Hunting guides in Kansas will have to add one more item to their equipment before taking hunters out this year.
A new Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism regulation now requires hunting guides to have a permit to guide on lands owned or managed by KDWPT, said Brad Simpson, KDWPT public lands section chief.
Anyone who is charging a fee for hunting services has to have the permit. The permit is free and applications are available at KDWPT headquarters or on the KDWPT website ksoutdoors.com then click on "Hunting/Applications and Fees/Public Lands."
The permit must be specific to the area guiding will take place including public wildlife areas and Walk-In Hunting Access lands.
Applicants simply need to sign the application and return it to KDWPT. The application is signed and returned to the guide.
The response has been light so far with about a half dozen applicants so far but
"We expect to get more as we get into deer and turkey season," Simpson said. "So far, most permits have been for waterfowl."
The permits were established to help KDWPT gather information on how much commercial hunting is taking place on their lands, Simpson said.
The guides are an important part of gathering that information. The permits help KDWPT know how many guides are active.
The guides are required to file annual reports detailing the number of hunters, the number of birds taken and birds seen and how many days they led hunters.
Some concerns had been received from other hunters that KDWPT was loosing control of their properties to guided hunts.
This new license program will give KDWPT access to more data to address those concerns.
"It's just going to give us a bunch of information we never had before at our fingertips," Simpson said.
Just like a hunting license, guides must carry the guide license with them at all times they are guiding a hunt. Law enforcement will ask to see the license just like they ask hunters to see their license.
This is the first year the license has been required. It will be an educational year for guides as KDWPT spends a lot of time making sure all guides are aware of the new regulations.
Officers will use discretion as they spread the information among the guides.
"We've been trying to get the word out," Simpson said. "We'll do our best to help the guides meet the new regulations."
Guides are being checked as they lead hunters now during teal season that opened Sept. 8. Dove season is also open with deer archery and muzzleloader season starting Sept. 17 and duck season opening on Oct. 6.
Page 2 of 2 - Michigan has a similar permit program in its second season and it is working well.