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Thread: How deer management in Kansas has effected upland hunters

  1. #21

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    If I have one thing against deer leases, itís that it has made access to upland hunting almost impossible. My experiences the past 2-3 seasons are strictly based from I-135 west to highway 281 from Ok to Ne lines. I have seen a few things. 1) the land that is groomed for deer holds good bird numbers. Have gotten in deer leased ground the past few Januaryís after deer season and have had good bird hunts. 2) private land in this area has had decent bird numbers as long as habitat is decent/good, as long as it is not over pressured with hunting. 3) regardless of how how good the habitat is in this area, the bird numbers in wiha are 1/5th or less than the numbers on adjacent private ground.

    I have not been clear out west to hunt, so the above 3rd observation might not hold true out there. In the central part of the state, where I have experience, I think we are seeing over pressured ground resulting in birds being hunted to the point where there are not enough to reproduce into good populations or they are relocating permanently to private ground.

    I am not a fan of leasing ground, but have 4-5 family members that hunt that would gladly go in on a lease just to have a place we could call our own that could get bird numbers up in. Problem is the days of $2-$3/acre bird leases donít exist anymore. With deer hunters paying crazy numbers for their leases and the state trying to enroll as much as they can in wiha, there arenít many opportunities to get good upland land to hunt. Sorry for being long winded or if I veered off topic, but I think this is just more than a deer lease, or a habitat or an out of state hunter problem. All of these factors are contributing to the severe decline in Ks upland hunting.

    A lot of people claim that nw Ks is still great for hunting wiha. What if Mother Nature wipes out all the quail and the few phez in central Ks? Every in and out of state hunter will hammer nw Ks, I bet it would be ruined in 2 yrs. Because like we have seen so many times in here and FB from out of state guys, ďyeah we walked 4 days hard, saw 5 roosters and killed 4 of them, but it is still more birds than we would have seen in TN or wherever.Ē Have nothing against out of state guys, but KS wiha is being over pressured to the point of not coming back, and the big money deer hunters are landlocking the rest of the prime private ground.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    167

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    Perhaps Kansas should require a WIHA online check in thru isportsman and restrict the amount of hunters per day based on the size of the WIHA?

    I would happily pay for a WIHA access pass.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South Central, KS
    Posts
    600

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    Quote Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
    I would happily pay for a WIHA access pass.

    Not picking on you SDavis - have seen a lot of your replies and you seem like a good guy - but this has been covered a few times before - I was also under the same misunderstanding -


    KS gets fed funds I believe to pay for WIHA ground -- any "Fee" charged to lease more WIHA ground would mean less fed money to lease said WIHA land so it seems it's a zero sum game.

    There is a post where Michael Pearce (Writer I think maybe is his name here) or Troy Smith (Prairie Drifter) clarifies exactly how it works -

    I'd like to find it and ask if the mods could "**Sticky*** it to the top of the forum.

    But maybe the said "fee" could be used for another sort of access or maybe any fee would be silly the way the present funding program is set up. I dunno - but I'm with you SDavis - I'd pay a fee - but from what I've read it seems there is no point in the state doing so the way things are set up getting funding from the feds now.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    167

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    Didn’t realize it was zero sum. I know when I hunt MN, you have to pay a $3 fee to access their walk in program, but it’s funding formula may be slightly different. I knew WIHA was funded largely or almost exclusively with P-R dollars, but didn’t realize those would be reduced if there was another revenue stream.

    Regardless, my experience with WIHA as an access program has been excellent, though my hunting on WIHA is invariably worse than on private ground, even when the tracts are across the road from one another.

    Any thought on making all WIHA iWIHAs with daily online check ins and limited access?

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
    Didnít realize it was zero sum. I know when I hunt MN, you have to pay a $3 fee to access their walk in program, but itís funding formula may be slightly different. I knew WIHA was funded largely or almost exclusively with P-R dollars, but didnít realize those would be reduced if there was another revenue stream.

    Regardless, my experience with WIHA as an access program has been excellent, though my hunting on WIHA is invariably worse than on private ground, even when the tracts are across the road from one another.

    Any thought on making all WIHA iWIHAs with daily online check ins and limited access?
    I believe a landowner has the right to pull the land out of WIHA anytime he or she desires so I don't think you will see any changes. I have seen a landowner pulling out WIHA signs putting up posted signs at the same time. The state does not own the land.

  6. #26

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    I believe the owner can pull the land out any time, but has to pay back the money. The state likes to pre-pay to prevent that. Also, they like to pre-pay on 5-10yr leases. A lot of farmers get locked into the program because they donít have the money to pay back all the years worth of money they received from the state up front.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southwind View Post
    I believe the owner can pull the land out any time, but has to pay back the money. The state likes to pre-pay to prevent that. Also, they like to pre-pay on 5-10yr leases. A lot of farmers get locked into the program because they don’t have the money to pay back all the years worth of money they received from the state up front.
    Paying that money back is minimal to what an out of state deer hunter will pay to lease. Leasing $5000-$10,000 yearly for 160 acres is becoming common. What do landowners get for WIHA, $10 an acre? That is why the best WIHA is losing to leasing.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    10

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    Not even $10 an acre in most instances. Good habitat in the eastern part are worth alot more than upland in the west.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    167

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    Quote Originally Posted by westksbowhunter View Post
    I believe a landowner has the right to pull the land out of WIHA anytime he or she desires so I don't think you will see any changes. I have seen a landowner pulling out WIHA signs putting up posted signs at the same time. The state does not own the land.
    I’m not sure I follow. What’s the connection?

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