Council Grove Wildlife Area News

Area News

2021 Dove Hunting Outlook:

Two sunflower tracts (4, 13 acres) should provide fair to good dove hunting opportunities at Council Grove Wildlife Area.  Portions of each of these fields will be mowed (if conditions allow) to enhance dove use and hunter access. 

The 13-acre field can be found just north of the eastern most parking area along the north side of Munkers Creek.  The 4-acre field (on the north side of Neosho River) can be found just south of the western most parking area at the west end of M Avenue.  The parking area can be reached by traveling about 0.35 miles east of the Kelso Church on M Avenue and taking the south fork in the road and continuing east about 0.7 miles.  Approximately 3 acres of this field were lost to flooding earlier this spring.  Another 16-acre field (on the south side of Neosho River) was planted but was also lost to lake flooding.    

Dove hunters may be asked to obtain a permit prior to hunting and report harvest at the conclusion of their hunt.  Please assist area staff with evaluating these opportunities by following instructions located at permit stations posted at each field.  Hunters are also reminded to please be courteous and aware of other hunting parties while using these fields.  

For a brochure and map of the entire wildlife area please visit the Council Grove Wildlife Area web page (ksoutdoors.com) and click on the brochure tab at the top of the page.  For more information please call the area manager at #620/767-5900.   

 

Want Current Lake Condition Information?  It’s Just a Click Away!

It can be argued that technology is not always a good thing.  But for outdoor recreationists wanting to know current information about Council Grove Lake, technology can be good because the information is available and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by visiting the internet on your computer or smart phone.

For those interested in learning more about current or historic lake levels, precipitation amounts, lake inflow, or lake releases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates a convenient web site providing this information.  Whether you are an angler interested in lake conditions to determine if it might be right for pursuing your favorite species of fish, or are a boater or camper wondering how lake conditions have been impacted by recent drought or rains, the website can be a valuable trip planning tool.  To access this information simply visit:

http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/COUN.lakepage.html


Woodland Habitat Work Reaches Milestone:

In early January of 2018, area staff completed our 8th year of woodland habitat enhancement projects at Council Grove Wildlife Area.  That years’ work was directed to enhance woodland characteristics within existing stands near Gilmore Creek and the southwest corner of the lake.  Approximately 65 acres were treated that year.  With that latest project complete, staff have evaluated all area woodlands encompassing approximately 1,100 acres, and completed treatments within nearly 750 acres!  This project marked the end of an initial plan to work with forestry professionals from the Kansas Forest Service and National Wild Turkey Federation to conduct annual efforts to encourage desirable tree species such as burr oak (primarily), hickory, and walnut. 

To enhance tree stature and nut production of these species, more common and less desirable tree species such as locust, hackberry, elm, maple, ash, and boxelder were removed from the stand when they were found to be competing for sunlight.  By reducing competition, those trees that remain are more likely to flourish and enhance food and cover characteristics for many woodland wildlife species including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrel, and raccoon.  Since 2010, nearly 650 hours of work has been completed to enhance habitat characteristics and the recreation experience of our visitors!  With this initial project complete, similar efforts are now being planned at El Dorado Wildlife Area where significant opportunities for enhancement also exist.  At Council Grove Wildlife Area, staff will continue to work with forestry professionals to evaluate woodland habitats and consider enhancement options. 

Welcome New Natural Resource Officer:

Area staff are pleased to announce that a new Natural Resource Officer (NRO) has begun work in the area.  Officer Jacob Spear has recently accepted natural resource law enforcement responsibilities within Chase and Morris Counties.  Spear replaces long-time area NRO Randy Benteman following his transfer to another county.  Officer Spear looks forward to working with area outdoor enthusiasts to protect and conserve our natural resources and preserve our hunting and angling heritage. Persons with law enforcement related questions or concerns can contact their Kansas NRO by utilizing a county listing of Natural Resource Officers found within each annual hunting or fishing regulation summary.  Spear may be contacted directly by calling #620/340-5968.  Welcome Officer Spear!