Managers recommend additional doe harvest

The decline of Cedar Bluff Reservoir for the last five years has prompted an increase of approximately 2,900 acres of prime deer habitat in the lake bottom, increasing the white-tailed deer population by an estimated 45 percent in the last three years. The population increase is cause for concern because of crop damage on adjoining private land, as well as habitat degradation.

Antlerless deer make up an estimated 46 percent of the whitetail deer population at Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area , and harvesting these antlerless deer is key to controlling whitetail expansion and its attendant crop and habitat damage. However, many hunters only want to harvest bucks, which does little for population control.

According to check station records, only 17 female deer were harvested at Cedar Bluff during the 2005 firearms deer season. Hunters who have already obtained a 2006 permit that allows them to take an antlered deer may also purchase a Whitetail Antlerless permit ($32.15 for residents, $77.15 for nonresidents). By using that permit on Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area, hunters can improve habitat quality on the wildlife area, as well as curb crop damage on adjacent private lands. Whitetail Antlerless permits are available online at www.kdwp.state.ks.us, at KDWP regional and state park offices, as well as local vendors around the state.

2006 deer seasons at Cedar Bluff include the following dates:

  • Muzzleloader Season -- Sept. 9 – 22 and Nov. 29 – Dec. 10;
  • Youth and Disability Season -- Sept. 23-24;
  • Archery Season -- Oct. 1 - Dec. 31; and
  • Firearms Season -- Nov. 29 - Dec 10.

For more information about deer hunting at Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area, phone area manager Kent Hensley at 785-726-3212.