Landowners, general public invited to learn hands-on habitat improvement techniques

Quail Unlimited (QU), in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), will conduct a Habitat Techniques Demonstration Day on Wednesday, July 18, at 8:30 a.m. The event will be held at Hillsdale Wildlife Area, near Paola, on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property managed by KDWP. The site is just an hour away from this year's annual QU convention -- July 19-21 -- in Overland Park.
To answer some of the most common questions QU and KDWP staff receive regarding quail habitat management, the event will feature a "before" habitat management scenario. This scenario more closely resembles that which many landowners are typically facing -- natural plant succession resulting in loss of habitat.

Hands-on, how-to demonstrations of different quail management practices will be offered. Participants will be divided into groups and guided along a demonstration trail to multiple management-practice stations. Equipment and tools will be on site for participants to see first-hand how they work and how to use them, as well as recommended techniques and desired outcomes.

Habitat management topics will be discussed and demonstrated, including edge feathering; invasive tree removal; brush piles; native warm-season grass drill set-up, adjustment, calibration, and use; food plots; chainsaw safety; wildlife habitat appraisal; strip disking; herbicide application; calibrating hand-held and ATV sprayers; and prescribed burning.

A prescribed burn demonstration is scheduled, weather permitting, following lunch, which will be provided.
Demonstration Day is open to the public, but reservations must be made online; by phoning Connie Dean at 803-637-5731, ext. 223; or by emailing cdean@qu.org. The cost is $35 per person whether driving separately or riding the tour bus (limited seating available on a first-come, first-served reservation basis). Tour buses will leave the Overland Park Convention Center, Courtyard Level, north main entrance at 7:30 a.m. and return at approximately 4 p.m.

Special on-site transportation will be made available for those who have difficulty walking. Prior arrangements must be made by calling Bob Peterson at 417-359-5807.