Deer season changes discussed

At the Kansas Bowhunters Association convention in Hutchinson Wildlife and Parks asked for opinions on three possible changes to current deer seasons.

Lloyd Fox, Big Game Program Coordinator, said the department is searching for ways to increase hunting opportunity and possibly take more whitetail does. He stressed the following changes aren’t yet being formally proposed.

-A youth deer season around the Christmas holidays while kids are off from school. Firearms and all kinds of permits would be allowed.

-An October weekend when firearms hunting would be allowed for antlerless whitetails. It’s thought the season may get more does killed, especially before rut when deer/vehicle accidents are highest.

-Extend archery deer season into or possibly through January. Archers would be able to take does or a buck depending on the permits they possess. Fox said the extension is to offer more opportunity and possibly compensate bowhunters if one of the above seasons ends up within the on-going archery season.

Bowhunters attending the talk offered few opinions on the possible season changes. Several questioned Fox about the state’s monitoring system on hunter success and overall harvest.

Fox also announced ten probable cases of chronic wasting disease had been detected in western Kansas deer shot during recent deer seasons. One case in Smith County is the furthest east the disease has been found in Kansas.