The High Plains Zone, located west of US-283 highway, has a first segment that runs through Dec. 31 and a second segment that runs Jan. 12-27, 2019. The Low Plains Early Zone, which includes the Cheyenne Bottoms, Jamestown Wildlife Area and McPherson Wetlands, has a first segment that runs until Dec. 16, with a second segment Dec. 22-30. Woodcock season also opened statewide on Saturday and runs through Nov. 26.
Jamestown had between 2,000 and 4,000 ducks in the area as of Thursday, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, but birds reportedly were widespread on private lands because of recent flooding. McPherson also was under extreme flood conditions but had 4,000 to 4,500 birds in the area.
Cheyenne Bottoms estimates were around 20,000 birds, but the heavy flooding made it difficult to get a solid estimate. Poor road conditions are expected, according to the agency, and Redwing Road was closed completely at the low water crossing.
Reno County, the northern part of which sits partially in the Low Plains Early Zone, was hit pretty hard by flooding, with several people requiring rescue. Quivira National Wildlife Refuge sits along the northwest corner of the county, not far south of the Cheyenne Bottoms to the west and McPherson Wetlands to the east.
The Low Plains Late Zone, in which most of northeast Kansas resides, doesn’t start until Oct. 27 and will run through Dec. 30 for its first segment, followed by a second segment after the New Year, Jan. 19-27. That will coincide with the two-day statewide Canada goose and light goose first segment Oct. 27-28, before a second segment opens Nov. 7-Feb. 19, 2019, for both species. The light goose extended conservation season runs Feb. 18-April 30, 2019.
The white-fronted goose first segment also will begin Oct. 27, but runs through Dec. 30 before reopening in 2019 from Jan. 26-Feb. 17.
The week prior to the start of the Low Plains Late Zone season, Oct. 21-22, will be northeast Kansas’ youth waterfowl season. I look forward to hearing from hunters and seeing some photos from the hunt.
The daily bag limit for ducks will be six, including no more than five mallards — two of which may be hens; three wood ducks; three scaup; two pintails; two redheads; and two canvasbacks. Possession limit is three times the daily bag limit. Mergansers are limited to five per day, including only two hooded mergansers, while up to 15 coots may be taken per day with a 45-bird possession limit.
The Canada goose bag limit is six, including Brant, and the white-fronted goose limit is two. The light goose limit is 50 per day with no possession limit, and an unlimited bag limit during the extended season beginning in February.
A Kansas HIP stamp, state waterfowl stamp and federal waterfowl stamp are all required, in addition to a valid Kansas hunting license for hunters over the age of 16, to pursue waterfowl.
The pre-rut antlerless whitetail deer season is over, as well as the muzzleloader season, but deer hunters can still take full advantage of the archery season during the pre-rut while waiting for the regular firearm season, which runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 9 statewide.
The archery season runs through the end of the year, with short extended seasons in certain units after the New Year.
The state released a warning recently to watch out for deer on roadways, as they are currently seeking out food sources ahead of the rut as crops are harvested.
One reader snapped a couple good photos of deer in his area. Dale Hossfeld, who lives in southwest Topeka and often submits wildlife photos and trail camera videos from his backyard, had a photo of a nice buck taken on Sept. 3. He also had a photo of a doe and her twin fawns.
“I am afraid this guy’s days are numbered with a rack like this,” Hossfeld said. “I’ve offered to let him sleep in the basement until after hunting season, he said he will think about it.”
The deer population in Kansas is generally pretty healthy, but in past years there have been reports of Chronic Wasting Disease, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and foot rot. In Michigan, wildlife officials recently warned hunters to be wary of bovine tuberculosis, which can infect humans and farm animals. The disease causes legions on deer’s lymph nodes, lungs or the rest of the body. So far, Michigan is the only state where the disease has been reported in wild deer herds.