Eastern half of Pratt County in deer management unit where hunters may take antlerless whitetails through Jan. 19.
Frustrated deer hunters and those who have gotten a deer but want to continue trying their luck have until Jan. 19 to get an antlerless whitetail deer but only if they are hunting in one of Kansas' four deer management units eligible for the special extended session that runs from Jan. 13 through Jan. 19.
The regular extended firearm season runs from Jan. 1 through Jan. 12 at all 18 Kansas deer management units, said Mike Mitchener, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wildlife section chief.
All it takes to take part in the special extended session is a valid deer-hunting license of any type. It will simply transfer to the session. This includes licenses for firearms, muzzle-loaders, cross bow, bow and arrow. Orange must be worn during the extended seasons.
Hunters should find plenty of deer during the extended season. Mitchener said he saw two walk in front of his vehicle on his way to work this week.
The special extended session deer management units are 7, 8 and 15. The eastern half of Pratt County is located in unit 15 so Pratt County hunters are among those that can hunt for antlerless deer until the end of the special extended session on Jan. 19.
Besides Pratt, Unit 15 also includes all of Sedgwick County and parts of Stafford, Reno, Kingman, Harper, Sumner, Cowley, Butler and Harvey Counties.
The counties in the special extended session were chosen because of antlerless population and the amount of complaints about deer in the area and the number of deer vs. vehicle accidents.
The KDWPT uses hunting information to determine deer populations and where special extended sessions should be allowed. The department also conducts spotlight surveys in the fall and distance-sampling using predetermined routes. Range finders are used in conjunction with the spotlights. All the data is entered in a computer program that calculates population density. While it isn't 100 percent accurate, it gives KDWPT a good estimate on population and where special extended sessions should be held.
Part of the increase is from more moisture this year than in the last couple of years when the state was in a widespread drought. More moisture means more food for deer so the population increases.
Exactly how many hunters will take part in the regular and special extended sessions is difficult to determine. If a hunter hasn't gotten a deer, that license will just transfer to the special extended season. It is unknown how many hunters will choose to take this option.
Also, some hunters that did get a deer still want to hunt and have purchased another license. It is unknown how many hunters have chosen that option as well. Still other hunters will wait until the extended season to start hunting. Those hunters may wait because they didn't have time to go hunting or it was too cold, Mitchener said.
Whatever the case, all the hunting laws still apply. A valid permit is necessary whether it is a carryover after not getting a deer or it is a newly acquired license.
The number of hunters that take advantage of extended season isn't known until after the season is over. The number taking advantage of the extension fluctuates every year because of the various factors.
A survey of deer season is conducted in January after the extensions. Those final numbers will reveal how many hunters took advantage of the two extended sessions.
Deer Management Unit 7 includes all of Lincoln, Mitchell, Jewell Counties and parts of Smith, Republic, Cloud, Ottawa, Saline, Russell and Osborne Counties.
Deer Management Unit 8 includes all of Washington and Clay Counties and parts of Marshall, Riley, Geary, Dickinson, Saline, Ottawa, Cloud and Republic Counties.