Wildlife and Parks Commission Holds Second-to-Last Meeting of 2022

Kansas City, KS – Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commissioners will meet on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, to conduct their second-to-last public meeting of the year. The meeting will begin promptly at 1 p.m. with general public comment on items not listed on the agenda, followed by an agency and state fiscal status update from Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Secretary Brad Loveless, then a General Discussion period (items not yet being voted on) relating to:

  • Antelope seasons, bag limits and permits. Poor production in Kansas, and rangewide, have caused apparent declines in pronghorn populations in many areas. As such, KDWP is considering several approaches to reducing harvest.
  • Elk seasons, bag limits and permits. During this annual review, staff do not currently anticipate any changes to season structure, bag limits or permit types.

Commissioners will then hear several Workshop Session items, which may be voted on at a future date:

  • Big Game Permanent Regulations. Staff will explore modifying proof-of-sex regulations for antlerless deer and elk to allow hunters to voluntarily help prevent spreading Chronic Wasting Disease by leaving the most infective parts of a carcass – the head and spine – at the harvest site; Legal equipment and taking methods; Updating firearm management units for deer to reflect recent road name changes; Modifying the big game permanent regulation review cycle for fiscal year 2023; and, the status of either-species antlerless only deer permits.
  • Deer hunting season dates for 2023-2024
  • Turkey seasons, bag limits, permits and game tags. Staff will discuss a slight adjustment to the description of turkey management Unit 2 (no other changes to the fall season will be proposed); Reduced bag limits in Unit 1 and Unit 2 by 1 bird; A 25 percent reduction in permits allocated for non-resident turkey hunters during the spring season through a draw system; Changes to the total number, and distribution, of permits allocated in Unit 4; and, prohibiting the use of Unit 4 permits in adjacent units.
  • Big game and wild turkey permit applications. Staff will propose creating an application period in January/February for non-resident turkey hunters to apply for a specific hunt unit in which to be entered for a draw and, if successful, receive a permit valid for that hunt unit.
  • Updates to regulations related to the commercial harvest, salvage, and sale of freshwater mussels.
  • Legal equipment, taking method, and general provisions for furbearers and coyotes. Staff will propose allowing the use laser lights when taking furbearers treed with the aid of dogs; Extending the furbearer season through the last day of February; Increasing the season bag limit of otters from 5 to 10; and, increasing the unit bag limit in the Lower Neosho and Marais des Cygnes units to 10, and the Verdigris and Missouri units to 5.
  • Baiting on Department lands. Staff will propose prohibiting placing bait on KDWP-managed lands, and lands enrolled in Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA)/iWIHA, for all activities. However, this would not apply to licensed furharvesters.
  • Camping at state fishing lakes and wildlife areas. Staff will propose reducing the number of consecutive camping days allowed at state fishing lakes and wildlife areas from 14 to seven days. This would not apply to state parks.
  • Trail (game) cameras and other devices. Staff will propose enacting a new regulation that prohibits the use of trail (game) cameras on Department lands and waters.
  • Public Lands reference document annual review. Each year, Public Lands staff review KDWP’s reference document related to Department lands and waters. As such, several revisions are being proposed related to refuge areas, check-in/check-out requirements, electronic daily use permits, and Special Hunts Program eligibility. See briefing book for complete details.

Staff and Commissioners will recess at 5 p.m. and reconvene at 6:30 p.m. to commence the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, hear general public comment on items not listed on the agenda, then vote on the following:

  • Amount of fees. Staff will propose adding the Resident Kids Lifetime Hunting andFishing Combination License to KDWP’s list of licenses, permits, and other issues of the Department.
  • Purchase of lifetime hunting or lifetime combination hunting andfishing license without certificate of completion of an approved hunter education Staff will propose adding the Resident Kids Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Combination License to this exemption.
  • Big game and wild turkey permit applications. Staff will propose modifying this regulation so that pronghorn hunters must either get an archery permit or apply for a limited draw permit.
  • Fisheries reference document annual review. Staff will propose special length and creel limits for 2023; possession requirements; hook requirements for artificial lures and fishing lines; commercial bait permit exemptions; updates to Kansas’ prohibited and aquatic nuisance species lists; and trout water updates.

The public is welcome and encouraged to participate in person at the Holiday Inn Express, 3401 Blue Comet Drive, Chanute or virtually via Zoom. Virtual participants may access login instructions, here https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Instructions-to-Participate-in-Virtual-Meeting or watch live video/audio stream of the meeting, here https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Watch-Meetings-Here.

Prior to the Commission’s Sept. 8, 2022, public meeting, KDWP staff will host Commissioners for a pre-meeting tour on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, at Neosho Wildlife Area from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and a panel discussion on turkeys on Sept. 8, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. via Zoom. While members of the public are welcome to listen/watch pre-meeting activities, public comment will not be permitted until 1 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2022.

To download the Sept. 8, 2022, meeting agenda and briefing book, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWP-Info/Commission/Meeting-Schedule/September-8-2022.

An interpreter for the hearing impaired can be requested by calling the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Commission secretary at (620) 672-0702.

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