High duck numbers should make good waterfowl hunting this fall
PRATT — Kansas duck hunters don't have long to wait before seasons open, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has predicted high numbers of migrating birds. Find the water, and hunters should be able to find ducks, especially at one of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) waterfowl management areas.

Duck season dates and zones include the following:( Waterfowl Zone Map )

  • Youth Early Zone — Oct. 3-4;
  • Youth High Plains Zone — Oct. 3-4;
  • Youth Late Zone — Oct. 24-25;
  • High Plains Zone — Oct. 10-Jan. 5, 2010, and Jan. 23-31, 2010;
  • Early Zone — Oct.10-Dec.6, and Dec. 19-Jan. 3, 2010; and
  • Late Zone — Oct. 31-Jan. 3, 2010, and Jan. 23-31, 2010.

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 three 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 — except for the first five days of the season in any zone, when mottled ducks may not be taken.

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.

Depending on rainfall, good hunting should be found in many areas of the state, both public and private. For weekly updates on public areas, visit the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us and type "waterfowl reports" in the search box.

For a detailed map of the duck zone boundaries and other regulations, pick up a copy of the 2009 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.