KDWP seeks public input on deer proposals in Medicine Lodge, Wichita, and Winfield
PRATT -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) will conduct a public meeting on draft deer permitting regulations in Medicine Lodge on Tuesday, August 1. The meeting, which is co-sponsored by Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Livestock Association, will take place at the Heritage Center Community Room, 1056 SE Isabel Rd. On August 2, a public meeting will be conducted in Wichita at the Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N. On August 3, a public meeting will be conducted in Winfield at Southwestern College’s Wroten Hall, 100 College St. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.

KDWP is seeking input on draft deer permitting recommendations that will be presented at the beginning of each meeting. The recommendations were drafted 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, comprised 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 was 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 aesthetic 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; and
  • deer hunting opportunities can be improved.

To read the complete draft recommendations, go to the KDWP website and type “deer task force” in the search box. More meetings will be conducted around the state during the month of August. For more information, phone Mike Miller at 620-672-0765.