Major regulation changes for those hunting on public lands will be voted on at Thursday’s Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Kansas City.
These possible changes would affect all state-owned or managed public areas by the start of most major seasons this fall, said Chris Tymeson, department attorney. Tymeson said the proposed changes have been recommended by public land managers as a way to help overcome high numbers of hunters on those lands
Hunters would be limited to no more than two treestands or portable ground blinds per wildlife area, and all ground blinds must be removed at the end of the day. Both must also be marked with the owner’s contact information or Wildlife and Parks number.
Another change would make it illegal to use baits and mineral attractants for the purpose of hunting on public grounds. The use of liquid scents and sprays would still be legal, as would hunting over agricultural plantings.
Decoys could also not be left unattended overnight, including waterfowl, turkey and big game decoys.
Those commercially guiding hunters on public lands would have to register with the area manager, at no cost, and complete a report at the end of the seasons.
Tymeson said commissioners will be asked to approve that deer management units 1, 12, 15, and 19 allow all hunters to use crossbows during the upcoming archery deer seasons, as part of an experimental program recently created by the Kansas legislature. Hunters ages 16-54 using a crossbow during the archery season in those units will be required to complete a crossbow survey card to assist with the program.
The commission previously approved allowing those 15 and under and 55 and over to use crossbows during the archery season.
A vote is expected on a proposal to expand the legal shooting hours for sandhill cranes to allow hunting from sunrise to until sunset. Hours are currently one-half hour after sunrise to 2 p.m.
Many sandhill crane hunters say most of the birds have already flown to feeding fields by a half-hour after sunrise. Opponents say the later time will help assure endangered whooping cranes aren’t mistaken for sandhills. Several years ago hunters shot two whoopers well before sunrise, which was then beginning of legal shooting hours.
Thursday’s meeting will be 1:30-5 p.m and 7 p.m. until completion at Cabela’s, 10300 Cabela Drive, Kansas City. For information call 620-672-5911 or go to www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.