Bill through house could cost KDWPT plenty

A bill dealing with deer hunting has passed through the house and has the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism hustling to oppose several aspects within the bill. One part, in particular, could cost the department a lot of money and mean even fewer game wardens in the fields.

A deer-related bill that passed the house could mean trouble for Wildlife and Parks game wardens.

As it was being worked in the house recently, HB. 2295 received an addition that would require the department to check at least 25-percent of those buying landowner, tenant and hunt-your-own-land permits to insure they qualify properly.

Chris Tymeson, department attorney, said such a requirement would greatly overload a law enforcement staff and budget that has little of either to spare. “That would mean at least 80 people would have to be checked by everyone in the (law enforcement) department,” Tymeson said. “It would mean a 12 1/2 -percent shift in (services).”

The department estimates the requirement could cost the agency many thousands of  man-hours, and keep game wardens tied-down instead of working other cases or patrolling. Tymeson said Wildlife and Parks already has a system for random checks.

The bill passed the house 101-22 Wednesday. Tymeson didn’t know when it would begin working through the senate.

The bill was already controversial for the following components -

- Mandating crossbows be legal for all hunters during the archery deer season.

-The creation of a pre-rut firearms season for antlerless whitetails.

-The creation of a double-permit that allows the taking of one buck and one doe.

Wildlife and Parks opposes many such bills in the legislature, preferring their time-honored traditions for regulating the Kansas outdoors.