At the turn of the last century, whitetail deer in North America were nearly extinct due to unregulated hunting, over plowing, and poor environmental actions. After about thirty years of steady decline, the whitetail population began to increase with new regulations put in place and encouraged breeding. Now, in fact, whitetail deer are plentiful throughout the Midwest, beckoning hunters and farmers alike to get involved with a hunt. If you're looking to hunt whitetail in Kansas, here's your guide to all the essentials.
Kansas hosts a fantastic habitat for whitetail deer. Not only does Kansas' whitetail sub-species thrive on fertile land, it also takes advantage of the moderate seasonal weather. These factors combine to provide you some of the highest quality buck and deer in the Midwest. In Kansas, there is a strict regulation process, which takes the form of the draw system for non-residents. The Kansas Department of Wildlife allows bow hunting in the middle of the rut season to ensure that the mating process is complete. Also, make note that the firearm deer season begins at the end of November and is set by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT).
Don't let the technical things get in the way of your hunt. Make sure you follow all of the rules and regulations regarding the application and drawing process. In Kansas, hunters must apply for a whitetail license between April 1-30 of that year. Typically, outfitters and lodges are more advantageous in drawing permits, however, if you plan on going solo, you'll have to prepare yourself for rejection. Either way, permits will cost $332 and adding another $72 for non-resident hunters.
It's important, too, to make sure that you have the proper licenses to own and operate your gun. Of course, if you're unaccustomed to hunting whitetail, it's recommended by the KDWPT that you participate in one of many of their training courses offered at a manageable cost. Additionally, if you plan to hunt on private land, posted or not, you'll need permission from the owner of that land. You'll want to read up on the prohibitions as well, especially if you're unfamiliar with them. In any event, you'll want the local KDWPT officer's contact information on you in case of an emergency, or if unexpected questions arise. Communication with officials is key to helping you have a great hunt.
Now, if you're looking to go on a hunt with a hunting guide, it's best to look into lodges or outfitters such as the Southeast Kansas Outfitters for the service. Not only will you be housed in something more substantial than a tent, but you'll also be given a guide who knows the species and landscape well. Hiring a freelance hunter guide can be unreliable and put you in a risky situation. However, if you choose a lodge or outfitter, you'll most likely be giving an introductory session explaining the terrain, favorite spots, and answer any question you may have. The hunt usually will begin in the early hours of the morning, and, if it's important to you (most hunters would rank this as important), make sure your booking lodge or outfitter limits the number of hunting parties on any particular day.