Hunters anticipate camaraderie and full freezers during Dec. 3-14 firearm deer season

The 2009 Kansas firearm deer season runs Wednesday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 14, and it's time for hunters to sight in rifles and practice their shooting skills. While many hunters see this as an opportunity to fill the freezer with fresh lean meat, it is also a traditional time for friends and family to go afield in pursuit of Kansas white-tailed and mule deer.

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 animals. Thirty-nine hundred permits were issued, and firearm hunters took approximately 1,340 deer.

In 2007, KDWP issued approximately 141,000 firearm deer permits to residents and nonresidents. Kansas firearm deer hunters enjoy a success rate of more than 50 percent, and when the number of deer harvested by archers and firearm hunters is added, this year's total harvest could be more than 90,000 deer.

All deer hunters must have a deer permit to hunt deer in Kansas. Resident hunters 16 through 64 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 an Antlerless-Only White-tailed Deer permit, until after Dec. 30. (After Dec. 30, hunters who do not possess a permit for antlered deer may purchase antlerless permits for use during the extended whitetail antlerless season, Jan. 1-4, 2009.)

Resident Any-Season White-tailed 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.