PUBLIC DEER MEETINGS CONTINUE
KDWP seeks public input on deer proposals in Salina, Colby, Phillipsburg and Hays
PRATT -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) will conduct a public meeting on draft deer permitting regulations in Salina on Monday, August 7. The meeting will take place at Kansas Wesleyan, Peter Science Hall, 100 E. Claflin. On August 8, a public meeting will be conducted in Colby at the Community Building, 285 E. 5th. On August 9, a public meeting will be conducted in Phillipsburg at the Huck Boyd Center, 860 Park Street. On August 10, a public meeting will be conducted in Hays at the Hays High School Auditorium, 2300 E. 13th. The meeting in Phillipsburg will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. The meetings at Salina, Colby, and Hays will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.
KDWP is seeking input on draft deer permitting recommendations that will be presented at the beginning of the meeting. The recommendations were drafted at the request of the Kansas Legislature’s House Wildlife Parks and Tourism Committee during the 2005 session. The Committee asked department staff to develop recommendations that would condense and simplify deer-related statutes. The resulting Deer Task Force, comprised of 10 department staff from around the state, soon learned that it couldn’t change one aspect of the deer permit program without affecting it all. Comprehensive recommendations were drafted and presented to the 2006 Legislature in January with a request to delay final recommendations until 2007 so that public input could be heard.
Key issues guiding task force efforts include the following:
- permit allocation and distribution should be a function of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and opportunity to obtain permits should be fair and equitable. Comments from hunters, landowners and outfitters indicate an overwhelming dislike for the current transferable permit system;
- the deer resource, especially mule deer in the west, must be conserved. Deer populations should be maintained within levels sustainable by the habitat and within tolerance levels of people for the damages and conflicts that deer may cause. Animal health issues must be addressed as they pertain to wild deer and captive cervid operations. Deer herd characteristics must be maintained within aesthetic and quality standards desired by people;
- Kansas’ deer hunting tradition must grow. The complexity and restriction of current permitting procedures and regulations have kept the Kansas deer hunting tradition from being what it could be;
- stakeholder input is necessary;
- the permitting process and hunting regulations can be simplified; and
- deer hunting opportunities can be improved.
To read the complete draft recommendations, go to www.kdwp.state.ks.us and type “deer task force” in the search box. More meetings will be conducted around the state during the month of August. For more information, contact Mike Miller, 620-672-0765.