KABT Spring Fieldtrip

KABT Field Trip
When: June 4 & 5
Where: Smoky Valley Ranch
Logan County in Western Kansas

Welcome to the 2010 KABT fieldtrip. This is open to all who enjoy biology, members and non-members, we have a very exciting trip planned to the Nature Conservancy and Haverfield Ranch.

The Smoky Valley Ranch (SVR) is located about 15 miles south of Monument, KS. Lodging for the trip is available at multiple locations. For the purposes of this trip KABT has been given permission to use the primitive bunkhouse located on the ranch. The bunkhouse has 8 beds and also has a bath; you are required to bring your own linens and bedroll. The bunkhouse space will be given on a first come first serve basis. We have been given the permission to camp at the ranch for the nights of June 4 and 5. Other nearby camping locations includes Scott State Lake, located south of the ranch. Hotel accommodations can be found an hour and a half away in Oakley, KS.

The association needs an idea of how many people to expect for the field trip we do ask that attendees RSVP with the number of people that they plan on bringing by emailing bcoon@usd352.k12.ks.us . Please put “KABT trip” in the subject line.

Directions to the SVR headquarters and bunkhouse: To access the Headquarters/bunkhouse: at the east intersection of US-40 & US-83 at the south edge of Oakley, go south on US-83 for 11 miles to Seneca Rd. There are a couple of communication towers there. Go west on Seneca 7 miles to the “T” intersection and turn south. Drive another 7 miles. The SVR Hq. “campus” will be in view and there will be a gate/lane on the left [east] and one ahead [south] that may be closed. Take the east lane and travel s.e. to the metal office/storage/maintenance building and turn right [west] and drive down the lane to the large, stone ranch house………the bunkhouse. The address is 1114 County Rd. 370, Oakley KS

What to bring:
First and foremost, it is highly suggested to have a full tank of gas. Other items to bring include cameras, binoculars, lawn chairs, hiking boots, a cooler of food for 3 meals, (Friday night, Saturday breakfast, and lunch), plenty of water, bug spray, and camping equipment.

Friday evening: Meet at SVR for an evening of camaraderie with fellow KABT members.

Saturday: There are two hiking trails located on ranch, various groups will be formed based on biological interest and self-guided exploration of the area will take place. Near one of the hiking trails is a bison jump site. Also, the historic Butterfield Trail crosses the present ranch.

Possible sightings unique to western Kansas include: Prairie dogs, Prairie chickens, ferruginous hawks, Swift fox, Golden Eagles, Burrowing owls, Pronghorn, Prairie Rattlesnakes, short-grass prairie plant species, and at night the possibility of sighting black-footed ferrets on a nearby ranch (approximately 20 miles from Smoky Valley Ranch).

Saturday night: The plan is to meet at Mittens Truck Stop in Oakley, KS for a meal at 6:00, where we will eat (Dutch treat), and prepare for an evening of spotlighting the nocturnal black-footed ferret. Starting at 10-11:00 we will begin spotlighting at Haverfield Ranch.

Sunday Morning: disperse and head safely back to where you call home

For directions to the Smoky Valley Ranch see the nature conservancy website at


There is no charge for the day and non-members are welcome but we do encourage you to support KABT with your membership ($15/year, $5/year for students).