Public invited to all sessions at Kansas History Center

The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing Thursday, March 16th, at the Kansas History Center, 6425 SW 6th Ave., Topeka. All interested persons are invited to attend.

The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. The evening session will begin at 7 p.m. Time will be set aside in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on topics which are not on the agenda.

The afternoon agenda will include a report by a representative of the National Wild Turkey Federation, discussion of department-related action by the 2006 Kansas Legislature, a summary of the department’s fiscal year 2006 and 2007 budgets, revision of a Secretary’s Resolution to change 2006 Free Park Entrance Days for Cheney State Park to April 8 – 9, and a presentation by Kansas Wildscape. Also included on the afternoon agenda are general discussion on the following topics:

  • Department recommendations for the 2006 early migratory bird seasons, including: rail (Sept. 1 through Nov. 9, bag and possession limits of 25 and 25); snipe (Sept. 1 through Dec. 16, bag and possession limits of 8 and 16, respectively); woodcock (Oct. 14 through Nov. 27, bag and possession limits of 3 and 6, respectively); teal (final dates dependent on teal breeding population estimates available in June); and September Canada goose (Sept. 16 through Sept. 25, bag and possession limits of 3 and 6, respectively); and expansion of area open to September Canada goose hunting to include portions of Kansas east of U. S. 183 and north of K-96.
  • Department recommendations for duck zone boundaries for years 2006 through 2010 (maintain current zones but modify boundary to incorporate a small area southwest of Great Bend into the Late Zone to provide hunting opportunity on the Arkansas River, and incorporate a small area east of Dodge City into the Early Zone to better match the hunt season with waterfowl use of playas in that area).
  • Department recommendations for the 2006 dove season (Sept. 1 through Oct. 14 and Nov. 1 – 16, with bag and possession limits of 15 and 30, respectively); and
  • A report on Deer Task Force recommendations.

The afternoon session will adjourn at 5 p.m., then the evening session will reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location. The evening discussion will begin with a status report on the recent occurrence of chronic wasting disease in a Kansas deer, and monitoring procedures and goals for 2006. The Commission will then conduct a workshop session, in preparation for potential future public hearing action, of the following 2006 big game regulations:

  • KAR 115-4-4 (Big game: legal equipment and taking methods) – The department proposes a change to authorize shotguns using slugs of 12 gauge or larger for elk on portions of Fort Riley where base restrictions prohibit use of center fire rifles.
  • KAR 115-25-9 (Deer: open season, bag limit and permits) – The department is recommending the following deer season dates: Early muzzleloader – Sept. 9 through Sept. 22; Youth and disability – Sept. 23 through Sept. 24; Archery – Oct. 1 through Dec. 31; Early firearms (DMU 19) – Oct. 14 through Oct. 22; Regular firearms – Nov. 29 through Dec. 10; Extended whitetail antlerless-only – Jan. 1 through Jan. 7, 2007; and Extended archery (DMU 19) – Jan. 8 through Jan. 31, 2007. No changes are proposed, compared to the 2005-06 seasons, for units where an extended firearms season will be authorized or where deer game tags may be used or the number of game tags that may be used within specific deer management units. Because of the difficulties of finding sufficient check stations with adequate operating hours it is recommended that the check station requirement section be removed from the regulation. The department is also recommending a change that would allow hunters to purchase a game tag or antlerless-only permit as the hunter’s first or only tag after Dec. 30, 2006.
  • KAR 115-25-8 (Elk: open season, bag limit and permits) – The department is recommending the following season dates for areas outside the boundaries of Fort Riley: Muzzleloader – Sept. 1 through Sept. 30; Archery – Oct. 1 through Dec. 31; and Firearms – Nov. 29 through Dec. 10 and Jan. 1, 2007 through March 15, 2007. The department is recommending the following season dates on Fort Riley: Firearms antlerless permits – Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, with one-third of the antlerless-only permits valid in each of the months of October, November, and December; Firearms any-elk permits – Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The department is also recommending that an unlimited number of hunt-own-land antlerless only elk permits be authorized and that these permits be available statewide, and that all elk hunters submit samples of harvested elk for chronic wasting disease testing.
  • KAR 115-25-7 (Antelope: open season, bag limit and permits) – The department is recommending the following season dates for antelope hunting: Archery – Sept. 23 through Oct. 1 and Oct. 14 through Oct. 31; Muzzleloader - Oct. 2 through Oct. 9; and Firearms – Oct. 6 through Oct. 9. The department also is recommending that unlimited archery permits be allocated for both residents and nonresidents, and that firearm and muzzleloader permits remain restricted to residents.

Following the workshop session discussion, the Commission will conduct a public hearing on the following regulations:

  • KAR 115-2-4 (Boat fees) – The proposed amendment would increase the cost of duplicate boat registrations to $10, to conform to the cost of other duplicate issuances of the department.
  • KAR 115-2-1 (Amount of fees) – The proposed amendments would make big game and turkey permits one-half price for youths under 16, and would raise resident hunt-own-land deer, antelope and elk permit values to the same level as resident landowner/tenant deer ($15), antelope ($20), and elk ($50) permits. Nonresident hunt-own-land deer permits would be set at $75, nonresident antlerless permits at $75, and nonresident archery antelope permits at $200.
  • KAR 115-4-6 (Deer; firearm management units) – The proposed amendment would add the Fort Leavenworth subunit to the urban unit, allowing greater flexibility and opportunity in managing the deer population on Fort Leavenworth.

If necessary, the Commission will recess on March 16th, to reconvene at 9 a.m. at the same location on March 17th to finish its 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.