"The big news for the 2003 season is that Kansas has gone to a preference-point system for nonresident permits, and it is one year retroactive. That means hunters who applied last year and didn't draw will have a leg-up on everyone else this season. If you aren't among them, you need to get in on the process now, so you don't fall too far behind. Competition is high enough in many units that skipping a season or two could set you back considerably. Make sure your application is in by the end of May. At this writing the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks had not made available any more information on how the new preference-point system would work, but particulars should be posted soon on their web site at http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us.
"Trophy potential for 2003 should be good. Overall, the health of the Kansas deer herd is pretty strong, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. Despite having lower deer densities than most states, Kansas just completed it's fourth year of a legislature-driven war on antlerless whitetails. Some fear the continuing abundance of tags for antlerless deer will lead to the harvest of too many buck fawns and thus contribute to a drop in trophy potential.
"There is no doubt that trophy potential has indeed dropped in some areas, though not so far on most lands where guides and landowners charge for trophy hunting. Still, this is a valid concern in some areas. The trophy buck crop was spotty in 2002, although some areas reported as many 150-plus-class bucks as ever. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how you look at it, December 2002 gun hunters encountered heavy fog, warm temperatures and an early rut that was well over by the time they were in the field. That meant a lower-than-expected trophy harvest, but it also meant many nice deer would get an extra year of growing for this fall.........(continued)