Deer season off to promising start

Three weeks into about 20 weeks of Kansas deer seasons, and so far, so very good.

Reports indicate youth, disabled, muzzleloader and archery hunters have all done well during their appropriate seasons.

Most have seen plenty of deer, and some brutes have been shot.

I’ve heard of several whitetail and mule deer grossing near or over 200 inches of antler.

A 192-inch whitetail was shot in Harvey County on Thursday. The widest mulie I’ve heard of is 34 ½ inches.

Some are saying the drought has made hunting easier because of early crop harvests, less cover and fewer good food sources for the deer.

More new regulations — There still seems to be confusion pertaining to the use of bait on public lands.

Kevin Jones, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism law enforcement chief, said the use of bait for the purpose of hunting is no longer allowed on any lands managed or held under contract by his department.

That includes state wildlife areas and properties enrolled in the state’s Walk-In Hunting area program.

Bait also can not be placed on such public lands in preparation for later hunting, such as to attract deer to trail cameras in an area that will be hunted later on.

No matter the source, no hunting can be done within 100 yards of a bait pile on public lands managed by Wildlife and Parks.

Lands managed solely by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or similar federal groups are not effected by the same laws.

Jones also reminds hunters they’re now limited to no more than two elevated stands per public hunting area. That includes stands that hang from the tree, ladderstands and tripods.

Climbing aids, like screw-in steps and strap on climbing sticks, can be left attached to a tree, but most be removed when the hunter is done for the season.

All portable ground blinds, like pop-up blinds, must be removed at the end of each hunting day.

“If you haul it in, you have to haul it out every day,” Jones said. “It can not be left unattended overnight.”

Decoys also may not be left unattended, overnight.