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Early Greater Prairie-chicken season begins Sept. 15

Early season provides hunters with unique, challenges.

Early season provides hunters with unique, challenges.

Load up your bird dog and dig out that hunter orange because the Early Prairie Chicken Season is almost here. Beginning Sept. 15, hunters with a valid Kansas hunting license and a Greater Prairie Chicken Permit ($2.50) can hunt in Greater Prairie Chicken Unit, which includes northwest, northcentral and eastern portions of the state. The early greater prairie chicken season will run Sept. 15- Oct. 15, 2014. The regular, traditional prairie chicken season is Nov. 15, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015. The daily bag limit is two birds and possession limit is eight.
The Early Greater Prairie Chicken Season was established to allow hunters to walk up birds using dogs, which is usually not effective during the traditional season. In September and October, greater prairie chickens may be in loose family groups and are more likely to hold for hunters with pointing dogs. After a cold snap reduces insect populations in the tallgrass prairie, prairie chickens will feed in crop stubble fields. During the regular season, hunters commonly station themselves around these feed fields to pass shoot prairie chickens flying in.
Both hunting methods are challenging. During the early season, hunters and dogs must cover vast areas of prairie searching for birds. During the regular season, hunters must locate fields that birds are using then hope those birds pass within shotgun range when they fly in. And even when a hunter is in the right spot, the fast-flying birds are difficult quarry.
Greater prairie chicken permits can be purchased wherever licenses are sold and online at ksoutdoors.com.
For more information, consult the2014 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary online at www.ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations.