Kansas House Bill 2079 (HB 2079), which was introduced by the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, would establish a statutory white-tailed deer firearm-hunting season and require Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) to provide Kansas resident hunting license holders certain permits free of charge.
Please consider joining the National Deer Association (NDA) in opposing this legislation. HB 2079 circumnavigates Kansas’ wildlife professionals in determining season timing, length, and license allocation. These types of decisions belong in the hands of the capable biologists with KDWP. CLICK HERE to ask your lawmakers to oppose HB 2079.
HB 2079 would require KDWP to provide resident lifetime license holders with a free any-season white-tailed deer permit with the option of purchasing one additional any-season white-tailed deer permit for the same calendar year. Currently, resident lifetime license holders are required to purchase the permit. The loss of revenue generated by the purchase of these permits would hinder KDWP’s ability to carry out its mission, and it would become nearly impossible to provide enough match for federal disbursements from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Similarly, the option for a resident lifetime license holder to purchase an additional either-sex white-tailed deer permit could negatively impact KDWP’s harvest objectives by encouraging the harvest of additional antlered deer and decreasing the antlerless harvest.
HB 2079 would also add an additional seven days (a 60% increase in season length) to the beginning of the current firearm season that is open for either sex harvest. This move would shift the season closer to the whitetail rut, which could again skew antlered/antlerless harvest ratios beyond KDWP objectives. Typically, the NDA is supportive of expanded opportunities for hunters. In this case, however, HB 2079 could negatively impact harvest objectives, and statutory seasons are difficult to change and often not guided by sound wildlife management principles.
The NDA is dedicated to ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting and supports science-based management decisions. Wildlife management decisions, especially season length and tag allocations, should remain in the hands of professional wildlife managers – not lawmakers.