Pratt, KS, Nov. 17, 2011 — The 2011 Kansas firearm deer season runs Wednesday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 11, and hunters are sighting in their rifles and practicing their shooting skills in anticipation of one of the state’s favorite hunting seasons. Deer are plentiful, and a good season is expected.
In last year’s seasons, 116,458 hunters purchased 178,935 Kansas deer permits, an increase of 2.7 percent. Of these, more than 7,000 were youth permits, again, an increase from the previous year. Hunters bagged approximately 89,000 deer for a phenomenal success rate of more than 50 percent. A similar harvest is expected this year.
All deer hunters must have a deer permit to hunt deer in Kansas. Resident hunters 16 to 65 years old must also possess a hunting license, unless exempt by law. Nonresident hunters must apply for a nonresident deer permit in April, and the drawing is held in May. Hunters must purchase a permit that allows the harvest of an antlered deer before they can purchase a Antlerless-Only White-tailed Deer permit, until Dec. 31.
Nonresidents must also purchase a $72.50 nonresident hunting license, except that those nonresidents younger than 16 may purchase a youth nonresident license for $37.50. Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must have completed a certified hunter education course, except that youth 15 and younger may hunt under direct adult supervision without hunter education certification. Youth 12 through 15 may hunt without adult supervision if they have completed a certified hunter education course. Anyone 16 or older may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education, called an “apprentice hunting license,” for the same price as a regular hunting license. This license is valid only through the calendar year in which it is purchased, and the holder must be under the direct supervision of a licensed adult 18 or older. A hunting license and hunter education are not required while hunting one’s own land.
The archery deer season runs through Dec. 31, and other upcoming deer seasons include a Jan. 1-8, 2012, Extended Firearm Season (antlerless whitetails only) open statewide; a Jan. 9-31 Extended Archery Season (Unit 19, antlerless whitetails only); and a Jan. 9-15 Special Extended Firearm Season (units 7, 8, and 15, antlerless whitetails only). Hunter orange is required of all hunters during firearms season.
Resident whitetail deer permits are available online or at license vendors throughout the state. Hunters are reminded that landowner permission is required to hunt any private land, whether that land is posted or not.
The first Kansas deer season in modern times was held in 1965, and less than half of the state was open. Biologists then estimated state deer numbers at about 30,000. Thirty-nine hundred permits were issued, and firearms hunters took approximately 1,340 deer. Today, deer can be found throughout the state. Many upland bird hunters are afield at this time, as well, and while they are always urged to wear hunter orange, it is especially important at this time.