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Hunting in State of Kansas

Throughout continental North America., there are very few places that offer better hunting experience than the State of Kansas. Kansas is famously known for all hunting activities ranging from big game such as elks all the way to small game in the form of grey squirrels

Here are all the absolutely noteworthy things that hunting enthusiasts and other wildlife seekers ought to know if they are to have an experience of a lifetime in Kansas. Readers can visit the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks for specific details related to current hunting times, schedules and fees.

Annual Hunting license in Kansas and how it is obtained

The State of Kansas requires each and every individual engaged in hunting to have a legal hunting license unless exempt by Kansas Law (see below for exemptions). Hunting license in Kansas can be categorized into two: residential hunting license and non-residential hunting license.

Resident Hunting License in the State of Kansas

  • The law states that legal residents of the State of Kansas between ages of 16 through to 74 must have a resident hunting license (unless exempt by Kansas Law).
  • How does the State of Kansas define a legal resident? It defines such persons as those who have resided legally in the state for 60 or more consecutive days. This said person is required to have domiciliary resolve by maintaining a fixed abode of residency in Kansas. Simply owning a property in Kansas alone does not grant the person a residency status.
  • To prove a residency status, the state requires the following: voter registration card, income tax reports, or driver’s license.
  • Also, persons who have resided in the State for a year or more qualify to apply for a lifetime hunting license. The law stipulates that the applicant should have maintained a permanent abode for duration no less than one year prior to filing his/her application.
  • Kansas residents who fall between the ages of 65 to 74 are entitled to apply for a lifetime combination hunting/fishing license at a reduced price.
  • Nonresidents of secondary and post-secondary students at Kansas schools and live in Kansas qualify to apply for a resident hunting licenses. They must however have a proof or evidence showing that they are Kansas students.

Nonresident Hunting License in the State of Kansas

A non-resident of Kansas State is defined as one who has not legally resided in the Kansas State for up to 60 or more consecutive days. These persons, irrespective of their ages, will be eligible for consideration of a non-residential hunting permit.

Hunting License Exemptions

If a person falls under any one of the following categories, he or she is not required to have a hunting license:

  1. Residents of 15 years and younger
  2. Residents of 75 years and older
  3. Nonresidents who use KDWPT issued field trial permits
  4. Land owners or tenants of a land that has been leased for agriculture. Also, persons who can be classified as immediate family members living with the resident landowner and resident or non-resident tenants

Landowner/Tenant Hunting Permits

  • The law categorizes landowners as Kansas residents in the possession of 80 acres or more farm or ranch land. The applicant must provide the location and unit of the land owned when applying for the landowner/tenant hunting permit.
  • A tenant is seen as any resident or non-resident actively involved in an agricultural setup of 80 acres or more on a farm or ranch land. There must be some sort of financial investment or active interest in the management of such said farm or ranch land. Direct or immediate family members residing with the above-mentioned category of landowner/tenant are entitled to a resident hunting permit.

Special Hunting License in the State of Kansas

These licenses are valid only within those places designated as controlled shooting areas in Kansas. It does not require a hunter education certificate. For further information about these areas please visit this link. Also, readers can explore this non-exhaustive list of controlled shooting area services and facilities.

American Indian Hunting License

The Kansas Law (K.S.A. 32-929) grants a free license to persons who have at least one-sixteenth (1/16) Indian blood or roots. The applicant must, however, provide sufficient proof and evidence of his/her Indian lineage. Also, the applicant is required to be enrolled as a member of the federally recognized (United States Department of Interior) American Indian tribal membership roll. In proving his/her lineage, the applicant must provide a legal certified document obtained from the tribal office.

Kansas residents who can prove, within the federal laws, their Native American Kansas heritage get all their licenses for free.

Persons with this permit must still comply with all the provisions of the Kansas State’s rules and regulations on hunting, fishing or trapping (see below). He/she must in all times carry the Kansas Indian License when hunting, fishing or trapping.

