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Thread: How deer management in Kansas has effected upland hunters

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Default How deer management in Kansas has effected upland hunters

    Not to derail any other thread, I thought I'd open one just for this topic.

    I've been out of Kansas for almost a decade. I will be moving back though sometime in 2020. I am looking forward to returning to a state where I do have comparatively easy access to potentially good upland hunting. This is not the case for me at the moment. So, I know my dogs are going to be happier just based on the fact that we will be going afield many more days a year.

    That said, I have been surprised at how things have been changing. I'm not that excited about deer hunting, although I have harvested a fair number. The biggest buck was off a public hunting area. Big bodied, antlers beginning to decline. I actually prefer the does for meat; I'm not really a horn hunter.

    But...wow...looking at KDPW on deer licenses. Knocking on $550 for a non-res deer tag + general license? Every available non-res tag selling out in 2019? Yeah, I can see where it's a real money maker for Kansas. A Colorado either sex non-res Elk tag is only about $100 more. Having done both, I'd take the Colorado hunt every time. Elk, IMO, > than deer. That's just me though.

    Now, thinking about upland/pheasant. I have gladly payed for 30 days of SD pheasant hunting and hope to do so again next year. $300+ for a month of great times. I'm sure there are others that feel that SD is a bargain at $110 for 10 days.

    So I'm wondering why Kansas doesn't focus more effort on upland bird hunting. Kansas led the nation in quail harvest and was a close second for pheasant in 2017. Yes, I know..2017 was a really good year. Still, the potential is always there. If Kansas really developed it's upland situation (think NE Berggren plan), why couldn't KS adopt a licensing plan similar SD?

    After all...it's all about the Benjamins, right? If upland poured more money into the coffers than deer....

  2. #2
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    Maybe part of it is due to the prime upland getting pushed further west. We drove past two or three outfitters between the state line and Howard today. Not the birds in that area that there once was so that area doesn’t draw much upland.

  3. #3
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    Nebraska’s plan is ”hunt near Kansas”.

    Kansas doesn’t have the deer density to sustain it’s reputation as a marquis white tail state, meanwhile it citizens won’t do anything to regulate outfitters practices, and won’t adequately fund a wildlife department or public land.

    It’s never again going to have the pheasant numbers to charge what South Dakota does for pheasant hunting, unless it adopts South Dakota’ s model of supplementing wild pheasants. Even then, wild bird numbers are in free fall in South Dakota, too. Just like everywhere else.

    I’m a little sympathetic to the KDWPT, because the only option they have to exist in any meaningful way is to sell the state as the cheap South Dakota for pheasants and the cheap Iowa for deer.

    As long as Iowa continues to moonscape it’s endless corn fields, Kansas has nothing to worry about because there’s no way Minnesota or Nebraska’s pheasant hunting will ever approach even a bad year in Kansas and they know it. It’s just them or North Dakota for the number 2 slot for pheasant until they are all gone.

    Not sure anyone but Texans will ever pay to hunt quail...(Kidding, Texans, I just know you guys can’t take a joke and it’s funny to watch you guys get all harumphy)

    In all seriousness, whitetail hunting isn’t what’s “ruining” Kansas hunting. Neither are non-residents. It’s the commercialization of hunting that is ruining hunting in Kansas, the knee-jerk fear of regulating industry, the sale of a public resource (wildlife), and the utter disregard we have in this country for the public good, stewardship of our resources and communal ownership.
    Last edited by s.davis; 01-03-2020 at 10:56 PM.

  4. #4
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    ”In all seriousness, whitetail hunting isn’t what’s “ruining” Kansas hunting. Neither are non-residents. It’s the commercialization of hunting that is ruining hunting in Kansas, the knee-jerk fear of regulating industry, the sale of a public resource (wildlife), and the utter disregard we have in this country for the public good, stewardship of our resources and communal ownership“


    This is 100 percent spot on outfitters are nothing but a form of market hunters and market hunting was prohibited for a good reason.

