Landowner Deer Management Program Initiated

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An additional option in deer management is being studied in Kansas this year. The Landowner Deer Management Program (LDMP) was created by the Kansas Legislature last session. That legislation directed the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) to initiate a pilot program on five locations for the next three years.

The program will create a contract between a landowner and the department for deer permits. Landowners who manage deer on their property benefit with the guarantee of a specific number of deer permits for their property. The landowner may then provide a certificate to their clients that will allow those people to purchase a nonresident deer permit without competing in the random draw for permits.

The program will also benefit Kansas resident deer hunters because some of the permits issued for each LDMP area will be made available for resident deer hunters. Resident hunters will compete for those permits similar to the way they apply for permits that allow them to hunt for mule deer although the LDMP permits will be valid only on property the landowner has enrolled in the program.

LDMP properties in western Kansas (DMU 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 17, & 18) must be at least 10,000 contiguous acres, whereas the minimum size in eastern Kansas (DMU 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, & 19) must be 3,000 contiguous acres. The property may be owned by one Kansas landowner or may include properties that neighbors operate cooperatively to manage them for deer.

Landowners who want to apply for the program should contact the chief of the Wildlife Section at the KDWP Pratt Operations Office, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, KS 67124. Applications may also be otained at KDWP regional offices and at the agency's web site. The application deadline is Jan. 31, 2005, and there is a $100 non-refundable application fee.