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October 24, 2007

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100 Best Public-Land Hunts: Kansas

Milford Wildlife Area
: northeast Kansas
Size: 20,000 acres
ZIP: 67487

The table is set for big bucks at Milford. A diverse mix of oak and hickory hardwoods, cropfields, and native grasslands offers a deer smorgasbord in the floodplain surrounding Milford Reservoir in the Flint Hills. Deer densities are high enough that hunters get plenty of action, despite significant hunting pressure. "We see a lot of 150-plus bucks," says John Silovsky, land manager with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, "and if a guy falls back to that 125 class, they're not a dime a dozen but they're common." Limited road access makes it fairly easy to escape crowds: target wooded bluffs and the more than 2,000 acres of managed wetlands that shelter mature bucks.

Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area
: northeast Kansas
Size: 12,000 acres
ZIP: 66411

Think of nearby Tuttle Creek as Milford's tougher little brother. Offering a similar combination of hardwoods, native prairie, and wheat, milo and soybean fields around a man-made reservoir, Tuttle Creek's more rugged terrain and slightly higher elevations offset its smaller size. Toss in 60,000 acres of Walk-in Hunting Access (private land leased for public hunting by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks) in four adjacent counties, and you've got a whitetail wonderland. A steeper watershed makes Tuttle Creek prone to flooding during fall rains, producing isolated islands among cattail sloughs where big bucks hide. "We haven't seen any 200-class deer in a couple of years," says Silovsky, "but they're here."

Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area
: southeast Kansas
Size: 7,600 acres
ZIP: 66075

The floodplain of the winding Marais des Cygnes River features some of the most extensive timber stands in this predominantly prairie state. Bottomland and upland woods mix with wetlands and cropfields. Southeastern Kansas receives twice as much rain as the western third of the state, and the steep bluffs and lush cover combined with an extensive refuge closed to hunting offer bucks lots of sanctuaries. However, the action heats up once the big boys start roaming beyond their home ranges for the rut.


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Bill Smith

It has been very interesting to have a Google Alert for Blogs on "Kansas Flint Hills!"
Yours came up today!
We have a 22 county Flint Hills Tourism Coalition promoting visits to the Kansas Flint Hills – this is the website: http://www.kansasflinthills.travel/
Our web site is to promote the Kansas Flint Hills; and we were so happy to be in the 22 page color photo spread in National Geographic's April Issue on the Kansas Flint Hills, as a distinctive landscape.

We would appreciate a link from your site, to ours, if you are willing to do so. THANKS!
Best wishes!

Bill ;-)

Personal Blog: http://flinthillsofkansas.blogspot.com/

Walnut Valley Kennels

Check out the pics being sent in by our fellow Kansans. Lots of interesting trail cam shots! Bill Smith, we will put a link to your blog on our site! Hope you don't mind, and maybe you could return the favor.

Walnut Valley Kennels

Sorry! Our blog is at:


I have hunted the Milford area for the past 20 years with friends whom I enjoy hunting with every year. This year was no exception and we did great I taking a 13 pt. buck and Chris taking a huge 10 pointer, john a 11 point buck and several others. This year we saw very little if any does even during Rut which was very strange, but the parks and wildlife continue to allow gun hunters in this area to take up to 4 antlerless deer, this is rediculous. I can tell you where our hunting is going in the next 4-5 yrs if this continues, down the tubes thats where. I hope they wise up and allow the herds to rebound and then issue more tags but to do this every year is only satisfying the insurance companies that don't want to pay the big bucks on premiums when someone hits a deer with their car. The next thing you know we won't be hunting anymore for these fine animals if they are allowed to dictate all the things they do with Kansas Parks and wildlife.

Josh Thurston

You nailed it on the head with the deer hunting going down the tube! Took a trip with three guys out there, and hunted hard. got one 130 inch 8 point(only good buck seen). We spotlighted on tuttle for 2 hours before daylight and saw 5 Deer! The DNR has really messed the public up by allowing too many doe kills. We did see some nice bucks on private, but couldn't hunt. Not to mention woods were like a battle field for the first four days.

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