Find water, find waterfowl
PRATT -- The Kansas duck season opened in the High Plains Duck Zone west of U.S. Highway 283 on Oct. 7. Waterfowl hunters in the rest of the state are anxiously awaiting the opening of duck seasons the Early and Late zones later this month, as well as youth seasons.

While migrating waterfowl numbers appear to be high this year, the Sunflower State is short on water in many areas. Cheyenne Bottoms in central Kansas is in good shape, as is Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. But in the rest of central and western Kansas, the ongoing drought has impacted water conditions. Farther east, the state has had good rainfall, and many wetlands are in good condition. Even with this mixed outlook for wetlands, good hunting should be found in many areas.

Duck season dates and zones include the following:

  • High Plains Zone -- Oct. 7-Jan. 2, 2007, and Jan. 20-Jan. 28, 2007;
  • Early Zone -- Oct.14-Dec.10, and Dec. 16-31; and
  • Late Zone -- Oct. 28-Dec. 31 and Jan. 20-Jan. 28, 2007.

Youth seasons for waterfowl -- including ducks, geese, coots, and mergansers -- include the following:

  • Early Zone: Oct. 7-8; and
  • Late Zone: Oct. 21-22. (The High Plains Zone youth season ran Sept. 30-Oct. 1.)

During the youth seasons, hunters 15 and younger may hunt under the supervision of an adult 21 years or older who has the appropriate stamps and license. The adult may not hunt.

The daily bag limit for ducks is five. This bag may include no more than two scaup, two redheads, and two wood ducks. In addition, only one duck from the following group may be included in the daily bag: hen mallard, pintail, canvasback or mottled duck.

For example, if a pintail is taken, no hen mallard, mottled duck, or canvasback may be taken that day; if a hen mallard is taken, no pintail, mottled duck, or canvasback may be taken that day, and so forth. The daily bag may comprise five of any other duck, such as five mallard drakes, five teal, or five wigeon.

For a detailed map of the duck zone boundaries and other regulations, pick up a copy of the 2006 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary , available at all Kansas Wildlife and Parks offices and most license vendors, or download the booklet from the KDWP website,