Casts and Blasts from the Oct. 18 Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting

In addition to things mentioned on Sunday’s Ourdoors page on the recent commission meeting at Flint Oak, in Elk County -


– Robin Jennisson, Wildlife, Parks and Tourism secretary, told commissioners and the public he’s continuing to promote the idea of the state authorizing a resort/lodge at Clinton Reservoir. It would be owned and managed by a private company. Jennison said Milford, Perry and Wilson reservoirs were also considered. Clinton’s closeness to Lawrence and Kansas City could help a resort draw traffic beyond traditional outdoors months. Other Kansas departments are involved in the process.

– ┬áJennison said the state’s new eco-tourism committee is recommending up to three new visitors centers be built in Kansas to help people visiting the state to enjoy the natural resources.

– Linda Lanterman, state park director, said they’re considering building outdoors, long-term storage areas at several state parks. Lanterman said people parking campers illegally, and leaving them for days, has become a problem. ┬áThe new proposal would probably have fenced, gravel parking areas added that would be locked from the general public. ┬áCommissioners largely supported the concept, as long as it doesn’t compete too heavily with private storage facilities in the immediate area. “We’ll have to keep the price above the private (businesses), because they can’t compete with our location,” said Gerald Lauber, commission chairman.

– The department started discussions on allowing turkey hunting during the state’s special January deer season for antlerless whitetails. Currently the fall turkey season is closed during any firearms deer season.

– Lloyd Fox, big game program coordinator, told the commission the agency is planning a special season for antlerless whitetails on Oct. 12-13, 2013.The concept of a pre-rut hunt for whitetails does was mandated by the legislature this year. Fox would like the two-day October season to replace a nine-day season for any deer that’s been held in Unit 19 for several years. Fox said that October firearms season has seen very little use in past years.

– Matt Peek, Wildlife and Parks antelope biologist, told commissioners drought was probably to blame for very poor fawn survival in Kansas’ antelope herds this summer. Peek said surveys showed 19 fawns per 100 does. Peek said that’s probably the lowest ratio in about 60 years. About 60-70 fawns per 100 antelope does is considered good. Peek also said the Flint Hills antelope population remains at about 30 animals.