Jamestown Wildlife Area

Area News
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Jamestown Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report
Click HERE for the current waterfowl report.

Of the 5,124 acres of public hunting now available on the area, over 1,900 acres are wetlands. The marshes are very shallow and have accumulated silt from the Marsh Creek watershed. As a result, the Department is embarking on a multiple year renovation for the areas wetlands beginning with Gun Club. Plans include new wetlands, new water control structures and renovation of existing wetlands by subdividing into units so water and vegetation can be managed more effectively. During renovation construction activities will impact and change uses of the area in the process of reaching the renovation goals. The goal of the renovation is to provide optimum wildlife habitat, improved user opportunities and play an important role in the overall Lower Republican River watershed management and life span of the marshes.

This area is located along a major migration route for the Central Flyway. The first waterfowl and shorebirds migrate through the area in late August. An 800-acre refuge is located at the north end of Gamekeeper Marsh. The refuge is closed to all activity from Oct. 1 through Mar. 1 except for the SPECIAL HUNTS conducted during hunting seasons. The refuge gives migratory birds a resting place and increases hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities on the area.

There are varieties of other wildlife habitats on the area. Upland birds and small game species use weeds, crop fields, grasses and shrubs, while big game prefers the timbered areas. The area offers excellent opportunities to view and photograph wildlife. Marsh Creek, Gamekeeper Dam, and Muskrat Landing are shallow boat landings for hunter access to waterfowl areas.

The limited public lands in Kansas require intensive wildlife management and some special restrictions. This area receives heavy hunting pressure. Wildlife population and hunter use surveys are conducted to evaluate management and the effects of heavy pressure on the area.

Click here for a Google Earth map of the area.


Hunters can check-in / check-out here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials. 

Paper permits will no longer be available at the information centers.

County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 07/08/2022
Youth/Mentor Dove Field at Jamestown WA

Jamestown will have one 13-acre Buckwheat/weedy field for the 2021 dove hunting season. The managed dove field is located on the East side of Buffalo Creek North Marsh; 1.5 miles north of KS 28 at the City of Jamestown and ½ mile west on Vale Rd. The field is the first field North of the parking lot with the grain bin on the north side of Vale Rd. A trail will be mowed from the parking lot to the managed dove field.

You can find a Google Earth map of the Dove Field here.

Sept. 1 through Sept. 6 the dove field will be limited to youth/mentor hunting only and will be open to all hunters Sept. 7. The age for a Youth has been raised to 17 and under. A Mentor is a anyone age 18 and older. One Mentor can sponsor one or more Youths.

Jamestown WA is a non-toxic shot only area.

Hunters need to register on-line to create an account at https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin. Login to the system using your licensing login credentials. 


WETLAND RENOVATION UPDATES

Construction Projects Still Underway at Jamestown Wildlife Area

Hunters planning to waterfowl hunt at Jamestown Wildlife Area this season will see construction equipment and new infrastructure. While all the planned projects have not yet been completed great progress has been made. Gamekeeper Marsh and Gun Club Marsh will both be kept at a low level while construction on a division berm is underway in Gamekeeper Marsh. Work on raising the height on the Gamekeeper Marsh Dam will begin later in the year. During this time, waterfowl hunting access will be limited, but the managers have been working on providing access for the opportunities that still exist.

While construction is taking place, hunters can find huntable habitat on the south end of the property throughout the waterfowl season. Staff will be pumping select off-channel storage pools from Marsh Creek and Buffalo Creek Marshes for the season. A PDF map of these pools can be accessed by visiting ksoutdoors.com, then clicking “Hunting,” “Reports and Forecasts,” and scrolling down to “Jamestown Wildlife Area.”

“These areas have excellent moist soil food production and teal are starting to show up,” said Matt Farmer, Public Lands Manager for Jamestown. “We just ask that the public be mindful of the tighter spaces this season, and we appreciate their patience while we make improvements to the Wildlife Area.”

Since early July, construction crews have been building a division berm in Gamekeeper Marsh. As of the middle of August, construction is just over half way complete. Borrow areas where the contractors took the earth to build the berm will become new, managed wetlands.  A Pittman-Robertson grant has been submitted to raise Gamekeeper Dam 18 inches in order to accommodate the increased sediment load the marsh has taken on the last several decades. This work could start as early as late winter to early spring. The berm construction and dam increase will allow area managers to flood a larger area and better control water elevations, to manage for optimum moist soil production and increased hunting opportunities. While there is no set date on a final product as working conditions and Mother Nature will determine progress, managers expect an entirely new look for Gamekeeper Marsh by next season.

