PUBLIC DEER MEETINGS UNDERWAY, CONTINUING THROUGH AUGUST
Iola Aug. 29, Emporia Aug. 30, and Independence Aug. 31
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is conducting a series of public meeting on draft deer permitting regulations in 14 locations across Kansas this month. Meetings already have occurred at Medicine Lodge, Wichita, Winfield, Salina, Colby, Phillipsburg, Hays. Seneca, Topeka, Kansas City, and Garden City. Upcoming meetings include the following:
- August 29 -- Iola at the Kansas National Guard Armory, 1021 N. State, 7 – 9 p.m.;
- August 30 -- Emporia at the Best Western Hospitality Room, 3021 W. Highway 50, 7 – 9 p.m.; and
- August 31 -- Independence at Memorial Hall, 410 N. Penn Ave., 7 – 9 p.m.
KDWP is seeking input on draft deer permitting recommendations, which were developed at the request of the Kansas Legislature’s House Wildlife Parks and Tourism Committee during the 2005 session. The Committee asked department staff to develop recommendations that would condense and simplify deer-related statutes. The resulting Deer Task Force , made up of 10 department staff from around the state, soon learned that it couldn’t change one aspect of the deer permit program without affecting it all. A comprehensive set of recommendations were drafted and presented to the 2006 Legislature in January with a request to delay final recommendations until 2007 so that public input could be heard.
Key issues which guided task force efforts include the following:
- Permit allocation and distribution should be a function of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and opportunity to obtain permits should be fair and equitable. Comments from hunters, landowners and outfitters indicate an overwhelming dislike for the current transferable permit system.
- The deer resource, especially mule deer in the west, must be conserved. Deer populations should be maintained within levels sustainable by the habitat and within tolerance levels of people for the damages and conflicts that deer may cause. Animal health issues must be addressed as they pertain to wild deer and captive cervid operations. Deer herd characteristics must be maintained within esthetic and quality standards desired by people.
- Kansas’ deer hunting tradition must grow. The complexity and restriction of current permitting procedures and regulations have kept the Kansas deer hunting tradition from being what it could be.
- Stakeholder input is necessary.
- The permitting process and hunting regulations can be simplified.
- Deer hunting opportunities can be improved.