Outdoors

Wildlife and Parks wants ideas on deer population

Have opinions on Kansas' deer herd and deer seasons?

Lloyd Fox wants to hear them at any of five meetings held around Kansas beginning this week.

"They're open to deer hunters, farmers, motorists or anybody with something to say about deer in Kansas," said Fox, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism big program coordinator.

The meetings will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Locations:

* Tuesday, Beloit, Municipal Building, 119 N. Hersey Avenue.

* Wednesday, Hutchinson, Dillon Nature Center, 300 E. 30th.

* Aug. 30, Chanute, Memorial Auditorium, 101 S. Lincoln.

* Sept. 6, Scott City, William Carpenter 4H Building, 608 N. Fairground Road.

* Sept. 8, Lawrence, Simon Media Room, Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive.

Those who can't attend a meeting can e-mail opinions to lloyd.fox@ksoutdoors.com.

While opinions on all deer-related topics will be welcome, Fox is especially hoping for input on some possible changes for future deer seasons.

"The ideas (for change)can come from anybody. Some came from the public at commission meetings, some came from the legislature and one, about the youth season, came from Fort Riley," Fox said. "We try to evaluate and weigh these comments. At this point we're gathering public input."

Topics to be discussed include:

* Changing the opening of Kansas' 12-day firearms deer season from the Wednesday after Thanksgiving to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

* Changing the current mid-September nine-day youth/disabled deer season to two Friday-Monday hunts around Labor Day and Columbus Day weekends.

* Changing the current January season for antlerless whitetails so it opens the Saturday before Christmas and runs at least through New Years Day.

* Creating a two-day whitetail antlerless-only season prior to the November rut.

* Expanding archery deer season to run Sept. 1-Jan. 31.

* Creating another muzzleloader season to run immediately after general firearms season.

Charles Lee of the K-State Extension Service, will be at some meetings to tell people how to best limit deer damage to crops.

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