Wildlife & Parks Commission Approves Big Game Seasons

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The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission met in Courtland on April 22 to conduct a meeting and public hearing on recommendations for the 2004-2005 big game hunting seasons. The Commission also approved Secretary’s Orders for resident and nonresident permit numbers.

The Commission approved the following deer season dates:

• Muzzleloader season — Sept. 11-24, 2004;

• Youth and disabled season — Sept. 25-26, 2004;

• Archery season — Oct. 1-Nov. 30 and Dec. 13-31, 2004;

• Special urban firearms season (Unit 19) — Oct. 16-24, 2004;

• Regular firearms season — Dec. 1-12, 2004;

• Extended whitetail antlerless only season — Jan. 1-2, 2005 (open only in Deer Management units 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 19) and Jan. 3-9, 2005 in the northern portions of Deer Management Units 7 and 8; and

• Deer Management Unit 19 archery antlerless whitetail only season — Jan. 3-31, 2005.

Commissioners also approved the second year for a special season in southeast Kansas. The special whitetail antlerless only season was initiated last year to address local landowner concerns about deer crop damage within a portion of Deer Management Unit 12. Few hunters participated in this year’s season, and only 76 deer were taken. However, the department recommended the season again to provide another tool for landowners to control local deer numbers. The special southeast firearms antlerless season will be Jan. 3-31, 2005. Applications for the 350 resident game tags and 35 nonresident game tags must be received by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks’ (KDWP) Pratt Operations Office by Nov. 5, 2004. Each game tag allows the harvest of four antlerless whitetails.

Other changes for the 2004-2005 deer seasons include not allowing the use of Whitetail Antlerless Only Game Tags in Deer Management units 1, 2, 17, and 18. Also, in an attempt to monitor western Kansas deer herd health (including tests for chronic wasting disease) hunters in Deer Management units 1, 2, 3, 17, and 18 will be required to take harvested deer to check stations for registration within 48 hours of harvest.

The Commission approved the following Secretary’s Orders on deer permit numbers:

• Resident Muzzleloader Any Deer permits (which allow the taking of a mule deer or whitetail, either sex), — 1,336;

• Resident Any Deer Firearm permits (which allow the taking of a mule deer or whitetail, either sex) — 2,440;

• no Any Deer Firearms permits were recommended for nonresidents;

• Nonresident Muzzleloader Any Deer permits — 190;

• Nonresident Whitetail Either Sex Firearms permits — 6,822; and

• Nonresident Statewide Archery permits (whitetail either sex) — 3,256.

Resident Whitetail Either Sex Firearms permits, resident Statewide Archery permits, and Whitetail Antlerless Only Game Tags will be available over the counter. A hunter may purchase only one permit that allows the harvest of an antlered deer.

Fifty percent of the nonresident permits will be set aside for resident landowners, who must apply for the permits during the nonresident permit application period, which ends May 31, 2004. This permit is transferrable to anyone, with or without compensation.

The Wildlife and Parks Commission also approved fall turkey season dates of Oct. 1-Nov. 30 and Dec. 13-31, 2004. A change for 2004 will make permits in Unit 1, the northwest, unlimited — one per hunter. In the past this unit was a draw unit, and permits were consistently left untaken. As turkey numbers have grown, fall hunting opportunities have expanded. In 2004, hunters in Unit 2, the eastern third of the state, will again be able to purchase as many as three Turkey Game Tags, in addition to their Turkey Permit. Resident-only antelope seasons were set for management units in far western Kansas. The archery season will provide unlimited permits, one per hunter, for the Sept. 18-26, 2004, season.

The Commission also approved 104 Firearms Antelope permits for the Oct. 1-4, 2004, season and 30 Muzzleloader Antelope permits for the Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2004 season. Applications for muzzleloader and firearms antelope permits must be received at KDWP’s Pratt Operation office by June 11, 2004.

Elk seasons for Deer Management Units 6, 8, 9 and 14 outside of the Ft. Riley Military Reservation were approved, as follow:

• Archery season — Oct. 1-Nov. 30 and Dec. 13-Dec. 31, 2004;

• firearms season — Dec. 1-12, 2004 and Jan. 1-March 15, 2005; and

• muzzleloader season — Sept. 1-30, 2004.

On Ft. Riley (Unit 8a), five antlerless-only elk permits will be made available for use during each of three seasons — Oct. 1-31, Nov. 1-30, and Dec. 1-31, 2004. Seven Any Elk permits will be valid during any season using authorized equipment for that season. Hunt-Own-Land antlerless permits will be available for use off the fort during any open season. Limited permits will be drawn from a pool of military and general resident applicants. Applications for Any Elk and Antlerless Only Elk permits must be received at the Pratt Operations Office no later than July 16, 2004.