Jim Chappell thought he had strength in numbers, bringing five liked-minded hunters and a petition with about 80 signatures to Thursday’s Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting.
Chappell, and friends were hoping to persuade commissioners to follow the recommendation of state biologists when setting the southeast zone duck seasons. His fear was the commission, as it did last year, would honor the request of Commissioner Don Budd of Kansas City and set the season to run about as as late as possible —Nov. 2-3 and Nov. 16-Jan. 26.
Tom Bidrowski, Wildlife and Parks waterfowl biologist, recommended a Nov. 2-Jan. 5 and Jan. 18-26 season. Budd contended the best hunting isn’t until later in the season.
Chappell, of Chanute, said Budd’s season was to placate those with access to managed private waters and rivers, and who mainly enjoy shooting late season mallards. He said the early November days were important for those who enjoy hunting earlier migrants, like teal, gadwall, widgeon and wood ducks.
“It’s a duck season, not a mallard season,” said Chappell, who manages a lease near one of Budd’s. “You hunt ducks, why set the season for a few?”
Chappell and others told commissioners that those who could only hunt public land, like many youth, enjoyed the early season, before the marshes froze and pushed the ducks to private waters.
About five hunters spoke in favor of Budd’s season dates, or at least a season that allowed them as much of January as possible.
Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve Budd’s season.
Chappell shook his head after the meeting ended.
“I had a petition with 80 people who wanted some early season, and five people who spoke,” he said. “They had five people who spoke for (Budd’s) season. t’s not fair that he’s a commissioner and gets what he wants. I guess we don’t need a (Wildlife and Parks) staff.”
Also at the meeting: