State big-game hunters can now make plans for the fall and winter seasons.
Wildlife and Parks commissioners approved hunting seasons for deer, antelope and elk during their April meeting in Dodge City.
While deer seasons are similar to last year, there are two notable changes. First, the extended season for whitetail antlerless deer was reduced from seven days to six days. Also, whitetail antlerless game tags are authorized in two additional units (1 and 2) where they were not authorized last year.
Muzzleloaders will have the first shot at deer with the season scheduled to run Sept. 15-18. A youth-disabled season will be Sept. 29-30, then archery season will begin a three-month run on Oct. 1.
An early firearms season in Unit 19, which includes most of Douglas County, will run from Oct. 13-21. The regular firearms deer season will be Nov. 28 through Dec. 9. An extended whitetail antlerless only season is scheduled for Jan. 1-6 of next year.
There is also an extended archery deer season in Unit 19 that will run from Jan. 7-31 next year.
Archers will receive the first crack at antelope with the bow season scheduled Sept. 22-30. The split season will resume Oct. 13 and run until the end of October. Muzzleloader antelope season will be Oct. 1-8 with the firearms season slated for Oct. 5-8.
Firearms and muzzleloader antelope permits are available to residents only. The application deadline is June 8. Archery permits, for residents and nonresidents, may be obtained through Oct. 30.
Nonresident pronghorn permits, for archery hunting only, were available for the first time in 2006, and a total of five nonresident permits were sold.
Archery and muzzleloader elk seasons at Fort Riley will dovetail with the same Sept. 1-30 dates. Firearms elk season on the U.S. Army post will run Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.
Outside of Fort Riley, except for Morton County in far southwest Kansas, muzzleloader elk season will be Sept. 1-30 with archery season to follow from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Firearms elk season will be the same as deer season (Nov. 28-Dec. ) with another long stretch scheduled Jan. 1 to March 15 of 2008.
Only Kansas residents are eligible for elk permits. Most of the elk hunting opportunities occur on Fort Riley, but lengthened seasons and unlimited hunt-own-land permits have been allocated off the fort since 1999. Elk hunting was opened statewide, except in Morton County, last season.
This framework allows landowners to deal with elk causing crop damage or other conflicts. Hunt-own-land elk permits are unlimited with 18 issued last year. A total of seven any-elk permits and 12 antlerless-only elk permits were authorized for this year's limited draw.
Application deadline is July 13, except hunt-own-land permits which are available until the next-to-last-day of the season.