This permit does not exempt persons who do not meet the birthday statutory requirement in terms of hunter education and fur harvesting education. Persons of this nature must provide proof of hunting and fur harvesting education as required by the Kansas State laws.

Eligible applicant wishing to acquire a Kansas Indian License should contact Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks office .

Hunter Education Requirement

Depending on the hunter’s age, he or she may need to successfully complete the Kansas Hunter Education Certification program before becoming eligible to purchase a hunting license. Hunter education is mandatory for anyone born on or after July 1, 1957. If you are under 27 years old, you must, at all times while hunting, have on you a Kansas or other state approved hunter education card. The minimum age to be certified in Kansas is 11 years old. Up until 12 years old, it is prohibited to hunt without adult supervision.

When hunting on one’s own land, hunter education is not required.

If not directly supervised by an adult 18 or older, persons 15 years and younger cannot hunt without a hunter education certification.

The hunter education course comes in two formats: “traditional” classroom form and an internet-based format. Interested applicants can consult this link for further information.

Apprentice Hunting License

Issued to persons 16 or older, an apprentice hunting license is in lieu of the hunter education. Thus, it allows for a one-time deferral of the hunter education (only valid through the calendar year in which it was bought). It is issued to the applicant for the same price as regular permits. The holder of these licenses must be under the direct supervision of a licensed adult 18 or older. These licenses are available at any Kansas license dealer and online.

Hunters with some Physical Impairment

Provisions have been made for hunters with permanent physical disabilities to apply for Disability Assistance Permit and/or Crossbow and Vehicle Permits.

The Disability Assistance Permit ensures that persons with permanent physical disabilities are out of harm’s way while hunting. It is for this reason why the law requires these permit holders too, at all times, have a designated licensed person assisting him/her during hunting or fishing or trapping expeditions. The designated licensed aides do not necessarily need to be in possession of a hunting license. Further information and details about license applications for persons with disability can be found at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.

With regards to the Crossbow and Vehicle permitsthe physically disabled persons are granted the rights to hunt from a parked vehicle as well as hunt big game with a crossbow or draw-locking device. Persons with this disability permit are prohibited from hunting migratory game birds from their vehicles.

Fur harvester License

Fur harvester is a hunter engaged in the hunting, trapping or the collection of the pelts of fur-bearing animals. In order to hunt, trap, or pursue fur-bearing animals in the State of Kansas a fur harvester license is required by law. Also, these permits should be obtained by persons engaged in hunting these fur-bearing animals for the purpose of selling their pelts.

License Exemptions for Fur harvester

According to the State of Kansas, it is not mandatory to be in possession of a fur harvester license if the person is:

  1. a Kansas resident of 13 and younger and is being accompanied by a licensed furharvester
  2. an owner of land or tenant of a land that has been leased or rented for agricultural purposes
  3. an immediate family member who resides with people stated in (2)
  4. a non-resident who uses the KDWP field trial permit

Again, it must be noted that free licenses are issued to Kansas residents who hold the status of a legally-defined Native American.

Note: A fur harvesting license is mandatory for all the above when selling furbearers or their pelts.

Hunting Licenses for National Guard, Disabled Veterans, and Military Personnel

Active members of the National Guard of Kansas, as well as disabled war veterans, get free park vehicle permits and hunting and fishing licenses. Disabled veterans must have a certified service-related disability of 30 percent or more. Honorably discharged veterans who reside in Kansas get free hunting and fishing licenses.

Irrespective of where a military person is stationed, it is mandatory that he or she be in possession of a hunting or furharvesting licenses before hunting or furharvesting. This means that military personnel resident in Kansas is required to acquire resident hunting and furharvesting permit before engaging in hunting or furharversting. Equally, in that vein, the military personnel who are non-residents of Kansas must acquire non-resident hunting permits.

