Over-the-counter elk hunting permits for much of Kansas will be discussed at Thursday's Kansas Wildlife and Parks commission meeting in Topeka.
Matt Peek, Wildlife and Parks elk biologist, said the proposed permits could help control growing elk populations in several parts of central and western Kansas.
To hunt elk at Fort Riley and surrounding Geary, Riley and Clay counties would still require one of few permits given via summer drawing.
Elk hunting won't be allowed in Morton County to help manage a herd on the Cimarron National Grassland.
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"We're trying to give landowners the right to decide if they'll have elk or not," Peek said. "They by no means have to allow hunting. We think there are some places where they may want the elk."
Elk populations have been building steadily in some parts of western Kansas for several years. Peek estimated an area in Hamilton County has more than 100 elk. There's also a sizable herd, also along the Arkansas River, in Ford County.
Reports of scattered animals and occasional reproduction are increasing.
For several years Wildlife and Parks has offered permits so landowners can shoot antlerless elk on their property.
Peek said about 20 such permits are sold per year, leading to about five elk killed.
The new style of permits would allow landowners to give permission to others to help control herd numbers.
The proposal would have the resident-only permits at $250 for an any-elk permit and $100 for an antlerless elk. Landowners and tenants would pay half the price.
The permits would be unlimited and available online or through regular license vendors.
Permits would have to be purchased before an elk was killed and wouldn't be valid until the day after the purchase. Hunting would probably be allowed Sept. 1-March 15, with special muzzleloader, archery and any-weapon seasons.
The proposal will probably get more discussion and be voted upon at an April 22 meeting in Wichita.
Also on Thursday, commissioners will be asked to approve the possible creation for a voluntary electronic check-in system for deer hunters.
The department will also announce the numbers of non-resident deer permits to be issued for this fall's seasons. Numbers are similar to what was offered last year.
Thursday's meeting will be at Topeka's Holiday Inn Holidome, 605 Fairlawn Road. For more information call 620-672-5911 or go to www.kdwp.state.ks.us.