Getting A Handle On The Deer Situation


Published: July - 2002

Since Kansas opened its borders to out-of-state deer hunters back in 1994, I've filed a number of reports on the unfolding situation for nonresidents. It's definitely time for another update. First of all, it's worth noting that quality whitetail and mule deer bucks are indeed still taken here. Whitetails in the 150-170 gross B & C range are routinely taken by good hunters in good areas. Last year, a resident bowhunter took a typical buck that green-score netted 199-plus points. A resident bowhunter also got an incredible mule deer buck that dry-score netted the same.

Nonresidents have done well, too. In one camp, five of seven out-of-state muzzleloaders took mule deer over 30 inches. And nonresident whitetail hunters routinely take some of the better whitetails because they're the ones paying the most money to hunt the best places.

But things have been, and always will be, far from perfect for deer hunting in Kansas. Early on, we reported how unrealistic expectations of Kansas guides and nonresident hunters led to widespread disappointment. Residents who'd taken a few good bucks themselves falsely thought it would be easy to make money by getting several clients good bucks. They've since learned that luck can get you one good buck, maybe two. To put together three or more requires great places and lots of hard work, not to mention quality hunters.

And therein lies the background for a new "buyer beware" situation in Kansas. Back in 2000, the Kansas legislature mandated that half of all nonresident permits would be sold to Kansas landowners who could make a profit transferring them to out-of-state hunters. Ranchers and farmers who previously saw deer as pests needing to be eradicated instantly began to see them as a new source of income. Some began to sell their permits - which can be easy or hard to draw, depending on the unit - to clients of established outfitters. Others began to try to increase their margins by selling directly to hunters. Such permits are commonly going for $1,000 to $2,500.

As........(continued)

 
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