For those of you who grew up waterfowl hunting in Kansas, the map above this article should bring a nostalgic smile. It is a map of Cheyenne Bottoms – one of the most spectacular wetlands in the United States.  Covering 64 square miles (over 40,000 acres) it’s the largest wetland in the interior US, and a critical stop for millions of birds, from snipe to whooping cranes, during the fall and spring migrations.  What is now the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) was formed in 1925 (as the Kansas Forestry Fish and Game Commission) to develop and care for Cheyenne Bottoms.  The state now owns almost 20,000 acres of the Bottoms, and the Nature Conservancy owns an adjacent 7300 acres.

Hunting at Cheyenne Bottoms has changed over the years.  Blinds are no longer selected at “0 dark thirty” at the area headquarters.  This year the KDWPT requires use of their i-sportsman electronic permit system to register to hunt Cheyenne Bottoms (and many other popular public wildlife areas).  The registration process is straightforward, but plan ahead and don’t try to get set up the night before your hunt.

Here is a link to more information on the Kansas i-sportsman system:

https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/

And here is more information on i-sportsman that is specific to Cheyenne Bottoms:

https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/Locations/Cheyenne_Bottoms.aspx

Finally the KDWPT website provides useful information and additional links for information about the unique Cheyenne Bottoms area:

https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Locations/Wildlife-Areas/Southwest/Cheyenne-Bottoms

We strongly suggest spending some time at Cheyenne Bottoms before you hunt to familiarize yourself with the area in daylight.  Consider a visit as a pre-season family trip.  It might even inspire some early wildfowl hunting interest in the family!  If hunting, be mindful that Cheyenne Bottoms will be crowded on opening day and on many weekends.