2006 big game seasons highlight workshop session discussion
KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting Thursday, Jan. 19, at Cabela’s, located at I-435 and State Avenue W in Kansas City, Kansas. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. The evening session will begin at 7 p.m. All sessions are open to the public. The meeting will not include a public hearing, in which final action is taken on proposed regulations. Instead, both the afternoon and evening sessions will feature general discussion and workshop session discussion in preparation for future potential public hearing action.

The afternoon session will begin with the first-ever drawing for seven Commission Permits. These permits are reserved for non-profit conservation organizations for fund-raising uses, and successful applicants will be drawn by Wildlife & Parks Commission members.

The afternoon session will also include presentations and discussion on the following agenda topics:

  • summary of department-related legislation anticipated in the 2006 session of the Kansas Legislature;
  • status of the department’s Fiscal Year 2006 and 2007 budgets;
  • status of a department deer working group, which is assembling recommendations to simplify and ensure equitable distribution of deer permits and deer hunting opportunity;
  • designation of Free Park Entrance Days and Free Fishing Days for 2006;
  • report on the department’s new electronic licensing system;
  • video presentation on the Professional Walleye Tour championship at Milford Reservoir, as well as opportunities for similar events at Milford and other Kansas lakes;
  • report on department projects in Wyandotte and Johnson counties;
  • update on river access projects of the department;
  • report on development of an Archery in the Schools Program in Kansas;
  • discussion of wind energy development in the state and a Wind Energy Mitigation Task Force
  • discussion of field trials on public lands; and
  • commission representation on the Kansas Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee.

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

  • boat registration duplicate fees (KAR 115-2-4) -- Currently, the fee for all duplicate licenses, permits and registrations is $10, except for boat registration duplicates. The department is recommending raising boat registration duplicate fees to $10, from the current $5 charge, to make it equivalent to fees for other department duplicate issues.
  • ownership of exotic cats, mountain lions, bears and wolves -- This recommendation would establish regulations governing permitting, compliance with U. S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service standards, and certification for private ownership of these species.
  • recommendations for the 2006 fall turkey season (KAR 115-25-5) and turkey hunting equipment and taking methods (KAR 115-4-4a) -- No changes are recommended in hunting equipment and taking methods, but the department is recommending that fall turkey hunting be allowed during any firearms deer seasons that occur between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31. The 2005 fall turkey season ran from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, except that it was closed during the regular firearms deer season in December and the extended antlerless-only deer season in January.

The afternoon session will conclude at 5 p.m. The evening session will begin at 7 p.m. and will include continued workshop session discussion on proposed changes in 2006 big game seasons:

  • 2006 antelope season (KAR 115-25-7) – The department plans to recommend opening pronghorn hunting to nonresidents, and that unlimited archery permits be allocate for both residents and nonresidents. Proposed season dates are September 23 through Oct. 1 and Oct. 14 – 31 for archery, Oct. 2 – 9 for muzzleloader, and Oct. 6 – 9 for firearms.
  • 2006 elk season (KAR 115-25-8) – Due to the fact that the department has received complaints about free-ranging elk populations on private land in several areas of the state, the department will recommend that limited draw elk permits be valid in all deer management units, including public lands. In addition, staff will recommend that an unlimited number of hunt-own-land antlerless-only elk permits be authorized and that these permits be available statewide, to enable landowners to remove problem elk from their property. The department is also recommending that any elk harvested be submitted for CWD testing.
  • 2006 big game general provisions (KAR 115-4-2), big game legal equipment and taking methods (KAR 115-4-4) deer archery units (KAR 115-4-6a), and deer permit descriptions and restrictions (KAR 115-4-13) – No changes are being recommended in these regulations until a final report is developed by a department working group which is currently evaluating changes in deer management, permitting, and hunting.
  • deer management units (KAR 115-4-6) – The commission will discuss the proposed addition of the Fort Leavenworth deer management subunit as an urban deer management unit, to enhance deer management on the military installation.
  • 2006-2007 Deer Season (KAR 115-25-9) – Proposed season dates will include: Early muzzleloader – Sept. 9 -22; youth and disabled – Sept. 23-24; archery – Oct. 1 – Dec. 31; early firearms (DMU 19) – Oct. 14 – 22; regular firearms – Nov. 29 - Dec. 10; extended whitetail antlerless-only – Jan. 1 -7, 2007; and extended archery (DMU 19) – Jan. 8 – 31, 2007. Staff will also recommend that check station requirements be removed, due to difficulties finding sufficient stations with adequate operating hours. Staff will also recommend a change to allow hunters to purchase a game tag or antlerless-only permit after Dec. 30, 2006 without being required to possess a permit that allows the take of an antlered deer.

If necessary, the commission will recess on Jan. 19, to reconvene at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at the same location to complete its business. Time will be set aside in all sessions to allow public comment on topics which are not on the agenda. 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, 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Commission Secretary, 620-672-5911.