Regional Reports-Midwest

Milford Wildlife Area

Tom Bowman doesn't have to stray far from his home to experience some of the finest bowhunting in Kansas. The Milford Wildlife Area, near Junction City, lies just out his back door, so when he isn't managing the land as a biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, he usually is hunting it. "Deer numbers have increased here over the years, but so have the number of hunters," Bowman says. "I remember in 1977, when I first hunted Milford. There were only 12 archery hunters the entire season, and only three hunters took deer. Now, there are lots of hunters and many deer to pursue." Bowman took a big 12-point buck in 1998, hunting out of a temporary tree stand that he had positioned near an area where he often saw rutting activity. The 20,000-acre area, the largest public-hunting area in Kansas, has plenty of good deer habitat-row crops and pastures interspersed with oak groves, bottoms with timber and marshland. "Most people don't realize it, but deer don't mind getting their feet wet," says Bowman. "The marshy spots on our wildlife area are some of the best places to find big deer, especially when they're getting pressured." Contact: Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (316-672-5911).