For more information on the construction taking place at Jamestown Wildlife Area, contact area staff at (785) 439-6243.

General Information
County/Counties:

Wildlife Area Manager: Rob Unruh
Lovewell Office Phone: (785) 753-4971

Wildlife Area Assistant Manager: Matt Farmer 
Jamestown Office Phone: (785) 439-6243

Pheasants Forever Habitat Specialist: Joe Daniels

Special Regulations
  • Non-toxic shot required for all shotgun hunting.
  • Electronic Daily hunt permits ARE REQUIRED for ALL hunting.
  • Special hunts and Refuge areas are in effect Oct-1 - Jan 31.
  • Trapping is by permit only. The permit may be obtained from the Lovewell Area Office.
  • No trash receptacles are provide on the area. Please take your trash with you.
  • All motorized vehicles MUST remain on maintained roadways or parking areas.

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

History

Jamestown Wildlife Area is a collection of historical wetlands and associated uplands that have been under state management since 1932. Jamestown's two larger marshes were one of the twelve wetlands sold to provide funding for Emporia State Teachers College. Historically a "salty”, shallow, marshy area, in dry seasons salt was found where the water had been and when there was water an abundance of wildlife was found. The areas marshes attracted Native Americans, early settlers and were important to migrating herds of bison, flocks of waterfowl and other wildlife. Dams were constructed on the lower ends of both large marshes in the early 1900’s to provide a more reliable water supply for recreation.

Jamestown Facilities
Florell Hill
  • Type of Facility: Wildlife Viewing Area
  • Location of Facility: -55.150 41.662
  • Click for more information

    This area is located off of Highway 148 overlooking Gamekeeper Marsh from the north. There is a deck style viewing platform with railing for spotting scopes and a mowed parking area.


Southwest Gun Club
  • Type of Facility: Small Craft Launch Site/ Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38.579 -54.346
  • Click for more information

    This single lane, rock ramp with a gravel parking lot will allow access to the southwest corner of Gun Club Marsh.


Marsh Creek North
  • Type of Facility: Small Craft Launch Site
  • Location of Facility: 38.734 -53.261
  • Click for more information

    This low water crossing will allow non-motorized boat access to the north end of Marsh Creek Marsh.


Marsh Creek South
  • Type of Facility: Small Craft Launch Site
  • Location of Facility: 37.483 -54.782
  • Click for more information

    This small craft launch site will allow non-motorized boat access to the south end of Marsh Creek Marsh.


Gamekeeper Marsh
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 40.999 -55.456
  • Click for more information

    This lingle lane gravel boat ramp is located in the northwest corner of the area off KS Hwy. 148 for access to the west side of Gamekeeper Marsh.


Gun Club East
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 39.044 -53.549
  • Click for more information

    This new single lane concrete boat ramp with a gravel parking lot is located on the east side of Gun Club Marsh providing access to Gun Club East.


Muskrat Landing
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: 39.657 -54.203
  • Click for more information

    This newly renovated area has two, single lane concrete boat ramps. The east ramp gives access to Gun Club East and the west ramp gives access to Gun Club west. There is a gravel parking area with a unisex, vault style toilet.


Gamekeeper Dam
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 39.825 -54.236
  • Click for more information

    This single lane, concrete boat ramp with a gravel parking lot is located north of the Gamekeeper Dam on the east side for access to Gamekeeper Marsh .


Jamestown Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report - 11/22/2022
Waterfowl numbers

Very few waterfowl observed on the area today. What few waterfowl remain have been pressured and left the area for the day.

REMEMBER: Hunters are REQUIRED to check-in / check-out here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin  using your licensing login credentials. 

Water levels

95% ice covered as of today. The entire Wildlife Area is only holding less than 50% of normal, huntable water due to the dry conditions. Managers have stopped moving water out of Gamekeeper Marsh into Gun Club Marsh.  Due to low flows in the Republican river, managers will not be able to do any pumping on Buffalo Creek Marshes or divert water into Marsh Creek Marsh (due to restrictions in water rights) until we receive some rain, or the flows in the Republican increase.

