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Kansas connecting GPS for hunters to find walk-in properties

From the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

-- When it comes to finding where to hunt, Kansas has both Garmin GPS(global positioning) and Google Earth files provided on the KDWP website to help hunters find locations of Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) properties.

For all the details, click here.

Hunters will find instructions for adding WIHA maps to Garmin GPS units, instructions for adding WIHA to Google Earth (GE), and links for uploading necessary software.

Two different files are available for Garmin units. One file contains only the WIHA tracts and has a transparent background so that it can overlay existing maps (such as TopoUSA Quads).

For those who do not have map layers for Kansas already on their GPS units, a second file available for download will add the WIHA tracts and a base map. This file includes all WIHA tracts, streams, lakes, roads, and incorporated cities within Kansas.

Downloading and using Google Earth (GE) software requires an active internet connection. GE is a virtual globe, map, and geographic information program. The basic version of GE is currently available as a free software download. Once installed, GE will automatically connect to Google's servers each time you open the program, streaming terabytes of geographical data (including seamless imagery) in the format of a 3-D globe to your Internet browser.

The file named "KS_WIHA_Fall_2010" is available for download and allows users to add the tract boundaries for WIHA properties to the digital globe. While the imagery on the 3-D globe is not real-time, it does provide a good idea of the terrain and, to an extent, the land-cover of the WIHA tracts.

WIHA tracts are available only during the access dates indicated on posted signs or in the 2010 Kansas Hunting Atlas, available at any KDWP office. In addition, landowners may opt out of the program after the seasons have started; in this case, signs will be posted marking the area as closed.

Aside from access dates, some WIHA tracts have restrictions prohibiting firearm deer hunting. Restrictions will be posted on the areas and will take precedence over those listed or omitted in the maps.

Citations can be issued for violating these restrictions. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and avoid entering areas questioned until you have checked with a KDWP official.

For more information, contact Jake George, private lands coordinator, KDWP, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, KS 67124, phone (620)672-0760.

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