Early teal seasons expected to allow 16-day season; dove seasons set; peregrine falcon and bald eagle removed from state threatened and endangered species list
COUNCIL GROVE – The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission tentatively approved early teal seasons, set dove season dates, and passed state threatened and endangered species provisions, as well as two deer-related regulations at its June 25 public meeting in Council Grove.

KDWP waterfowl biologist Faye McNew told commissioners that preliminary reports indicate that early teal season frameworks will likely allow for a 16-day season. The federal frameworks hinge upon surveys of spring breeding numbers of blue-winged teal. If surveyors determine that the breeding population of blue-winged teal is above 4.7 million, frameworks allow a 16-day season. If the breeding bluewing population is determined to be between 3.3 and 4.6 million birds, the frameworks provide for a nine-day season.

McNew recommended a 16-day season for the Low Plains Zones (that part of Kansas east of Hwy 283), which would run September 12-27, 2009. For the High Plains Zone (that part of Kansas west of Hwy. 283), McNew recommended an eight-day early teal season. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act allows a maximum of 107 days of duck hunting. Because frameworks for the regular duck seasons are expected to allow 97 days in the High Plains Zone, with two days for the youth season, only eight days are left to reach the maximum number of days. McNew recommended an early teal season for the High Plains Zone of Sept. 19-27, 2009.

The daily bag limit for teal is four and the possession limit is eight. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

The Commission approved 2009 dove season recommendations presented by wildlife biologist Helen Hands. A shift in dove management frameworks resulted in a change in the Kansas dove season from recent years. For the 2009 season, Hands recommended a first segment of the dove season that would run Sept. 1-Oct. 31, 2009. The second segment will open on the first Saturday in November and run for nine days – Nov. 7-15, 2009. A third segment will open Nov. 20, 2009 and close Feb. 28, 2010. Only exotic doves, Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves, may be taken during the third segment. The aggregate daily bag limit for migratory doves, mourning and white-winged, during the first and second segments is 15, and the possession limit is 30. There is no aggregate daily bag or possession limit for exotic doves during any season. However, any exotic doves possessed in excess of the aggregate daily bag or possession limit for migratory doves during the first and second season segments shall retain a fully-feathered wing. All doves in the third season must retain a fully feathered wing.

Commissioners approved amendments to the state’s threatened and endangered species regulation. As a result of a five-year review and petitions reviewed by the Threatened and Endangered Species Task Committee, wildlife biologist Ed Miller recommended the following recommendations. The peregrine falcon and the bald eagle were delisted, and the delta hydrobe (snail), shoal chub, and plains minnow were added to the threatened and endangered species lists. The Commission also approved amendments to the regulation that designates nongame species in need of conservation (SINC). The amendment adds the bigeye shiner, redfin darter, lake sturgeon, striped shiner, common shiner, southern redbelly dace, cardinal shiner, and Johnny darter to the SINC list. The SINC list includes any nongame species deemed to require conservation measures to prevent the species from becoming a threatened or endangered species. SINC species do not have the level of statutory protection as those species listed as threatened or endangered in Kansas.

In other Public Hearing business, the Commission approved the deer season dates for Fort Riley Military Reservation, which is managed as a subunit. Military staff requested these season dates be approved later than most deer season dates are approved to provide more flexibility in avoiding conflicts with military exercises. Fort Riley firearm deer season dates will be Nov. 27-29, 2009, Dec. 18-22, 2009, and Dec. 26-29, 2009. The special archery season dates for Fort Riley will be Sept. 1-20, 2009, in addition to the regular archery season Sept. 21-Dec. 31. This regulation also established a limited number of Either-species Antlerless Only permits valid in Unit 3 and established a special extended whitetail antlerless only season for Units 7, 8 and 15 of Jan. 11-17, 2010. Another regulation approved moves the deadline for nonresident deer permit applications to April 30, 2010. The deadline for nonresident deer permit applications was June 1 in 2009.