KDWP foresees online deer data

GREAT BEND — Some Kansas deer hunters may eventually utilize a system that allows them to register online the deer they kill.

Lloyd Fox, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks big-game coordinator, presented early plans for such a system at Thursday's Wildlife and Parks commission meeting.

Fox said the program is needed to assist out-of-state deer hunters transporting deer home.

Kansas law says many such deer can only be transported with the head attached.

Fox said about 35 states have laws forbidding the transportation of anything more than meat, hide and antlers from states with chronic wasting disease, which includes Kansas.

Biologists fear the disease that's always fatal to members of the deer family could be transported to new areas within the brains, bones and lymph nodes of infected animals.

Fox said there have been cases where hunters have been ticketed for taking a Kansas deer to other states with the head attached.

The initial plan is to allow hunters to send photos of their completed permit and the deer's head to an online database.

A confirmation number will be provided to the hunter, who can give that number to law enforcement officials if needed.

While initially designed to help visiting hunters, Fox said the program could be expanded to help others.

Other topics covered included:

* The possible issue of a few elk hunting permits for management units 17 and 18 to help control growing elk populations along the Arkansas River in western Kansas.

* The commission asked the department to initiate a possible regulation change to allow archery deer hunters to carry practice and small-game points in their quivers. Currently, only broadheads may be carried while deer hunting. Legal broadheads will remain the only legal head for the killing of deer with archery equipment.

* June 5-6 have been declared "free fishing" days when fishing permits aren't needed on Kansas waters.

For more information call 620-672-5911 or go to www.kdwp.state.ks.us.