2005 big game seasons highlight public hearing agenda

BELOIT -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing in Beloit March 24. The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Beloit Municipal Building, 119 N. Hersey. The public hearing portion of the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the same location. All sessions are open to the public.

The afternoon session will include reports from department staff on the status of department-related legislation in the 2005 Kansas Legislature and the department's Fiscal Year 2006 budget. Other discussion topics on the afternoon agenda will include the following:

  • an overview of Wildscape projects in the Beloit area;
  • an update of progress in developing an electronic licensing and permitting system;
  • a status report on development of the state's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan;
  • a proposed change in upland bird hunting regulations, separating quail, pheasant and prairie chicken regulations and modifying prairie chicken season structure; and
  • proposed 2005 dove season, shooting hours, and limits.

The afternoon session will also include workshop session discussion, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, on regulations pertaining to the following:

  • development of a nonresident bobcat hunting permit;
  • changes in reporting requirements for controlled shooting area operators;
  • changes to accommodate the sale of electronic permits, stamps, tags, and other issues of the department;
  • addition of the New Zealand mud snail to the state's prohibited species list; and
  • proposals for the 2005 deer seasons, bag limits and permits.

The Commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location to conduct a public hearing on the following proposed regulations:

  • KAR 115-4-2 -- Establishes general tagging and permit requirements for hunting big game species and wild turkeys, as a result of legislation passed in the 2004 Kansas Legislature separating wild turkeys from big game;
  • KAR 115-4-4 -- Removes provisions addressing legal equipment and taking methods for wild turkeys, which will be contained in a new proposed regulation (KAR 115-4-4a);
  • KAR 115-4-13 -- Creates an "archery white-tailed either-sex deer permit" to conform the regulation to current deer permitting practices;
  • KAR 115-25-5 -- Proposes lengthening the fall wild turkey hunting season through the end of January, except during the regular firearms deer season and the extended firearms deer season;
  • KAR 115-25-6 -- Amends the current regulation, changing the age of the supervising adult during the youth season from 21 to 18 years of age, to conform with changes in hunter education law which took effect this year;
  • KAR 115-25-7 -- Establishes 2005 antelope seasons and permit quotas; and
  • KAR 115-25-8 -- Establishes 2005 elk seasons and permit quotas.

Time will be set aside in all sessions of the meeting to allow public comment on topics which are not on the agenda. If necessary, the Commission will recess on March 24, to reconvene at 9 a.m. March 25 in the same location to complete their business. If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission of Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Commission secretary at 620-672-5911.