The law grants resident hunting license to active-duty members (regardless of duty station) of the military who were Kansas residents prior to them enlisting. Inclusive in this is also their immediate family members living with them. Active-service members stationed in Kansas, but nonresidents, can purchase a resident license and permit. However, they are excluded from buying lifetime licenses.

Residents of Kansas who are under 15 can obtain a fur harvester license at a lower price.

Application Process and Fees for Annual Hunting Licenses

Those seeking to purchase a hunting license in Kansas can secure it online or from licensed agents, or the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks offices. The annual hunting license validity period is for 365 days from the date of purchase. Applicants could, however, opt for a multi-year and lifetime license.  As stated in the preceding section, a lifetime hunting license can be issued to persons who have resided in the State of Kansas for a year or more. For more information about the hunting permit application process and current fees kindly follow this link.

General Hunting Regulations in Kansas

Here are some general hunting regulations worth knowing before embarking on a hunting expedition in Kansas:

  • The State of Kansas completely forbids the hunting, shooting, or trapping on private land without the owner’s approval. Also, a hunter requires the permission of the landowner adjacent to the roadside that is being hunted.  A hunter will need written permission from the owner of the property where a wounded game enters. Click this link to obtain the Landowner permission card.
  • Before giving a game out to another person, the donor’s name, address and hunting license number is required. A signature and date is also required. Donors are advised to download forms from this link.
  • The state of Kansas prohibits the sale of wild game meat. However, furbearer meat is saleable (see this link for more details).
  • Any game wounded or killed must be found and retrieved by the hunter.
  • Minus the exceptions of the Disability permit, hunting waterfowl from a stationary boat, and coyotes, hunters are forbidden to shot at, kill, or pursue any game with an aircraft, motor car, motorboat or any other vehicle.
  • Hunters must desist from the usage of artificial light (except in rare cases)
  • Hunting snares are forbidden in dryland sets. However, landowners and families are allowed to use snares on their lands. All snares must bear the name of the hunter or the Department KDWPT issued number.
  • Hunters are not allowed to communicate the location of game animals over the radio or any other mechanical device. The exception here is coyotes.
  • Shooting at a stationary wild gamebird is completely prohibited. The bird must be in flight. Turkeys can be shot at any time, except when sitting in trees.

For further details pertaining to the general hunting regulations in the State of Kansas, hunters can visit this link.

Places to Hunt in Kansas and Maps

Places to hunt in the State of Kansas can be categorized into 3 broad areas. There is the public land (mainly composed of wildlife), walk-in hunting areas, and private ranches and outfitters.

    1. Public lands for huntingThere are about 300,000 acres of public land locations available for hunting enthusiasts. Although this figure is a minuscule amount compared to other states in the U.S, the Kansas State office has one of the best user-friendly navigated maps in the country. Click on this link to use the State’s user-friendly navigated map to view public land areas. The public State hunting lands have been divided into 5 key regions: NorthwestNortheastSouthwestSouth Central, and Southeast. These areas are specifically for wildlife. As result camping activities can be a bit limited.  a) There is the Flint National Wildlife Refuge that has about 18,500 acres of designated spaces for waterfowl hunting. Flint offers deer hunting without rifles, turkey and other small-game hunting.  b)  The Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge with 10,778 acres of land has a serene atmosphere for waterfowl hunting opportunities.  c)  The Melvern Wildlife Area in Southeast Kansas boasts of 10,100 acres. It has about 4,000 acres of native prairie grass and 2,000 acres of croplands ideal for quail and pheasant hunting.
    2. Walk-in hunting areasIn addition to the above public lands, Kansas State is known to have one of the best access programs to private land. These access programs, known as walk-in hunting areas, give the public access to hunt on private lands and ranches. So far, it has close to a million acres that are seasonally opened to all and sundry in the hunting industry. Some of the game it offers are deer and turkey.
    3. Private hunting facilities, guides, and OutfittersKansas State has about 1.5 million acres of land dedicated to outfitters and other privately managed facilities. These service providers have varying fee structures. Often times more expensive as compared to public lands, but the services they offer are certainly one of the best in the country. These comprehensive services range from equipment, training, supervision, and lodging. Below are some of the most famous and well-renowned outfitters in Kansas:

To explore other private hunting guides and outfitters, please click on this link.

