New Wildlife Area Thriving

One of Kansas’ newest public hunting areas is off to a great start.

Turkey and deer hunters have had very high success rates on the new Grand Osage Wildlife Area. Permits are limited and awarded by drawing.

The Grand Osage Wildlife Area was part of the Army ammunition plant near Parsons before Wildlife and Parks took possession of the 3,000 chunk in January, 2010.

Rob Riggin, Wildlife and Parks public lands manager, said last fall 40 bowhunters shot about 50 does and about 20 bucks. About 400 hopeful hunters applied during the summer drawing for one of the coveted spots. Riggin said most of the trophy bucks taken have scored  in the upper-140s on the Pope & Young scoring system.

Spring turkey hunters found lots of birds. Many were done within the first three hours of their first day.

As good as it’s been there may be better things to come.

Riggin plans to plant several fields to sunflowers to attract doves and dove hunters. Even more hunting lands may be coming soon.

Officials are hoping a few years down the road Wildlilfe and Parks may be able to manage about 10,000 more acres of the old plant. Much of the land must be cleaned of old ammo bunkers and production facilities before public access can be granted.

Currently all outdoors access is limited to those with the special hunting permits and only on the portion owned by Wildlife and Parks.

One of the 100-plus ponds and strip pits on the old Army ammunition plant near Parsons that may someday be opened to the public.

Riggin hopes to someday open fishing at many of the 100-plus ponds scattered around the facility…someday.

For information on the special hunts go to www.kdwp.state.ks.us and check out the special hunts section.