The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a request for a new duck hunting zone in southeast Kansas. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism made the request on behalf of southeast Kansas duck hunters who complained the seasons were often over before the largest groups of mallards arrived in the area.
Kansas has long had two basic duck hunting units;, one for the high plains and one for the low plains. The low plains has been divided into early and late zones hoping to give hunters chances at migrating birds when they’re most numerous within that zone.
The new southeast zone is part of the low plains unit. The zone is basically south of I-35 and east Highway 77. Exact waterfowl season dates will be officially set at a Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Great Bend on Aug. 11.
At past meetings Faye McNew, department waterfowl biologist, said it’s sometimes hard to get the feds to grant permission for new units or boundary changes. It was sometimes predicted the request for the new zone wouldn’t get federal approval for this fall.
The Fish and Wildlife Service also approved bag limits and season lengths compared to last year, some of the most liberal in modern times.
Hunters will again be able to shoot six ducks daily, of which five can be mallards, two can be hen mallards, two can be pintails, three can be wood ducks, two redheads and two scaup and one canvasback.
The low plains season can run up to 74 days, the highest allowed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Many years of fair to very good reproduction is credited with the liberal season and bag limits.