Puddler Marsh: Dry Gamekeeper Marsh: 20% full; Gun Club West Marsh: Approximately 85% full with the average water depth of 16 inches; Gun Club East: Same as Gun Club West, average water depth of 16 inches; Greenwing Marsh; 90% full with varying water depths within the marsh; Marsh Creek Marsh: 5% full and will remain at that level until conditions in the Republican River improve.  The creek channel itself is around two feet deep.  The Marsh Creek off-storage pools that are usually pumped or filled will remain dry unless we get some significant rain; Buffalo Creek Marshes: Currently dry as managers will be unable to pump until conditions in the Republican River improve; Pintail Marsh: Dry and will need significant rains to fill.  

All marshes have excellent moist soil habitat and cover. Managers have been mowing shooting lanes/holes and spraying cattails.

Hunting conditions

Poor; Ice conditions and pressure have moved birds out of the area. Pressure will again be an issue as the ice melts and the migration progresses.

Remember: NO ATV's are allowed on department lands and roads. THIS INCLUDES ARGO'S AND E-BIKES

There is a no trash policy: If you take it in with you, please bring it out.  This includes spent shotgun shells. THIS REGULATION WILL BE ENFORCED.

ALL vehicles must remain on designated roads and parking areas. 

REFUGE IS CLOSED
Expected hunting success POOR. Open water due to ice is limiting bird and hunter use. Hunters still need to scout and be aware that the areas to hunt are limited and are encouraged to be courteous to other hunters.
Comments

Hunters will be strongly encouraged to scout prior to hunting the area.  Crowding is expected to be an issue.  Please be courteous and respectful of other hunters and pick up all trash, including spent shotgun hulls.  Littering citations will be issued as needed.

There is a new electronic check in system starting this season.  iSportsman accounts are now obsolete and hunter cannot access the program.  The new system can be found on the GoOutdoorsKS app. or by following the link below and using your licensing login credentials.

 
 

www.ksoutdoors.com/checkin

 
 

Waterfowl Seasons

LOW PLAINS DUCK: 10/8/22 - 12/4/22 & 12/17/22 - 01/01/23

CANADA GEESE: 10/29/22 - 10/30/22 & 11/2/22 - 02/12/23

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE: 10/29/22 - 01/01/23 & 01/21/23 - 02/12/23

LIGHT GEESE: 10/29/22 - 10/30/22 & 11/02/22 - 02/12/23

LIGHT GEESE CONSERVATION ORDER: 02/13/23 - 04/30/23

Hunters are REQUIRED to check in AND OUT using the electronic permitting system.

Hunters need to check-in / check-out by going to https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials. 


Hunters need to make sure they have all the appropriate licenses and stamps for hunting waterfowl.  The following are required:

Kansas hunting license

State waterfowl stamp

Federal waterfowl stamp

Kansas Harvest Information Program Stamp (HIP)

RINGNECK MARSH IS DESIGNATED FOR YOUTH AND MENTORS ONLY. EACH HUNTER 16 YEARS AND OLDER MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OR MORE YOUTH UNDER 16 YEARS OLD.

Marsh Creek Marsh and the West Gamekeeper Marsh is for non-gasoline powered boats or paddle-in / Walk-in only, this includes electric motor boats and boats with no motors. Gasoline engines are prohibited.

Buffalo Creek & Pintail Marshes are for non-motorized boats and walk-in hunting only.

HUNTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO :

  • MAINTAIN SAFE DISTANCES BETWEEN HUNTING PARTIES
  • BE COURTEOUS OF OTHER HUNTERS
  • KNOW THEIR TARGET AND WHAT LIES BEYOND IT
  • FOLLOWING SAFE AND ETHICAL PRACTICES WILL ENSURE THAT EVERYONE HUNTING PUBLIC LANDS ENJOYS A HIGH QUALITY EXPERIENCE.

THE REFUGE WILL BE CLOSED SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022 - JANUARY 31, 2023 on the north half of Gamekeeper Marsh. REFUGE WILL CLOSE ON OCT. 1, 2022 AND REMAIN CLOSED THRU - JANUARY 31, 2023. The refuge boundary has shifted northwest to Highway 148. 

Please introduce youth and novice hunters to the outdoors. Pass it on!