Kansas Offers Plenty of Hunting Opportunities in September

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Most hunters recognize September as the month when Kansas hunting seasons begin, and dove season, which opens Sept. 1 each year, usually comes to mind. However, several other hunting opportunities unfold in the first autumnal month, including rail, snipe, teal, archery antelope, muzzleloader deer, muzzleloader and archery elk, and youth/disabled deer seasons. In addition, rabbit (year-round) and squirrel (June 1-Feb. 28) seasons are open in September, and this is a popular month to hunt these species as the weather cools and leaves fall, making squirrels easier to spot and rabbit hunting weather more pleasant. Unless exempt by law, a hunting license is required to hunt. Depending on species, other stamps or permits may be required.

Teal are among the most popular early game species. These small ducks provide a challenging hunt and make excellent table fare. In the High Plains (west of U.S. 283), the teal season runs Sept. 18-26, and in the Low Plains (east of U.S. 283), the season runs Sept. 11-26. The daily bag limit is four with a possession limit of eight. Both state and federal waterfowl stamps, as well as a Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp, are required to hunt teal (unless exempt by law). Non-toxic shot is required.

Sora and Virginia rail (Sept. 1-Nov. 9) and snipe (Sept. 1-Dec. 16) are two marshland species pursued by a small but ardent group of hunters. Small non-toxic shot sizes, and often small-bore shotguns, are used to hunt these species while walking through marshy habitat. Those unable to properly identify these species should go with a seasoned hunter on the first hunt or two. The daily bag limit for rail is 25 (single species or in combination) with a possession limit of 25. The daily bag limit for snipe is eight with a possession limit of 16. A HIP stamp is required of all hunters who must purchase a hunting license.

Archery antelope season runs Sept. 18-26 (and Oct. 9-31) in western portions of the state. Like all big game and turkey hunting, antelope hunting requires a permit in addition to a hunting license (if required by law). Antelope Archery permits are available to residents and nonresidents over the counter or online at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. Antelope hunting is restricted to specific management units in far western Kansas, and most is on private land; hunters are encouraged to obtain permission before buying a permit.

Elk muzzleloader (Sept. 1-Oct. 3) and archery (Sept. 20-Dec. 31) seasons also begin in September. (On Fort Riley, muzzleloader and archery season is Sept. 1-Oct. 3.) For the first time, an unlimited number of Antlerless-Only Elk permits and Any-Elk permits are available to general residents and landowner/tenants statewide, except that these permits will not be valid on Fort Riley or in Clay, Geary, Riley, or Morton counties. These permits may also be purchased online or over the counter. As with antelope, almost all elk hunting is on private land, so hunters are encouraged to obtain permission before buying a permit.

A special deer season for youth and persons with disabilities will run Sept. 11-19. Youth 16 and younger who possess a valid deer permit may hunt during this special season only while under the immediate supervision of an adult 18 or older. Any person who possesses a valid deer permit and has a permit to hunt from a vehicle or a disability assistance permit issued by KDWP may also hunt during this season. All resident and nonresident permits are valid, and equipment restrictions designated on permits apply.

All resident hunters age 16 through 64 must have a resident hunting license unless exempt by law. Nonresident hunters, regardless of age, must have a nonresident license. Youth 15 and younger may hunt without hunter education if directly supervised by an adult 18 or older. More specific details and restrictions may be found in the 2010 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available wherever licenses are sold or online at the KDWP website.

September in Kansas is an exciting time for the avid outdoorsman and woman, and the opportunities are many. This is an especially good time to introduce youngsters to hunting because the weather is mild, and opportunities for bagging game are excellent. So get outside and enjoy September Kansas.