One of the most popular seasons for Kansas outdoorsman is just around the corner.
Big game firearm season will begin at the end of November. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, big game firearm season is one of the most popular seasons in the state. As of the third week in October, more than 55,000 over the counter deer permits had been purchased.
There are many different reasons that make deer hunting popular in Kansas.
“There is really good lean meat there and it probably goes back even further to traditions in Kansas,” KDWPT wildlife biologist Aaron Baugh said “From grandfathers to fathers hunting and it gets passed on. Kansas has a great deer herd and we have a good number of deer. We also have really nice deer too.”
For deer hunters in Kansas, there is more than just one specific region that trophy deer can be found.
“Hunters want to know ‘what tree should I stand behind to get the next world record,'” said Lloyd Fox of the KDWPT. “That might be anywhere in the state. At the same time, hunters can go many years without seeing that deer. We do have excellent overall success on a nationwide basis.”
While trophy deer can be found throughout the state, Fox says that different regions are going to have different advantages.
Southeast Kansas has typically contained the densest deer population in the state. Western Kansas, particularly along the Kansas-Nebraska border, has often had the highest hunter success rates.
"The reason for the success rates are probably due to visibility," Fox said. "Hunters are able to see deer easier in that part of the state and in the southwest part of the state. There aren't many trees and hunters have an advantage in that regard."
Along with deer, elk are another member of the big game class in Kansas that hunters will be able to start searching for next month.
Elk have become more of an opportunistic hunt due to their inconsistent numbers.
"There are probably getting to be more elk out there on the landscape than what there was, so there is a little more opportunity," said Matt Peek who oversees elk hunting regulations for the KDWPT. "But it's still pretty unpredictable."
In 1990, controlled elk hunting began at Fort Riley. Every year there is a drawing to determine which hunters are allowed to hunt for elk on the military base. Elk hunting at Fort Riley and the surrounding area is the most popular in the state.
Elk that are found on private property can be hunted by the landowners if they have an elk tag.
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