January and February are busy months for outdoors enthusiasts in Kansas.
As the fall hunting seasons start winding down and spring fishing and turkey hunting draw nearer, the state gets inundated with hunting- and fishing-themed events for bored outdoorsmen to attend in their downtime.
This year is much the same, with some old events making triumphant returns this month and into February.
Following is a list of some of those events and what they offer:
Crappie University is making a return to Johnson County Community College this year, this time as a one-day, eight-hour course on everything crappie.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 25.
Instructors will include:
— Matthew Rogers, El Dorado Springs, Mo., presenting “What’s That I See? (On My Electronics).” Rogers is the 2019 Crappie Masters Missouri state champion and the 2018 national champion.
— Dan Dannenmueller, of Millbrook, Ala., presenting “Unlock the Treasure Chest of Crappie Fishing’s Top Techniques.” Dannenmueller is the owner/publisher of the online crappie magazine CrappieNow and has multiple national crappie trails’ titles under his belt.
— John Neporadny, of Lake Ozark, Mo., presenting “Crappie Hotels – Fishing In, Around and On Docks (including night fishing).” Neporadny is an outdoors writer and book author.
— George Toalson, of Claremore, Okla., presenting “You Gotta Get Their Attention to Catch ‘Em … Here’s How.” Toalson is a lure designer for Bobby Garland baits.
Students ages 14-17 are welcome to enroll if attending with a parent who is also enrolled.
To enroll, go to https://tinyurl.com/s99cfar/. Cost to enroll is $89.
The Kansas City Boat and Sportshow also is going on this weekend at H. Roe Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th in Kansas City, Mo. Showtimes are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. More info at https://www.kansascitysportshow.com/.
DU Firearm Frenzy, Monster Buck Classic and more
The Topeka chapter of Ducks Unlimited is hosting a big fundraiser/gun raffle from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Sunrise Optimist Club, 720 N.W. 50th in Topeka.
Forty guns will be raffled off during the event, with the first gun raffled off at noon and another gun raffled every four minutes after that.
"This will actually be our second venture into this type of event," said Jeff Neal, DU district chairman. "A couple of years ago we conducted our first Firearm Frenzy and it was a great success, netting several thousand dollars which went to waterfowl conservation."
Tickets for the event are $25 for a single ticket or $100 for eight. Each ticket is eligible for food, beer and nonalcoholic drinks, as well as entry into the raffle. Tickets may be purchased at https://www.ducks.org/kansas/events/.
For more information about that event, contact Cheech Kehoe, 802-233-1472, or Thad Wende, 785-845-5210.
A few other noteworthy events are coming to the Stormont Vail Events Center, formerly the Kansas Expocentre, toward the end of the month and beginning of February. They are:
• The Monster Bucks Classic will run from Jan. 24-26. Single-day tickets for the event will be $10 at the door, with youth tickets $5 and children 10 and under getting in free. For more information, visit the Kansas Monster Buck Classic Facebook page or contact Tyler Kirby at 620-339-9026 or KSMonsterBuck@gmail.com.
• The Topeka Boat and Outdoor Show will run from Jan. 31-Feb. 2, and tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for Good Sam members and free for kids ages 12 and under. Show hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, and parking is free. Featured speakers have yet to be publicly announced. More information is available at https://www.topekaboat.com/.
• The Topeka RV and Sport Show is the following weekend, Feb. 7-9. The featured speaker will be Jeremy Puglisi, co-host of the "RV Atlas" podcast and co-author of "Idiot's Guides: RV Vacations" and the forthcoming "See You At The Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors." Puglisi has appearanced on television more than 50 times as a spokesman for the RV industry and for Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, where he serves as a pro-staff member. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for Good Sam members and free for kids ages 12 and under. Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, and parking is free.
NWTF turkey clinic, hunter’s education class
This one isn't until spring, but it’s a good idea to reserve a spot as soon as possible.
The Flint Hills Gobblers chapter of the NWTF, in collaboration with the KDWPT, will host a free turkey-hunting clinic and internet-assisted hunter’s education class from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 28 at Dry Creek Sporting Clays, in Emporia.
The turkey clinic is open to anyone interested in becoming a better turkey hunter, but will be limited to 250 attendees. The hunter’s ed class is limited to 25 youths ages 11 to 17. All youths who attend the clinic also will receives a free T-shirt and JAKES membership, as well as a prize in a drawing that includes several guided hunts.
Lunch will be provided, and Bluestem Farm and Ranch will have a display at the clinic of all the latest turkey-hunting equipment available in its Emporia store.
The clinic will include several educational sections for becoming a better turkey hunter, including turkey calling and locator calling, scouting/roosting turkeys, wild turkey biology and management, shotgun hunting for wild turkeys, bow hunting for wild turkeys, turkey hunting equipment and safety, still and trap shooting and 3D archery/Archery in the Schools.
Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by March 7 with the total number of children and adults who will attend, including T-shirt sizes for the children.
For more information and to reserve a spot, contact Gib Rhodes at 620-437-2012 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KAWS Playa Lake Field Tour and Workshop
This two-day field tour and workshop presented by the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams in western Kansas is a great resource for those interested in playa lake conservation.
These round hollows in the ground are ephemeral, meaning that they are only present at certain times of the year when rainfall is in high-enough quantity to fill them.
The event will begin Jan. 14 with a playa lake field tour through Haskell, Seward and Meade counties, wrapping up the day at about 5 p.m. Shuttles will leave from the Finnup Conservation Center parking lot in Garden City at 9 a.m. and Haskell County Fair Ground parking lot at 10 a.m. The following day, Jan. 15, a workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Finnup Conservation Center in Garden City. The event will provide information about the value of playas and conservation programs available to playa landowners.
Registration is free for landowners with playa lakes and may be done online at https://www.kaws.org/events/.
“With partners’ hard work we have broken all the previous records for new Kansas playa lake conservation acres in western Kansas in 2017, 2018 and 2019 combined,” said Joe Kramer, Ducks Unlimited conservation special projects manager for Kansas, in a news release. “We all want to accomplish more playa lake conservation work with everyone’s help in the future.”
For more information, contact Kramer at 620-388-5878 or Abe Lollar, Ducks Unlimited biologist, at 620-214-2693.
Albers Marine Fishing and Hunting Show
The 14th annual Albers Marine Fishing and Hunting Show is set for Jan. 25-26 at Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center in Pittsburg.
Show hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, with the Kansas BASS Nation Kids Casting Contest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, contact Albers Marine at 620-347-8853 or email@example.com.
2020 Ducks Unlimited State Convention
The two-day statewide Ducks Unlimited convention will take place Feb. 21-22 at the Drury Inn Broadview Downtown, 400 W. Douglas Ave. in Wichita.
Tickets are sold for singles ($80 both nights, $50 one night), couples ($150 both, $90 one), Greenwings ($30 both nights) and families ($200 for two adults and two or more children, both nights). Ticket prices will increase Feb. 16, so buy them early. They may be purchased at ducks.org or by calling Mike Bulk, 785-294-1280.
Those wishing to reserve a room at a discounted rate of $107 per night should call the Drury at 1-800-325-0720.