Commission votes to keep coyote hunting regulations as they are
At the public hearing conducted June 27 in Garden City, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission rejected a recommendation to prohibit coyote hunting with the use of vehicles and two-way radios during the regular firearm deer season. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) law enforcement staff requested changes to the coyote hunting regulations because of incidents involving individuals using vehicles and radios to hunt deer under the guise of coyote hunting.
Current regulations allow coyotes to be hunted from vehicles and with the use of radios.
However, game animals, including deer, may not be hunted from vehicles or using radios and cell phones. KDWPT law enforcement officers expressed frustration with enforcing those big game regulations.
During the Workshop Session on this regulation at the April meeting in Wichita, the Commission listened to coyote hunters who felt they were being punished for the actions of a few hunting deer illegally. Ultimately, commissioners agreed. However, the commission asked for documented incidents after the 2013 firearm deer season and promised to revisit this issue early next year.
In other public hearing items, the commission approved regulations pertaining to agritourism, which were brought into the KDWPT regulation system as a result of ERO 36, which moved agritourism duties under KDWPT.
Commissioners approved a variety changes to furharvesting regulations including allowing the use of all foothold traps for water sets (only smooth-jawed traps may be used on land), and allowing incidentally trapped muskrats taken by beaver trappers after the muskrat season has closed to be possessed with a limit of 10 per season. Otter pelts must now be tagged similar to bobcat pelts, and the lower canine teeth must be submitted to KDWPT at the time of tagging. The season quota of 100 otters was removed, as well as the requirement to notify KDWPT within 24 hours of otter harvest. Licensed fur dealers now have until May 1 to submit all record books to KDWPT, and the running season was extended 7 days to November 8.
The commission also approved a regulation requiring all hunters who hunt big game or wild turkeys with a crossbow to obtain a free Crossbow Survey Number from KDWPT before hunting. The number can be obtained online. And deer season dates specific to the Fort Riley Military Reservation were approved, and can be viewed at www.ksoutdoors.com.
The commission approved several recommendations to the Public Lands reference document, which lists use restrictions on specific public lands, including requiring the use of non-toxic shot on designated dove fields. Other Public Lands recommendations approved include a change in the definition of blinds and stands allowed (removing the word “tree” before stand), as well as the definition of baiting so that certain food plot practices used to attract doves are allowed.
The last public hearing item presented to the commission was the recommendation for the early teal season. Commissioners approved a 16-day season in the Low Plains Zone (east of Hwy 283, Sept. 7-22, 2013, and a 9-day season for the High Plains Zone (west of Hwy 283, Sept. 14-22, 2013. Because of much higher than average blue-winged teal numbers surveyed, the USFWS frameworks allowed for an increase in the daily bag limit for teal during the early season from 4 to 6, which was approved.