Kansas waterfowl, elk, antelope seasons approved for 2021-22
Next commission meeting slated for June 17 in Wichita
The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission is set to meet this upcoming week after approving the Kansas waterfowl, elk and antelope seasons for 2021-22 at its April 29 meeting.
The vote to approve the waterfowl seasons as recommended by KDWPT biologists drew considerable debate, with topics such as the combined youth/veteran and active military seasons — scheduled one week prior to opening weekend in each waterfowl unit — and the influx of nonresidential waterfowl hunters muddying the conversation.
Commissioner Troy Sporer’s proposed amendment to go against biologist recommendations and drop the Canada goose daily bag limit from six to four as a means of attempting to discourage nonresident hunting guides from coming to the state was shot down in a vote. KDWPT biologist Tom Bidrowski commented that such a move may actually have the opposite effect, as guides would need to spend less time per hunt to fill a customer's limit and could therefore fit in more hunters in a day and make more profit.
Another attempted amendment introduced by Commissioner Aaron Rider to move back the Southeast Zone’s proposed duck season opener by one week to add a week of hunting in January also was voted down.
The approved 2021-22 Kansas waterfowl seasons are as follows:
• Teal — Low Plains Unit (east of US-283 highway): Sept. 11-26; High Plains Unit (west of US-283 highway): Sept. 18-26.
• Ducks — Low Plains Early Zone: Youth/veteran/active military season - Oct. 2-3; regular season - first segment, Oct. 9 to Dec. 5; second segment, Dec. 18 to Jan. 2, 2022; High Plains Unit: Youth/veteran/active military season - Oct. 2-3; regular season - first segment, Oct. 9 to Jan. 2, 2022; second segment, Jan. 21-30, 2022; Low Plains Late Zone: Youth/veteran/active military season - Oct. 23-24; regular season - first segment, Oct. 30 to Jan. 2, 2022; second segment, Jan. 22-30, 2022; Low Plains Southeast Zone: Youth/veteran/active military season - Oct. 30-31; regular season - first segment, Nov. 6 to Jan. 2, 2022; second segment, Jan. 15-30, 2022.
• Dark goose — First segment: Oct. 30-31; second segment: Nov. 3 to Feb. 13, 2022.
• Light goose — First segment: Oct. 30-31; second segment: Nov. 3 to Feb. 13, 2022; Conservation Order extended season: Feb. 14 to April 30, 2022.
• White-fronted goose — First segment: Oct. 30 to Jan. 2, 2022; second segment: Jan. 22 to Feb. 13, 2022.
• Falconry (extended) — all waterfowl units except High Plains: Feb. 24 to March 10, 2022.
The measures putting in place the 2021-22 elk and antelope seasons were considerably less contentious, drawing no comment before being approved unanimously by commissioners.
However, KDWPT biologist Rick Schultheis noted prior to the vote on approving elk season dates that elk permit sales outside of Fort Riley were the highest they’ve ever been last season.
The proposed elk and antelope seasons for 2021-22 are as follows:
• Antelope — Archery: First segment, Sept. 18-26; second segment, Oct. 9-31; muzzleloader: Sept. 27 to Oct. 4; firearms: Oct. 1-4.
• Elk (statewide except Fort Riley) — Archery: Sept. 13 to Dec. 31; muzzleloader: Sept. 1-30; firearm: first segment, Oct. 1-31; second segment, Dec. 1-12; third segment, Jan. 1-March 15, 2022;.
• Elk (on Fort Riley) — Archery: Sept. 1-30; muzzleloader: Sept. 1-30; firearm: first segment, Oct. 1-31, second segment, Nov. 1-30, third segment, Dec. 1-31.
The commission is scheduled to host its next meeting June 17, beginning with the afternoon session at 1 p.m. and recessing at 5 p.m. before reconvening for the evening session at 6:30 p.m. The public meeting is tentatively slated to take place at Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N in Wichita, though it also will be live streamed.
Among the items up for general discussion at the afternoon session will be turkey regulations, an update on the lesser prairie chicken and park regulations. During the workshop session, commissioners will discuss fishing regulations, commercial bait regulations and special walleye regulations and proposals for Cedar Bluff and Marion Reservoirs, respectively.
In the evening, a public hearing session will take place on items concerning seasons and bag limits for upland birds and deer, as well as regulations regarding hunting, furharvesting and shooting on public lands.
Those wishing to make public comments without attending in person will be able to via Zoom at https://tinyurl.com/4cr2h9mh/ or by calling in at 1-877-853-5257 and entering the meeting ID (818 5411 5664#) and the user ID (just the pound sign) when prompted. The live video/audio stream feed also is available at https://ksoutdoors.com/commission-meeting/, though without the option to comment.
A public lands education session for commissioners will also take place from 9 to 11 a.m.