    It needs to be stopped, or at a minimum allowing that industry to compete with the WIHA program by leasing the ideal properties needs to be made illegal for outfitters

  5. #5
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    Salina kansas
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    I'm 50 years old. Years ago in a magazine, I read an article on how the US would someday be like England and most people would have to pay to hunt. I laughed at the time. I look at it today, and Its not as funny. There are hundreds of acres of WIHA, though several are disappointing. I'm not sure we will ever see the pheasant numbers like we had years ago, as there are alot of pressure on the birds....habitat, predators, etc. I dont blame outfitters for offering a service to people willing to pay. Most would have to supplement birds to have adequate shooting. Habitat, today's pressure on production agriculture, it's easy to understand the loss of habitat. What I would like to see though is an increase hunting license fees, with the money going directly to habitat. I doubt that will ever happen, but I would be willing to pay more license fees, if I saw a direct improvement in birds in an area. Something thing tangible for the extra money spent.

  6. #6
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    I’ll throw a little gas on the fire. How about raising the license fees for residents instead of almost always sticking it to non residents? Fire away
    Mike

  7. #7
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    Monroe Georgia
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    Outfitters leasing and deer leases in general have destroyed access opportunities from Texas to the east coast. Public access hunting in Texas is almost non existent in most of the state and that model has expanded. It’s commercialization of hunting and unlike Europe here the public owns the game animals. The same animals the outfitters are selling to the highest bidders. People doing this will claim they are selling access but that just a ploy because no one would pay for access if the public’s game animals weren’t there.

    I’ve been pointing this out for years and it’s frustrating to watch, landowners do not own the game animals on their properties. If you doubt that have one shoot a deer in July I front of a game warden.

    I’m old I’ll outrun this but you young guys better get busy politically to turn this around or hunting will be for nobility and the rich here just like it is in Europe

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
    Nebraska’s plan is ”hunt near Kansas”.
    That may well be true, considering the map they put out for the plan.

    However, at the very least NE is being far more proactive than KS when it comes to improving upland hunting. Wouldn't all of us appreciate a strong, dedicated effort by KDWP to improve our upland hunting experience?

    NE's plan outline:

    OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
    • Consider all manageable aspects of the pheasant hunting experience, with habitat and hunter access (particularly for youth) as cornerstone activities
    • Concentrate work where it will be most effective (i.e., where habitat, hunter access, and community support come together) based on sound science
    • Set realistic management targets and expectations, and use financial and human resources as efficiently as possible to meet them
    • Foster strong partnerships with other public entities, private conservation organizations, and local communities in reaching shared goals

    OUR GOALS
    • Increase pheasant abundance
    • Increase hunter access to land holding pheasants
    • Increase the pool of potential pheasant hunters
    • Manage hunter expectations appropriately
    • Improve the funding and policy environment related to our mission
    They're putting money where their mouth is as wel; $6 million on average for 5 consecutive years.

    Why shouldn't KS hunters want and expect a similar effort from KDWP?

  9. #9

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    I'm a public land bird hunter. Hunted Ks for the first time this fall and had a good time. I found the WIHA's to be numerous and a lot of them to be worth hunting. Compared to other states it was fairly easy to find a place to walk without running into other hunters. Could they be better?, yes NE sits on the top of the heap as far as quality. But they are way better than SD. I do find it amazing all this talk about deer hunting. As far as numbers go, I saw less deer in KS than in any other state and as for antlers, nothing I saw in KS could compete with what I was seeing farther north. I do agree that outfitting and guiding are taking up the prime areas, just look at SD and southwest ND. There is a need for these services as there will always be people with deep pockets who have a need to have their picture took with a tailgate full of game. I think nonresident fees in most of the states are a bargain compared to the rest of the costs of the trip, I sure wouldn't mind paying more, especially if it went towards access. All I can say is that I guess somebody has done some amazing advertising to make KS a deer hunting destination.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by UplandHntr View Post
    I’ll throw a little gas on the fire. How about raising the license fees for residents instead of almost always sticking it to non residents? Fire away
    We had this topic on here last year. I agree to raise the fees for residents. Raise to $500 a license would be fine with me. But the problem is the loss of youth hunting if you raise them to much. No one is sticking it to non residents. If they were, we would not have more non resident hunters than residents. If you feel you are "getting it stuck to you" quit coming. $97 for a hunting license is pretty cheap entertainment. Going to the movies or going to play golf is getting it stuck to you. $97 for a year of entertainment, if you complain about that get a diaper.

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