Catching Up On This State's Deer Situation


Published: February - 2006

Since Kansas first opened to nonresident hunters about a dozen years ago, The Hunting Report has been keeping you up to date on the deer hunting situation here. Early on, you'll recall, we told of the generally fantastic whitetail and mule deer possibilities within the state. Then a few years later, we cautioned you about the shaky condition of the local outfitting industry. For quite a while, there were a lot of local hunters, it seemed, with little commercial experience, trying to get guide services going, and out-of-state outfitters slipping in and trying to make some fast dollars by over-hunting their areas.

Well, things have settled down a lot of late. Despite some unhelpful meddling by the legislature, the state game department has pretty much stayed the course on their trophy deer management plans: very limited nonresident permits; only one buck annually for residents; and firearms hunting after the rut so the best bucks get to breed. Also, a lot of the early guiding failures are gone, with lessons learned on what it takes to consistently put clients on mature deer. Many successful outfitters have now instituted solid, long-range management plans.

The upshot is, there are now a number of deer operators in Kansas who are consistently producing whitetails grossing 160 to 190 inches of antler. Some are even cracking the magical 200-inch mark about every season. Keep in mind these are gross figures. Kansas bucks are known to be long on mass and tine length, but they have a habit of growing a lot of extra "treasure" points that are great for gross, but hard on B & C net scores.

As for where to hunt, all parts of Kansas produce at least some great bucks, as witness the fact that in 2005 a 240-plus buck was killed a few miles from the Kansas/Missouri border in the east, and a 220-class mule deer was shot near Colorado in western Kansas. Overall, however, the southern part of the state continues to be tops for mega-whitetails, especially from Wichita westward, where ranches are large enough to........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Tamarack Outfitters; Pheasant Creek; Kansas Trophy Whitetails; Kansas Big Boys; United States Outfitters (USO);

  


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