McPherson Wetlands dove fields will be open

Brent Theede is amazed what a few weeks of consistent rains did to the McPherson Valley Wetlands, taking the area he manages from bone-dry to wonderfully full.

Now, he’s almost equally amazed at what a few days of heat and sun has done to dry an important portion of that area.

Not long ago the sunflower field he’d had planted for doves was under several feet of water, and he was telling the public and the media it wouldn’t have much to offer when the season opens Sunday morning.

Well, by Friday morning he had the field mowed and reported an estimated 500 to 1,000 doves were in the immediate area.

Theede said the plants don’t hold as many seeds as most years, but since the farmer is turning the field in for insurance all of the grain there is literally “for the birds.”

The field is the one that’s just about one mile north of 11th and Arapaho. Unlike last year, the Wetlands only has one sunflower field available this season.

Theede also reports good numbers of teal building through the area. The special teal season opens Sept. 7. This year’s limit for teal has been raised to six birds per day, with up to 18 in possession.