The program is tied to the iSportsman online permitting system that is currently used on several Public Wildlife Areas and military installations across the state, and offers additional incentives for landowners to allow limited hunting access on their property. The program is now available in 18 counties surrounding Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas City and Wichita.
“We’re trying something different, because it is tougher to get properties around more urban-type areas,” said Brad Rueschhoff, district wildlife biologist at the KDWPT. “It’s really just a spinoff of our regular WIHA program, but it allows us to be a little more restricted ... some properties, we may only allow one hunter per day on a property.”
Rueschhoff said landowners who enroll their property in the program will be able to decide how many hunters have access to the property, when they can have access and with what equipment they are allowed to hunt. For instance, they can choose to only allow bowhunting on their land.
He said participating landowners will receive payment of up to $18 per acre for the length of the season — though the payment varies depending on the number of acres offered (no minimum), quality of habitat and length of the access period. A one-time Sign-up Incentive Payment also is available.
“KDWPT is optimistic that iWIHA will greatly assist our effort to provide the public with opportunities for the use and appreciation of the natural resources of Kansas,” the agency said in a news release about the program.
Counties involved in the program are Shawnee, Sedgwick, Riley, Pottawatomie, Douglas, Jackson, Atchison, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson, Miami, Franklin, Osage, Lyon, Harvey, Sumner and Cowley. There are currently tracts of land in Atchison and Osage counties that are enrolled in the program.
For more information on iWIHA, contact Rueschhoff by phone at (785) 273-6740 or visit http://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Programs/iWIHA-Limited-Access-Hunts/.
In addition to the iWIHA program, Marion Wildlife Area will begin using the iSportsman permitting system on March 31. State-owned properties that currently use the iSportsman system include Benedictine Bottoms, Buffalo Ranch (Berentz-Dick), Bolton, Buck Creek, Cheyenne Bottoms, Clinton, Elwood, Glen Elder, Hillsdale, Isabel, Jamestown, the Kansas River (Fitzgerald, MacVicar, Urish and K-18/Ogden Boat Ramp), LaCygne, Lovewell, Lyon, Marais des Cygnes, McPherson, Melvern, Milford, Neosho, Noe, Perry, Slate Creek, Texas Lake and Tuttle Creek.
Hunters can check in to an iSportsman property as early as 8 p.m. the night before, or check out, by going online to https://tinyurl.com/y97tq7oy or by calling 1 (844) 500-0825.
For more great hunting and fishing coverage, check out the Rouse Outdoors YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/RouseOutdoors.