Commissioners for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism heard discussion Thursday about requiring steel shot to be used on fields managed for dove hunting on public lands.
Unlike lead, steel-shot pellets are not toxic if ingested by birds.
Brad Simpson, Wildlife and Parks public lands chief, made the request because of the high amount of firing done on the fields that are planted to sunflowers or wheat to attract doves.
Simpson said the department’s 114 managed dove fields last year hosted about 3,500 hunters who fired about 67,000 shots the first three days of the season.
“Some of our areas are near marshes and others near cropfields where other birds feed,” Simpson said. “It only takes one or two lead-shot pellets for a bird to get lead poisoning.
Currently, steel shot is required for all kinds of waterfowl hunting, and all kinds of shotgunning on state and federal areas managed specifically for waterfowl. Commissioners are expected to vote on the topic at an April 25 meeting at the Great Plains Nature Center.
Also at the meeting:
Lloyd Fox, Wildlife and Parks big-game program coordinator, said many non-residents had complained about the steep price for antlerless deer permits. He’s hoping the new combination permit makes it easier for them to shoot whitetail does.
“We have concerns that the antlerless harvest is not adequate on areas where non-residents are leasing land,” Fox said.
Fox said the agency would offer the same number of permits as last year, following several years of increasing numbers.
Last summer an Osage County judge ordered David Kent, of Topeka, to pay Nedeau $8,000. Nedeau told the judge his land is posted that hunting costs $4,000 per day. Nedeau said he has received one payment from Kent.