MANKATO — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will probably not pursue a plan to combine hunting licenses that allow Kansas residents to kill a whitetail deer and an antlerless whitetail.
Several commissioners spoke against the idea at Thursday's meeting, fearing a backlash from hunters who think Kansas has too few deer.
"I like getting happy e-mails a lot better than I like getting unhappy e-mails," commissioner Gerald Lauber of Topeka said. "We really don't seem to have too many deer except for in a few places."
Mike Miller, Wildlife and Parks chief of information, said the proposed permit could cost $37.50, a savings of $7.50 for hunters already wanting both permits.
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Such a combination could lead to a higher harvest of antlerless deer and maybe raise some more funds for the department.
Though there's not been a resident deer permit price increase in nearly 30 years, the department is currently well funded for wildlife projects.
Lloyd Fox, big-game program coordinator, said the deer population is stable.
In other commission matters:
* Commissioners asked the department to pursue an idea that would allow 16-year-old resident hunters to buy a hunting or fishing license that will last until they're 21. Currently the department sells a lot of licenses to 16-year-olds but fewer to those between 17 and 20. It's hoped such a permit, for $40, would keep more young people afield. A hunting/fishing combination permit would cost $70 for the five years.
* At an October meeting in Goodland, commissioners will vote on a plan to raise some state park fees, mainly for annual and long-term camping. Some cabin fees could also see increases.
Jerry Hover, state park director, said the increases are needed to offset reduced funding from the legislature.
* After an investigation by a task force that included non-agency biologists, Wildlife and Parks announced it will not place the lesser prairie chicken on the state's threatened and endangered species list.
* The department is investigating the possibility of allowing the use of leashed dogs in the recovery of wounded deer.
* Faye McNew, Wildlife and Parks waterfowl biologist, expressed some confidence that Kansas may see a daily bag limit of five Canada geese during the 2011-12 hunting season.
The next commission meeting is Oct. 14 in Goodland.