Kansas Hunting Seasons

Generally speaking, the majority of Kansas hunting seasons fall between September and May.  However, this may vary depending on the type of game and species of animal. The major animals hunted include deer, turkey, antelope, elk, and small game. The following extract provides a brief description of the hunting season vis-à-vis the type of game to be hunted:

Big Game Hunting Seasons

Big game hunting in Kansas encompasses antelope, deer, and elk.

  • Antelope Hunting Season: In terms of antelope hunting, the pronghorn species is the most common specie. There are three main seasons for antelope hunting – Archery, Muzzleloader, and Firearm Seasons.
  • Deer Hunting Season: There are two main deer species in Kansas State: the white-tailed deer and the mule deer. The white-tailed deer is found statewide. Majority of them can be found in the eastern part of Kansas. On the other hand, mule deer are mainly found in the western side of the state. The hunting season for deer (white-tailed and mule deer) is generally categorized into two: Statewide archery season and Fort Riley.
  • Elk Hunting Season: In the State of Kansas, there is a 2,200-acre enclosure for elks as well as bison. Firearm, Archery, Firearm Elk Extended and Muzzleloader Elk Seasons are the major elk hunting seasons in Kansas:
  • Turkey Hunting Seasons

The State of Kansas is littered with a number of hunting places for turkeys. Dominating the Turkey wild species in the western part of the State is the Rio Grande subspecies. In the north-central part of the state, there are vast stretches of the hybrid Rio Grande/Eastern birds. The hunting seasons for turkey can be categorized into two broad categories: fall season and spring seasons.

Migratory Birds Hunting Seasons

There are quite a number of migratory birds famously hunted in the State of Kansas. Examples include crow, dove, ducks, geese, rail, sandhill crane, snipe and teal.

Furbearer Hunting Seasons

Some of the species of furbearers that can be hunted in Kansas include coyote, opossum, swift fox, weasel, badger, mink, bobcat, red fox, striped skunk, raccoon, and gray fox.

Upland bird Hunting Seasons

There are three main species here under the upland bird hunting season: Bobwhite Quail, Pheasant, and Quail.

Small Game Hunting Seasons

There are four main animals here: bullfrog, crow, squirrel, and rabbit.

This link provides further and more specific details and datelines pertaining to the various hunting seasons in the State of Kansas.

Accommodation Facilities in the State of Kansas for Hunters

Every good hunter knows that the catch of any day is only as good as the quality of rest he/she had the previous night. Proper rest allows for all your batteries (pun intended) to be recharged and made ready for the following day. The following are some of the most pristine and robust facilities that cater for all your accommodation needs in the State of Kansas:

Lil’ Toledo Lodge
Address: 10600 170th Rd, Chanute, KS 66720, USA
Telephone: 620-244-5668

Acorns Resort
Address: 3710 Farnum Creek Rd, Milford, KS 66514, USA
Telephone: 785-463-4000

Deer Grove RV Park
Address: 2873 US-54, El Dorado, KS 67042, USA
Telephone: 316-321-6272

Ravenwood Lodge
Address: 10147 SW 61st St, Topeka, KS 66610, USA
Telephone: 785-256-6444

Cloverleaf Suites – Kansas City – Overland Park, Kansas
Address: 6300 W 110th St, Overland Park, KS 66211, USA
Telephone: 913-491-3333

American Motel
Address: 7949 Splitlog Ave, Kansas City, KS 66112, USA
Telephone: 913-299-2999

La Quinta Inn & Suites Overland Park
Address: 10610 Marty St, Overland Park, KS 66212, USA
Telephone: 913-648-5555

Embassy Suites by Hilton Kansas City Overland Park
Address: 10601 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66212, USA
Telephone: 913-649-7060

