Even with bowhunters, younger hunters afield, season safe
PRATT -- The 2005 regular Kansas deer season was different from previous seasons in two respects: archery permit holders could use those permits during the season (while wearing hunter orange), and youth 15 and younger could hunt without having taken hunter education if they were under the direct supervision of an adult.

Despite these two changes, the season was much the same as previous years: it was safe. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks received only one accident report, and this one did not happen during actual hunting activity.

A 36-year-old man was riding in a vehicle with a loaded rifle when he asked the driver to stop while he stretched his legs. The man then stepped out of the vehicle and placed his rifle on the roof of the vehicle when it discharged. The bullet traveled through the roof of the vehicle and hit the driver in the back of the head, causing a serious but non-fatal injury.

Considering the fact that approximately 90,000 hunters go afield during this 12-day season, one accident is a remarkable safety record.

In fact, hunting in general is one of the state's safest activities. Squirrel season runs June 1 through Feb. 29. Rabbit season is open year round. From September through January, hunting activity is high, with a number of seasons open, including upland game, waterfowl, and big game. In most years, fewer than 20 hunting accidents are reported in Kansas, and many of these involve careless handling of firearms, not actual hunting activity.

For more information on hunting and hunter education in Kansas, visit the KDWP website.