Casts and Blasts from March 21 KDWPT Commission meeting

As at most, too much happened at last week’s Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Topeka to be included in one article. Well, technically even within two articles.

YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO READ A BLOG THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED THE MEETING.

YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO READ AN ARTICLE ON SUNAY’S OUTDOORS PAGE WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

Also at the meeting -

- Commissioners Debra Bolton and Randy Doll were absent.

– Matt Peek, Wildlife and Parks furbearer biologist, began discussions to make it illegal for coyote hunters to hunt from vehicles or use two-way radios for hunting coyotes during Kansas’s 12 day general firearms deer season. Peek said the department regularly gets complaints about possibly illegal deer hunters hunting from vehicles and using radios, then claiming they’re hunting coyotes if checked by game wardens. If voted into law at an upcoming meeting, the regulation would allow other kinds of coyote hunting during the firearms deer season.

–Peek also recommend a modest reduction in pronghorn permits for the 2013 seasons because the population has suffered because of drought.

– Tim Donges, El Dorado Quality Deer Management Association, asked if the department might want to consider making shotguns with slugs the only legal weapons during the firearms deer season. He also suggested discussion on minimum antler restrictions to help insure people don’t shoot young bucks. Donges noted that several states implement both regulations.

– Wildlife and Park’s was awarded the “Outstanding Sportfishing Restoration Award” from the American Fisheries Society for the fishing opportunities opened up by their Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats program, which opens hundreds of private land fishing areas to the public.

– Shawn Stratton, Fort Riley wildlife biologist, said last season’s kill of about 440 deer was a new record for the military base. He estimated the population to be about 1,500 deer on the fort’s about 101,000 acres.

– Commissioners in attendance spoke of their decision to pass regulations that now allow the widespread use of crossbows during archery deer seasons, and making it legal for any centerfire rifle or handgun to be legal for hunting big game in Kansas.

– “If we make a mistake, we can correct it,” Gerald Lauber, commission chairman said of revisiting the regulations, if needed, “but if the legislature makes a mistake I’m not sure they’re going to correct it. Well, they don’t make mistakes.”

–”I think the economic benefits are great, and that we could get more youth involved is great,” Commissioner Don Budd said. “I think this is a good thing.”

– Becky Blake, state tourism director, said studies show that for every $1 Kansas invests in marketing tourism, there’s a return of $80.

– Rex, an 11-year-old Labrador Retriever in the department’s K-9 program was honored upon his retirement from law enforcement work.