A new hunting season is underway, and with it comes some new hunting regulations. Chris Tymeson, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism attorney, said the following are some of the most important.
Crossbows – During the archery seasons, all possessing a youth deer hunting permit and 55 years of age and over may now use a crossbow for deer hunting. Standard regulations pertaining to permits, broadheads and limits apply.
Hunters of all ages can legally use crossbows during archery seasons in deer management units 1, 12, 15 and 19, as part of a legislature-mandated pilot program to try more liberalized crossbow regulations across the state. In those four units, hunters 16 to 54 must obtain a free crossbow hunter survey number. They are available at www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.
Transporting processed deer – Hunters who wish to debone or quarter their deer in the field may do so if they first take digital photos that show the permit that’s attached to the deer and another that shows the entire deer, so gender can be determined. The hunter then must register the deer online as soon as possible.
The new regulation helps hunters to leave offal afield if they’ve tagged a deer with an antlerless-only permit. In the past, the head had to be left attached to the carcass so gender could be determined.
Prairie chicken permit – A new prairie chicken permit must be in the possession of any hunter trying to shoot a prairie chicken. The permits are $3, and can be purchased online or from vendors. Tymeson said the permits will allow biologists to better gather information on prairie chicken hunting in Kansas.
New turkey zones, lim its – Wildlife and Parks has changed from four to six wild turkey management units in Kansas. Four birds will be allowed this fall in units 2, 3, 5 and 6. That includes more of central Kansas than in previous seasons.
Senior hunting and fishing licenses – Beginning Jan. 1, Kansans 65 to 74 will be required to purchase fishing and hunting licenses after being exempt for several decades. The change is largely being made to qualify Wildlife and Parks for more federal funding.
Tymeson expects those of that age to be able to buy regular hunting and fishing licenses at half-price, which is about $9, or buy a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license for about $40.
Celebrity charged — Several wildlife-related charges were filed Thursday against William “Spook” Spann, according to records from U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.
Spann, from Tennessee, is charged with illegally transporting a whitetail deer from Kansas to Tennessee in November 2007, knowing the buck was taken in violation of Kansas hunting regulations. The indictment refers to one regulation as having “a valid big game permit required to take big game within the state.”
In 2007, Spann shot a non-typical whitetail buck that grossed about 230 and netted about 224 Pope & Young inches in Stafford County. The deer was shot with archery equipment, during the state’s archery season.
At the time, it was believed to be the largest whitetail buck shot on video. The hunt gained Spann considerable media attention. He’s also had scores of other hunts documented and appeared at many hunting-related shows.
The case involves the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and wildlife officials from Tennessee and Kansas.