Still Time To Hunt
PRATT – There is still time for quality hunting before the winter seasons come to an end. The pheasant, quail, and greater prairie chicken seasons remain open through Jan. 31, 2019. And while not everyone enjoys a winter storm, cold weather and some snow on the ground can definitely boost bird hunters’ success. Make it a point to get out before these seasons close.
Perhaps the best late-season hunting will be for waterfowl. In the High Plains Duck Zone (west of Hwy 283) and Low Plains Southeast (southeastern corner), the final segment opened on Jan. 12 and closes Jan. 27, 2019. In the Low Plains Late Zone, the final duck season segment is Jan. 19-27, 2019. (See the 2018 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or go to www.ksoutdoors.com to see a map of duck zones.) These January segments often provide some of the best mallard hunting of the year, and hunting can be especially good on rivers, streams and reservoirs when the marshes and flooded fields freeze.
The Canada goose season remains open through Feb. 17, 2019 and the final segment of white-fronted goose season is Jan. 26-Feb. 17, 2019. The light goose (snow and Ross’ geese) season is open through Feb. 17, 2019, and the Conservation Order for light goose hunting will open on Feb. 18, 2019 and close April 30, 2019. Late-season goose hunting is normally very good in Kansas because of the abundant harvested grain fields where the geese feed. Successful hunters scout afternoons and evenings, following flocks of geese as they fly between water roosting areas and feed fields. Once a preferred field is located, hunters contact the landowner for permission to hunt and set up with blinds and decoys the next morning.
The Conservation Order for light geese was established to reduce light goose numbers because the overpopulation is damaging the fragile tundra nesting grounds. During the Conservation Order, light geese may be hunted one-half-hour before sunrise to one-half-hour after sunrise, plugs are not required in shotguns and electronic calls may be used. There is no bag or possession limit.
Waterfowl hunters need an annual hunting license, federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, a Kansas State Waterfowl Habitat Permit, and a Kansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit. Stamps and permits purchased after July 1, 2018 are valid through the late seasons. And KDWPT reminds hunters that hunting licenses purchased in 2018 are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. The expiration date is marked on the license or hunters can log into their account at www.kshuntfishcamp.com to view licenses and permits they have purchased and when they expire. Non-toxic shot is required for duck and goose hunting.
Don’t let the seasons close without getting out this winter. Late-season hunts are often marked with low competition and high success.