Hunters to hit the field less than a week after Thanksgiving
PRATT — The 2009 Kansas firearm deer season runs Wednesday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 13, and hunters are sighting in their rifles and practicing their shooting skills in anticipation of one of the state's favorite hunting seasons. Deer are plentiful, and a good season is expected.

In 2008, KDWP issued more than 72,000 Any-Season White-tailed Deer permits to residents and nonresidents. Kansas firearms deer hunters enjoy a phenomenal success rate of more than 50 percent, and when the number of deer harvested by archers and firearms hunters is added to the deer taken with Antlerless-Only White-tailed Deer permits, this year's total harvest could be more than 80,000 deer.

All deer hunters must have a deer permit to hunt deer in Kansas. Resident hunters 16 to 65 years old must also possess a hunting license, unless exempt by law. Nonresident hunters must possess a nonresident deer permit, which is drawn from a limited pool in June, and a nonresident hunting license. Hunters must purchase a permit that allows the harvest of an antlered deer before they can purchase a Antlerless-Only White-tailed Deer permit, until after Dec. 30.

Other deer seasons remaining include a Jan. 1-10, 2010, Extended Firearm Season (antlerless whitetails only) in units 4-16 and 19; a Jan. 4-31 Extended Archery Season (Unit 19, antlerless whitetails only); and a Jan. 11-17 Special Extended Firearm Season (units 7, 8, and 15, antlerless whitetails only). Permits unfilled in a regular season are valid in these seasons, with unit restrictions remaining. A 2010 hunting license is also required, unless exempt by law.

Resident whitetail deer permits are available online or at license vendors throughout the state. Hunters are reminded that landowner permission is required to hunt any private land, whether that land is posted or not.

The first Kansas deer season in modern times was held in 1965, and less than half of the state was open. Biologists estimated state deer numbers at about 30,000. Thirty-nine hundred permits were issued, and firearms hunters took approximately 1,340 deer.