Red Roof Inn & Conference Center Wichita Airport
Address: 6815 W Kellogg Dr, Wichita, KS 67209, USA
Telephone: 316-942-5600

Clarion Inn
Address: 1911 E Kansas Ave, Garden City, KS 67846, USA
Telephone: 620-275-7471

Frequently Asked Questions about hunting in Kansas State

Q. How much is the Kansas hunting license?

A. There are several forms of the hunting license in Kansas such as one-year residential and nonresidential licenses, a lifetime hunting license, an apprentice hunting license, multi-year license. For up-to-date fee structure of any of the above licenses please visit this link.

Q. What do I need to have in order to acquire a Kansas State hunting license?

A. First and foremost, all applicants born on or after July 1, 1957, need to have completed the hunter education course (see this link) before he/she can be eligible for a license. The minimum age to be certified in Kansas is 11 years old.

Subsequently, you will need to furnish the state with your certification and identification (such as voter registration card or income tax reports, or driver’s license).

Q. Do I have to take a Kansas Education course even though I have certification from another state?

A. No. The Kansas state officials accept certifications from all states or provinces in the U.S. In some cases hunting licenses from foreign countries are even accepted.

Q. I have extensive experience and skillsets from years of hunting at home. Is it really mandatory for me to have the Kansas Education Certification?

A. Yes. Applicants born on or after July 1, 1957, are required to get certified before hunting anywhere in Kansas. The only exemptions are people under age 16. These persons must at all times be under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or above.

Q. What is an apprentice hunting license?

A. It exempts the person 16 or older for a maximum of 2 years only from acquiring the Hunter Education Certification. After the 2-year grace period, it becomes illegal to hunt without certification.

Apprentice licenses from other states in the U.S.  are not valid in Kansas

Q. I am a military person, trained and skilled in combat and jungle affairs. Do I really need to have a hunting license or some Education Certification?

A. Yes! Yes! All armed service personnel requires a hunting license. They also need to go through certification in order to process their license. The delicate nature of hunting (in some cases in the presence of civilians) requires something more than just military training.

Q. I have my National Rifle Association hunter safety certification. Certainly, that should be enough to meet the Kansas Laws. Right?

A. Yes. You could be exempt if the original NRA card is submitted.

Q. How flexible is the hunting education course program? Can the course be taken in a different region?

A. Yes. Irrespective of which region you are in, the course schedule will meet your demands. There are even internet-based courses.

Q. I lost my hunting license. Can I get a new one?

A. A license purchased online can be replaced (click on this link). If the license was purchased from a local vendor, then you must return to the vendor to get a replacement.

Q. Can I shoot a game and let someone else tag it?

A. No. According to the Kansas Laws, the person who crippled or shot at the game must be the one who tags game. The person must also accompany the game to the registration office. Subsequently, the game can be transported by anyone.

Q. I own several properties in Kansas, but I do not live in the state often. Am I still eligible for a residential hunting license?

A. A resident is defined as someone who has lived in the state for 60 or more consecutive days. If you haven’t lived continuously for that duration, you will not be eligible for a residential hunting license.

Q. I am a student in Kansas State, but I am not a resident of Kansas. What type of license will be granted to me?

A. If you have proof showing that your school in Kansas, then you qualify for a resident hunting license.

Q. How do I prove my Native American ancestry in order to qualify for the American Indian Hunting license?

A. You will have to be enrolled in some federally recognized American Indian membership roll. Then you need to obtain a document from the tribal office. The document must state clearly what extent of your roots makes up Native American blood. The law requires at least one-sixteenth roots.

Remember, you get all hunting licenses in the state of Kansas for free!!!

Q. What about people with a disability? Does the state make provision for them?

A. They can apply for Disability Assistance Permit and/or Crossbow and Vehicle Permits. When hunting, however, they must be in the company of a designated licensed person to assist them. Check the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism for further information.

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