Improving the public land experience for bird hunters

To ensure that Kansas’ natural resources, especially public lands, are accessible and enjoyable to all, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks commissioners recently approved staff recommendations for new regulations.

According to the agency, regulatory changes related to waterfowl hunting in some wetlands managed by the ministry and will come into effect this fall – have a common goal of improving the overall experience and safety of waterfowl hunters using the wetlands. Kansas public lands.

“Last season, many waterfowl hunters expressed concerns about overcrowding, dangerously operated vessels and unnecessarily disturbed waterfowl on public lands,” said Stuart Schrag, director of the KDWP’s public lands division. “We took these concerns seriously and immediately began to develop a plan to significantly improve the overall hunting experience of our hunters on public lands in the future. It will not solve all the issues that need to be addressed, but we are confident that these changes will be a big step in the right direction.

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

In an effort to discourage the unsafe exploitation of motorized boats in the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area – and to reduce unnecessary disturbance to waterfowl in the marsh – a “No Wake” bylaw is now in effect for all pools open to people. motorized boats.

To enhance the experience for all public land users at Cheyenne Bottoms, no motorized boats will be allowed in Pool 4A after 1:00 p.m. Pool 3A is completely closed to motorized boats.

“To ensure hunters are aware of and comply with these new regulations, the department will bring in additional officers to help patrol and educate hunters at Cheyenne Bottoms throughout the season,” said Col. Greg Kyser, director of the KDWP Law Enforcement Division. “It’s a big complex, and there is definitely enough room for everyone, so we just want to make sure that things are going well for all parties involved, and that conflicts are kept to a minimum.”

I-Sportsman recording system

In addition to verifying compliance with all waterfowl hunting regulations, public lands and law enforcement personnel will also verify that hunters are using the i-Sportsman electronic registration / control (Home – Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism – iSportsman). -Output system.

“The data provided by the i-Sportsman program has proven invaluable in having informed discussions and making informed decisions that benefit the majority of our public land users,” added Schrag. “Without i-Sportsman compliance on properties where it’s needed, justifying the appropriate regulatory changes can be much more difficult. “

Neosho Wildlife Area

A novelty for the hunters of the Neosho wildlife reserve near Saint-Paul will be a temporal restriction of access to wetlands to ensure that no group of hunters enjoys an unfair advantage over others in obtaining a hunting place. At the public hearing on June 17, KDWP commissioners approved a change in regulation that prevents access to Neosho wetlands before 5 a.m. and requires all hunters to vacate the wetland within an hour. follows the sunset.

McPherson Valley Wetlands

Finally, the KDWP commissioners voted and approved a bylaw banning all use of motorboats on McPherson Valley wetlands (McPherson Valley Wetlands / South Central / Wildlife Areas / Locations / KDWP Info / KDWP – KDWP (ksoutdoors.com) ) – a wetland complex located within an 80 km radius of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Sanctuary and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, providing a combined area of ​​1,750 acres of water

“We hope this year’s waterfowl seasons are safe and enjoyable for everyone on Kansas public lands,” said Schrag. “We are simply asking users to be respectful and courteous to others, and to remember that these are shared resources for everyone, including wildlife. “

For a complete list of Kansas waterfowl hunting regulations, visit ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations.

To create a free i-Sportsman account, go to kdwpt.isportsman.net.

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