early Duck Zone and Low Plains Late Duck Zone boundary is HWY 24. This means Glen Elder WA North of Hwy 24 is in the Early Zone. The majority of the Glen Elder WA (South of HWY 24) is in the Late Zone.
***AS OF 12/5 WHOOPING CRANES ARE STILL ON THE PROPERTY IN THE VICINITY OF THE WEST REFUGE AREA. AT THIS TIME WE WILL NOT BE CLOSING ANY AREAS TO HUNTING, BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE BIRDS' (AND HUNTERS') ACTIVITY. PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB THESE ENDANGERED BIRDS IF POSSIBLE. BE CERTAIN TO POSITIVELY IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AND BEYOND PRIOR TO SHOOTING!
*Duck season is currently closed north of Hwy 24! Duck numbers have stayed relatively steady. Estimating 12 to 14,000 total ducks dominated mostly by mallards with a few wigeon, shovelers, and other species. Boots on the ground scouting will be necessary for good success as tall vegetation obscures a lot of the shoreline when glassing.
Estimating 500 Canada geese and 80,000 snow geese.
Waterfowl numbers may change dramatically from day-to-day.
|Water level||Lake is currently 5.5 feet low and dropping slowly with evaporation and drought. Now have some exposed mudflats in lots of places.|
|Hunting conditions||Fair to poor, and declining as water levels continue to recede. There is tall vegetation near the water's edge nearly everywhere this fall, but no flooded vegetation at this time. Major rain events will be required to raise water levels up to the vegetation during this waterfowl season. Hunters still need to be cautious of DANGEROUS MUD CONDITIONS on the river areas.|
|Expected hunting success||Poor to Fair.|
Granite Creek boat ramp is closed November 1 through January 31, 2021.
The following boat ramps are now UNUSABLE due to low water levels: Granite Creek, North Fork River, Carr Creek, Schoen's Cove and Walnut Creek.
Low Plains Early Duck Zone (North of Highway 24) season is October 7, 2023 through December 3, 2023 AND December 23, 2023 through January 7, 2024.
Low Plains Late Duck Zone (South of Highway 24) season is October 28, 2023 through December 31, 2023 AND January 20, 2024 through January 28, 2024.
Dark geese season will be October 28 and 29 AND November 1, 2023 through February 11, 2024.
Whitefront season will be October 28, 2023 through December 31, 2023 AND January 20, 2024 through February 11, 2024.
Light geese season will October 28 and 29 AND November 1, 2023 through February 11, 2024. Conservation Season will be February 12, 2024 through April 30, 2024.
Cawker City and Granite Creek Refuge closure dates are November 1st - January 31st.
The Youth/ Mentor hunting area is located in the Granite Creek Refuge and is in effect from October 1 - January 31. Waterfowl hunting from the shoreline area is allowed in the Youth-Mentor Area as long as EACH adult is hunting with a youth 17 years or younger. Boats of any sort are prohibited in the Granite Creek Refuge.
Zebra Mussels have been confirmed in Waconda Lake. Be sure to dry boats and equipment before moving to other waters.