Kansas duck season opened Saturday west of U.S. Highway 283. Meanwhile, waterfowl hunters in the rest of the state will have to wait a week for the early season and three weeks for the late season.
Migrating waterfowl numbers appear to be above average this year, and many areas have benefited from ample spring and early summer rainfall that filled marshes, providing plentiful waterfowl habitat.
Unfortunately, Cheyenne Bottoms - one of the Central Flyway's premier wetlands - received too much of a good thing, and the area is mostly flooded. Nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is in good shape, however.
Duck season dates and zones:
High Plains - Through Jan. 1, and Jan. 19-27.
Early - Oct. 13 to Dec. 9, and Dec. 15-30.
Late - Oct. 27 to Dec. 30 and Jan. 19-27.
Youth seasons for waterfowl - including ducks, geese, coots and mergansers - include the following:
High Plains - Sept. 29-30.
Early - Ends today.
Late - Oct. 20-21.
During the youth seasons, hunters 15 and younger may hunt under the supervision of an adult 21 years or older who has the appropriate stamps and license. The adult may not hunt.
The daily bag limit for ducks is five. This bag may include no more than two scaup, two redheads and two wood ducks. In addition, only one duck from the following group may be included in the daily bag - hen mallard, pintail, canvasback or mottled duck.
For example, if a pintail is taken, no hen mallard, mottled duck or canvasback may be taken that day. If a hen mallard is taken, no pintail, mottled duck or canvasback may be taken that day, etc.
The daily bag may comprise five of any other duck, such as five mallard drakes, five teal or five wigeon.
For a detailed map of the duck zone boundaries and other regulations, check Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available at all Wildlife and Parks offices and most license vendors, or download the booklet at www.kdwp.state.ks.us.
Also available on the Web site are weekly updates on public hunting areas.