Kansas deer hunters will hit the field on Nov. 28 with hopes of putting venison in the freezer or getting a chance at a trophy-size buck. The regular firearm season runs through Dec. 9. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Any unfilled permit is valid during the firearm season; however, either-species, nonresident and some antlerless permits are restricted to the deer management units listed on the permit. In addition to their deer permit, all hunters, unless exempt by law, must also have a Kansas hunting license.
Resident permits may be purchased wherever licenses are sold and online. Hunters must possess a permit that allows the harvest of a buck before they are eligible to purchase antlerless permits. Nonresident deer permits are limited and awarded through a lottery draw, which was held in May. Permits left over after the drawing were available on a first-come, first-served basis, and those were sold out.
All legal equipment types are allowed during the firearm season; however, hunters with archery permits must use archery equipment and hunters with muzzleloader permits must use muzzleloaders, crossbows are archery equipment. All hunters hunting deer during the firearm season must wear hunter orange clothing consisting of an orange hat and an orange vest that shows 100 square inches from the front and 100 square inches from the back. Camouflage orange clothing is legal if the number of square inches of orange is visible.
Hunters should remember that all deer must be tagged before moving the carcass from the kill site. Certain permits, such as an antlerless whitetail permit, require that the head remain attached to the carcass during transport for sex identification. However, KDWPT offers a voluntary option that allows hunters to register their deer through the Internet, using photos taken at the harvest site. Once registered, the hunter may then transport the carcass without the head attached. If Internet access is unavailable at the kill site, the hunter can retain the photographs while in transit and a registration number can be obtained later. To access the electronic deer check-in, go online to the KDWPT website, www.ksoutdoors.com, and click “Hunting/Big Game/Deer/Deer Check-in.”
To ensure everyone enjoys a safe deer hunt, hunters must remember basic firearm safety rules including knowing their target and what lies beyond it and always wearing the required hunter orange. Hunters must have permission to hunt on any private land, whether it is posted or not. The 2012 Kansas Hunting Atlas features maps showing all public and Walk-In Hunting Access areas is available wherever licenses are sold and online at www.ksoutdoors.com.
Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism