Kansas deer hunters will have fewer opportunities to shoot antlerless whitetail deer in upcoming seasons.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission approved reductions in permits for antlerless whitetails and fewer days for the state’s January season for antlerless whitetails in some parts of Kansas.
Lloyd Fox, Wildlife and Parks big-game program coordinator, said the reductions are in response to drought-related declines in deer populations. Per department requests, commissioners approved the following:
“That’s where landowners have said they’re in favor of more non-resident permits,” Fox said. “It’s also the part of the state where the populations are holding strong or increasing.”
Robin Jennison, department secretary, spoke with concern about a recent legislative attempt to repeal the Kansas endangered species act. It protects about 60 species of assorted Kansas wildlife and has been in place for about 40 years.
He said the concept had been added to House Bill 2118, a bill which removed the red-bellied and smooth earth snakes from the state’s threatened and endangered species lists. Fear of damaging populations of both species has hindered land use in the Kansas City area.
Sen. Larry Powell, R-Garden City, had added the amendment for total revocation shortly before the bill passed from committee he chairs. The bill has already passed the Kansas house and now awaits action in the full Senate.
Jennison already had concerns when the bill just dealt with two species being managed by legislative mandates. Currently, he said, four states do not have endangered species acts.
“Science needs to have some basis in these decisions,” said Jennison, who also warned of possible federal interventions should the state’s endangered species act be revoked.
Jennison said he would “be shocked” if the existing bill passes the Senate, but added the bill would certainly have some strong support.
The commission will next meet April 17 at the Great Plains Nature Center.