Migrating bird numbers above long-term average

Kansas duck hunters are anxiously awaiting the opening of duck seasons; however, youth hunters will get the first shot. Duck season dates and zones include the following:

  • Youth Early Zone -- Oct. 4-5;
  • High Plains Zone -- Oct. 4-Dec. 30, and Jan. 17-Jan. 25, 2009;
  • Early Zone -- Oct.11-Dec.7, and Dec. 20-Jan. 4, 2009;
  • Youth Late Zone -- Oct. 18-19; and
  • Late Zone -- Oct. 25-Dec. 28 and Jan. 17-25, 2009.

The youth season in the High Plains Zone was Sept. 27-28. During youth seasons, hunters 15 and younger may take ducks, geese, coots, and mergansers while hunting under the supervision of an adult 18 years or older. The adult may not hunt.

In both youth and regular seasons, 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.

Migrating waterfowl numbers appear to be slightly below last year but well above the long-term average. Depending on rainfall, good hunting should be found in many areas of the state, both public and private. For weekly updates on public areas, consult the waterfowl reports at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website.

A map illustrating duck zone boundaries is available here. For a detailed map of the duck zone boundaries and other regulations, pick up a copy of the 2008 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available at all Kansas Wildlife and Parks offices and most license vendors, or download the booklet here.