Benedictine Bottoms Wildlife Area
The area is a 2,112 acre wildlife area in the flood plain of the Missouri River. The river borders the area on the south and east. This site is managed for 3 habitat types that existed in the area before development, timber, native grass and wetlands. During construction more than 175,000 trees were planted, 550 acres of native grass were planted and 450 acres of wetlands were developed.
Construction on the area started with tree planting consisted of a variety of hardwoods and shrubs. These varieties will provide mast as well as escape and winter cover for many wildlife. Though most of the hardwood trees are still small many Cottonwood trees are mixed in and are doing quite well.
The grasslands were created from a mixture of big bluestem, Indian, eastern gama and switch grasses along with wildflowers and legumes. Most of the grasslands have done very well and is providing valuable nesting and escape cover as well as a source of food.
The 450 acres of wetlands were built using low-profile earthen berms and using the natural contour of the land. Three well and distribution pipe provide water to approximately 45 acres. Water control structures were placed on the wetlands to allow for control of water depth.
Currently the area has a great variety of wildlife. Many species of song birds use the area and can be seen throughout the year. Many water birds also use the wetlands including shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl.
Many game species are common to the area. Good numbers of deer stay on the area with several large bucks seen every year. A large population of pheasant are found on the area and is a favorite of the locals. Good numbers of quail and rabbits can also be found.
The hunting on Benedictine Bottom will be a mixed bag this season. Due to flooding throughout the spring and summer, there will be poor habitat for upland bird but good habitat for waterfowl. Upland habitats were severely damaged by the 4 months of flooding, native habitats in many areas were completely killed by the flooding.
Deer hunting should be good again this year also. Numbers appear to be about the average, and a couple of larger bucks have been seen.
Area open in the month of September only to hunting for the dove and teal seasons. Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting. All other hunting on the wildlife area is regulated through a drawing in the department's special hunts program.
- The area is open to the public from April 1 through September 30. From October 1 Through March 31 an access/hunting permit is required. These permit are by computer draw only. Applications period will start in July and will be acepted on-line only at http://www.ksoutdoors.com, look for "Special Hunts"
- Off road vehicle, ATV and horse use is prohibited.
- No alcohol or cereal malt beverages of any kind are allowed on the area.
- non-toxic shot required for all shotgun hunting
The US Army Corps of Engineers purchased the area as a Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project in 1993 and 1994. This area was purchased under authorization of Congress through the Mitigation Project in Section 334(a) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986. The 2,112 acre Benedictine Bottoms was then leased to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks for management in 1999 after development.
|Waterfowl numbers||Mallard Migration Rank: 3 (Estimate of potential mallard numbers. 1=lowest, 10=highest)|
|Water level|| |
A map of our wetlands is now available under the Wetland Map tab to the right.
Wetlands are full in addition to other flooded pools outside the levee. Ice is present as of Monday but may thaw as temperatures rise throughout the week. Waterfowl have been seen using the wildlife area in very small numbers.
Refuge(NOT open to hunting)
October 1 through March 31 the area can only be accessed with a special permit obtained through a drawing. The application and drawing will take place online only in 2017. Look for "Special Hunts" on our home page under "HUNTING".
|Hunting conditions||Good quality wetland vegetation persists in all wetland complexes. Native vegetation such as annual smartweeds, barnyard grass, and arrow leaf are the most common vegetation.|
|Expected hunting success||Currently there are very few ducks using the wetland areas throughout the property that are open to hunting. Small groups of ducks spread throughout the wildlife area.|
|Comments||The majority of ducks seen on the wildlife area have been outside the levee. REFUGE IS NOT OPEN TO HUNTING|