Kansas continues to produce some of the best whitetail deer hunting in the nation, and the opportunities for nonresidents just get better and better. Let's start with a quick review of the 2008 season when numerous typicals netting in the 180s were taken with gun and bow, as were several non-typicals netting 230 or better. Three resident brothers and their dad shot bucks that averaged about 185 gross inches per deer -- all were bow-kills. A disabled hunter using a crossbow also shot a 12-pointer that's expected to make Boone & Crockett. That's a fine continuation from the 2007 season when the Sunflower State produced the top typical gun and bow kills in the world, according to Boone & Crockett. Additionally, some great mule deer with lots of mass, decent spreads and plenty of "treasure" points were taken in western Kansas. The 2009 seasons look just as promising for both species, although an ongoing drought in western Kansas could end up hurting antler growth, particularly on mule deer. Otherwise, the trilogy of great genetics, plenty of nutrition and a conservative approach to buck harvest continues working here.
On top of the superior trophy potential in Kansas, the opportunities for nonresident hunters are better than ever, particularly for those who are up-to-date on the state's hunting developments. The first thing to be aware of is that Kansas went to strictly a draw system last year for nonresidents, eliminating its increasingly controversial landowner permit system. That means gone are the days of skipping the draw and buying a permit from a landowner. The good news is that, unlike most western states, an increase in whitetail permit numbers allows the vast majority of those who apply to actually draw a permit. As for mule deer, those hoping to pursue mule deer via scoped muzzleloader or bow have about a 1-in-3 chance of drawing the stamp that turns a whitetail permit into an "either-species" tag.
The application period is the month of May. You can apply online at www.kdwp.state.ks.us or print out an application and send it by mail. Alternatively, you can call 620-672-5911........(continued)