Day-long course to focus on waterfowl hunting

STAFFORD -- On Oct. 22, Kansas will host the first hunter education course designed specifically to teach waterfowl hunting techniques. The course -- organized by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) and cosponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Cooperative North American Shotguning Education Program (CONSEP), and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Hunter Education Program -- will be held at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, near Stafford, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Last winter, KDWP Hunter Education Program coordinator Wayne Doyle met with these groups in Memphis, and the "Introduction to Waterfowl Hunting" course was developed. The class follows the lead of an "Introduction to Turkey Hunting" course conducted last spring. Both are part of a series of advanced hunter education courses that will continue to be developed. Like the turkey hunting class, the waterfowl class will be designed for hunters, adult or youth, who are not experienced duck hunters. There is a minimum age of 14 to participate.

The morning session will feature round-robin training, with participants learning techniques for calling, decoy setting, safety and tactics, conservation, duck identification, retrieving (with and without dogs), prevention of wounding loss, and more. Instructors will include experienced duck hunters gleaned from the ranks of KDWP staff, Hunter Education Program volunteers, and Ducks Unlimited volunteers.

Friends of Quivira will provide lunch between the morning and afternoon sessions. The afternoon session will offer participants the opportunity to learn more about shooting. They'll pattern shotguns, learn range estimation techniques, and practice shooting clay targets.

Pre-registration is required. The $25 fee will include a generous package of waterfowl hunting equipment and information. The deadline for registration is Oct. 15, and the class is limited to 50 participants. To register, contact the KDWP Hunter Education Section at 620-672-5911.