Notes from last week’s commission meeting

Last Thursday’s Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Salina had so much happen there was no way to get it all in The Eagle.

CLICK HERE TO READ WHAT WAS PUBLISHED.

Here’s some of what you missed -

—Tim Donges, Blue Stem Quality Deer Management Association, spoke for more than 30 minutes during the public comment portion of the afternoon meeting to push for cased-gun laws and stiffer penalties for poaching.

—Lloyd Fox, Wildlife and Parks big game program coordinator, said the department would like to offer five permits for antlerless-only whitetails in deer management units 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,11,12,13,15, and 16. He would also like to allow the use of up to five of the permits on the Cedar Bluff, Norton, Webster, Kirwin, Kanopolis, Glen Elder, and Wilson wildlife areas this fall.

Fox assured commissioners such a move would not lead to over-harvest of deer because so few hunters purchase more than one antlerless-only permit.

— The debate on the legalization of crossbows for youth and those 55 and over during the archery deer season was polite but impassioned. Several bowhunters more than 55 stated they had no problem drawing a compound bow, some up to 70 pounds.

Jerry Viera was one of several to refer to the weapons as “crossguns,” saying they shot like rifles. Charlie Stevens noted a National Rifle Association magazine had reviews on crossbows.

Kyle Adams questioned if it was wise to get a child started on a crossbow and then make them start over with archery gear when they turned 17. He thought the current proposal was just the beginning for more liberal regulations to come.

—There was little opposition to possible rule changes on public lands as presented by Brad Simpson, public lands chief. Changes still to be discussed and voted upon include limiting hunters to two treestands per wildlife area, removing pop-up blinds and decoys at night, end baiting and requiring guides to register to use public lands.

Commissioner Don Budd suggested guides be charged $2,000 for using public lands and a regulation that required waterfowl hunters to remain at least 200 yards apart.

Donges did question  the treestand limitation proposal, saying he sometimes had more than 20 stands on a public area.