Many areas holding water; Cheyenne Bottoms flooded
PRATT -- The Kansas duck season opens in the High Plains Duck Zone -- west of U.S. Highway 283 -- on Oct. 6. Waterfowl hunters in the rest of the state are anxiously awaiting the opening of duck seasons in the Early and Late zones later this month, as well as youth seasons.

Migrating waterfowl numbers appear to be good this year, and many areas have benefited from ample spring and early summer rainfall that filled marshes, providing excellent waterfowl habitat. Unfortunately, Cheyenne Bottoms -- one of the Central Flyway's premier wetlands -- got too much of a good thing, and the area is mostly flooded. Nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is in good shape, however.

Good hunting should be found in many areas of the state, both public and private. For weekly updates on public areas, visit the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website, and type "waterfowl reports" in the search box.

Duck season dates and zones include the following:

  • High Plains Zone -- Oct. 6-Jan. 1, 2008, and Jan. 19-Jan. 27, 2008;
  • Early Zone -- Oct.13-Dec.9, and Dec. 15-30; and
  • Late Zone -- Oct. 27-Dec. 30 and Jan. 19-Jan. 27, 2008.

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

  • High Plains Zone -- Sept. 29-30;
  • Early Zone: Oct. 6-7; and
  • Late Zone: Oct. 20-21.

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 2007 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,