PRATT — The 2010 Kansasfirearmdeer season runs Wednesday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 12, 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 2009, KDWP issued more than 80,000 Any-Season White-tailed Either-Sex Deer permits Kansas to residents. In addition, more than 27,000 Nonresident White-tailed Either-Sex Deer permits were issued. Combined with the number of Antlerless-Only Deer game tags issued, more than 174,000 permits and game tags to take deer were issued in Kansas last year, and hunters took approximately 87,000 deer. Kansas firearms deer hunters enjoy a phenomenal success rate of more than 50 percent, and 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. A nonresident hunting license is also required. 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 after Dec. 30.
Other upcoming deer seasons include a Jan. 1-9, 2011, Extended Firearm Season (antlerless whitetails only) open statewide; a Jan. 10-31 Extended Archery Season (Unit 19, antlerless whitetails only); and a Jan. 10-16 Special Extended Firearm Season (units 7, 8, and 15, antlerless whitetails only). Archery season runs through Dec. 31 (hunter orange required 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 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.