• PCC men's and women's soccer hosts Cloud County on 9/25.The women will start the double header at 1 pm with the men following at 3 pm.

WOO students gain hands-on experience

15 September 2014

Pratt Community College’s Wildlife Outfitting & Operations sophomores recently traveled to Cedar Bluff Reservoir, in northwest Kansas, to put what they learned in the classroom to use.

The four sophomores and Luke Laha, WOO instructor, corralled geese that were on a pond by the wildlife area office into a pin so that they could pull the geese’s primary feathers and band them.

Primary feathers, also known as the wing tips, are pulled so they can’t fly for approximately eight weeks. After the students pulled the feathers, they gave them to a biologist who looked at the sex and age and then banded the animal. Then when one of the birds is then shot, they can call in the band number for biologists to know where the animal was banded and its migration route, which helps set the bird’s hunting season and helps determine the four waterfowl flyways.

“I had the opportunity to do this when I was at Fort Hays State University and learned a lot so knew I wanted the students to get the experience too,” Laha said. “We talk about bands in waterfowl management class so it’s great for them to be able to see it and be involved.”

Laha went on to add that it is a good experience for students to see one of the many projects that Wildlife and Parks and biologists do each year.