Michael Pearce

Department requests no change in southeast duck zone

Some Cast and Blast notes from the Aug. 20 Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting near Great Bend.

Commissioners approved the following seasons and limits-

Low plains early duck zone - Oct. 10-Dec. 6 and Dec. 19-Jan. 3.

Low plains late duck zone - Oct. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 23-31.

Southeast duck zone - Nov. 14-Jan. 3 and Jan. 9-31.

Canada and snow goose - Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and Nov. 4-Feb. 14.

White-fronted goose - Oct. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 23-Feb. 14. (two weeks longer than previous years.)

Daily duck limit - six ducks of which five can be mallards, with no more than two hen mallards. Three scaup, three wood ducks, two redheads, two pintails and two canvasbacks (one more than last year).

Daily goose limit - Six Canadas, two whitefronts and 50 snow geese.

Duck zones - After years of debating if the southeast zone should be reduced in size to better accommodate the season wishes of all hunters, Wildlife and Parks is recommending the zone retain it's boundaries. Biologists are also recommending a boundary change so Cedar Bluff Reservoir is moved to the low plains late zone from the early zone.

Duck zone boundaries will be voted on at an Oct. 22 commission meeting in Burlington.

Hunters at the August meeting requested boundaries and season dates be changed in a variety of ways. Gerald Lauber, commission chairman, said such a diversity of desires is a good reason to follow staff recommendations, with season dates that include some prime hunting dates for all styles of hunters.

Kevin Jones, Wildlife and Parks law enforcement chief, said his division opposes a public request to allow night hunting for jackrabbits with aid of birds of prey, lights and ATVs. The commission agreed.

Jones' game wardens requested a change in regulations pertaining to how deer should be tagged with the hunter's permit. Currently the completed permit must be kept with the animal's carcass. Game wardens prefer the permit be kept attached with the antlers.

Jones said it would save time when a warden finds someone with only the antlers of a freshly-killed deer in their possession. Currently, they need to use Wildlife and Parks data to see if that person had a valid deer hunting permit.

It could also aid the public when they see a set of fresh antlers, and might prevent some "false alarms" when someone thinks they are reporting a poached animal and the buck was actually taken legally and the permit is with the meat.

Linda Lanterman, state park director, said Sept. 26 will be designated as a free admission day at Kansas state parks. Lanterman said most state parks will have special events that day. The event is to be held in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.