Firearms Deer Season Opens November 30

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The Kansas firearms deer season begins Nov. 30 this year and runs through Dec. 11. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks reminds deer hunters that safety is the first order of business when hunting with high-powered rifles. Several changes in laws and regulations are also important.

Among safety issues is one required by law: all deer hunters must wear a minimum of 200 square inches of hunter orange clothing, 100 visible from the front and 100 visible from the back. A hunter orange hat is also required. Also, all persons assisting firearms deer hunters must wear hunter orange. Camouflage orange is acceptable. While upland game and other hunters are not required to wear orange, it is recommended at all times, especially during the firearms deer season. Orange makes hunters much more visible, especially at dawn and dusk, and it has greatly reduced hunting-related accidents.

Common sense rules of safety should also be followed. Hunters should always be sure of their target and what lies beyond it; every firearm should be treated as if it were loaded; the muzzle of a firearm should always be pointed in a safe direction; firearms should always be unloaded when transported in a vehicle; and hunters should never shoot from a vehicle -- it is dangerous and illegal.

As a matter of ethics, every deer shot at should be tracked. Mortally-wounded deer often run great distances in a matter of seconds, and to the hunter it may appear that the animal has not been hit. Following an apparently missed animal may result in a filled permit and prevent the unnecessary loss of a valuable animal.

Several new rules apply to the 2005 firearms hunting season, as follow:

* All deer hunters must possess a valid antlered deer permit before they can acquire an Antlerless-Only permit or game tag.

* Archery permits are no longer valid statewide. Nine archery units have been created. Archery permit purchasers may select two archery units, plus Unit 19.

* Archery hunters may hunt during the firearms season with legal archery equipment only. Archers hunting during firearm season must wear orange clothing, as required of firearms hunters.

* Unit 16 has been added to units requiring firearms hunters to register harvested deer at check stations. Other mandatory check station units for firearms hunters include 1, 2, 3, 17, and 18. Deer taken outside of these units or outside the regular firearms deer season do not need to be taken to a deer check station.

* Deer Management Unit 19 boundaries have been modified to include a larger portion of the City of Leavenworth.

* Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must successfully complete an approved course in hunter education before hunting in Kansas, with one exception: anyone 15 years old or younger may hunt without hunter education certification if they are under direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Hunters 12 years of age and older may hunt without adult supervision provided they possess a valid hunter education certificate and the appropriate licenses and/or permits.

* There is no minimum age to apply for and receive a big game permit.

For more details on deer permits, hunting regulations, seasons and trophy records, click here .