Big Game Information

Big game hunting in Kansas is a relatively new heritage because nearly all big game species were extirpated from the state by 1900. Prior to settlement, the prairies of Kansas were home to tremendous herds of bison, elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. In the timbered areas of eastern Kansas, white-tailed deer were abundant. The first modern deer season was held in 1965, and permits were limited. Today, white-tailed deer thrive statewide and permits for residents are sold across the counter. Mule deer are still common in western Kansas, though permits to hunt them are limited. Pronghorn antelope are limited to far-western counties where large areas of native prairie are still found, and residents can hunt them if they receive a coveted permit in the annual drawing. Similarly, elk are hunted through very limited permits. The only free-ranging elk herd in Kansas is found on the Fort Riley Military Reservation in Riley County. Hunters can receive a Kansas Trophy Certificate if the antlers or horns from a deer or antelope they kill achieves a minimum score. The department also maintains an unofficial Top 20 list for deer and antelope.

"How To Field Dress A Deer" video
Chronic Wasting Disease

The first case of CWD was found in a captive bull elk in Harper County in 2001. Since that time, CWD has been detected in 62 wild, free-ranging white-tailed and 1 mule deer in Deer Management Units (DMU) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 17.

In 2010-2011 the first positive mule deer was detected in Decatur County. Currently, the total number of positives since surveillance started in 1996 is 64 (1 captive elk, 1 mule deer, and 62 white-tailed deer). Hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts can avoid the human-assisted spread of CWD by not transporting a live or dead deer or elk from areas where CWD occurs to those areas which are CWD-free. There is currently no known treatment or eradication method for CWD, so preventing the introduction of the the disease into new areas is of utmost importance to the health of local deer herds. Baiting and feeding deer tend to concentrate deer at small point on the landscape, often with the trails leading to the feeding sites resembling the wheel spokes of a bicycle. Anytime animals are concentrated at this type of "hub," the likelihood of disease transmission increases in a deer herd. More alarming, CWD is not the only serious disease of concern. Diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, bacterial infections such as pneumonia and foot rot, and a host of detrimental parasites, including exotic lice, meningeal worms, flukes, and barberpole worms are transmitted more efficiently when deer are concentrated in a small area, especially around feeding stations.

Another major concern is the potential for spread of CWD from captive cervid farms into the wild cervid population. Once a disease gets into a wild population, it is virtually impossible eradicate. The only thing that can be done is control the spread of the disease at great expense. KDWPT recommends that every captive cervid operator enroll in the voluntary CWD monitoring program administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Kansas Animal Health Division. The sooner diseases such as CWD can be detected in captives, the sooner control efforts can begin and possibly prevent the spread of disease to wild populations of the state. CWD is only one of many diseases that could go undetected in an unmonitored captive cervid herd. Bovine tuberculosis and Foot and Mouth Disease, for example, are serious diseases that could seriously damage not only populations of deer and an annual 350 million-dollar hunting economy, but could also threaten the 6 billion-dollar Kansas cattle industry via quarantines and loss of accreditation.


Decatur = 2

Sheridan = 1

Sherman = 1

Rawlins = 5

Kansas Counties with CWD Detections (County and Number of Positives To Date)

Decatur = 27

Rawlins = 11

Norton = 4

Sheridan = 4

Sherman = 3

Cheyenne = 2

Graham = 2

Trego = 2

Thomas = 1

Logan = 1

Ford = 1

Stafford = 1

Wallace = 1

Smith = 1

Ellis = 1

Gove = 1

Harper = 1

CWD Regulations for Kansas and Other States

Click HERE for information concerning CWD Regulations for Resident and Non-Resident Hunters

CWD Test Stations

Click HERE for the list of CWD Test Stations operating during the current year

Links to more information about Chronic Wasting Disease:

National Wildlife Health Center (USGS) Contains links to current research and popular articles such as “The Quiet Spread of CWD” which appeared in Field & Stream.

Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance Contains links to state regulations regarding CWD carcass

American Veterinary Medical Association Contains information about precautions hunters and anyone who spends time outdoors should take to protect themselves from potential risks.

Trophy Scoring
  • Certificates are issued for racks or horns taken in Kansas which meet minimum scores as listed below. Hunter must possess a valid permit and trophy must have been taken by legal means during the legal open season. 
  • Scoring must be made by a certified Pope & Young, Boone & Crockett or Kansas measurer after a 60 day waiting period. Those scoring in the Kansas top 20 must be verified by a certified Pope & Young or Boone & Crockett measure.
  • To keep records consistent with national lists, any scores listed with Boone & Crockett or Pope and Young Club's will be included in state records.
  • The Chief of the Information and Education Section retains the right to reject any applications submitted to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
  • Any rack that has been altered will automatically be disqualified.
  • Trophy Big Game Application
  • Other Trophy Links
  • KS Deer Trophy Awards
  • KS Antelope Trophy Awards
  • KS Elk Trophy Awards
   Archery  Firearms
Whitetail, Typical 115 135
Whitetail, Non-Typical 120 150
Mule, Typical 135 150
Mule, Non-Typical 150 185
Antelope 50 70
Elk, Typical 220 300
Elk, Non-Typical 280 320