Deer Hunting in Kansas

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  • B
  • 690,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 108,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $70

    Hunting license is $27.50. Deer tag is $42.50.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $540

    Hunting license is $97.50. Deer tag is $442.50. If you don't draw a tag, preference points are $26.50. The optional mule deer stamp (which validates your deer tag as whitetail or mule deer) is $152.50.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 200"

    The top-scoring Kansas typical was taken in 1995 by Albert J. Daniels. It's the 18th-largest typical whitetail on record.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 473

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 295"

    Picked up by James E. Wanklyn in Marshall Co. in 2012. The buck is the 11th-largest non-typical whitetail on record.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 416

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Art Helin arrowed this big Kansas buck. (Photo courtesy of Art Helin)

Season Dates (2020):

Archery season opens September 14 and runs through December 31. Muzzleloader season is September 14 to 27. Firearms season is December 2 to 13. Youth and disability season is September 5 to 13. There are also extended archery and firearms seasons for certain areas. These are the dates set when published. Please check the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Kansas hasn’t received an A for quite a while now. There are several reasons for that. The "secret" of Kansas hunting is out, hunters have flocked there, and the hunting quality now reflects that. Non-resident hunting license sales have steadily increased throughout the years, and public lands reflect it. Overall harvest isn’t close to what it was in the late 90s, and has been declining ever since 2010. Plus, tags are expensive, and becoming more so. Third, there isn't a lot of public land. The state's Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) program isn’t as robust as it once was. Each year, the properties enrolled in the program change, decrease in number, and seem to decline in quality. Lastly, more non-resident hunters apply every year, which means it's even harder to draw. Leftover tags are almost a thing of the past, if not already.

Still, the Sunflower State’s whitetail hunting is good, even by midwestern standards, especially on private and public areas with good management. This is still a solid destination for both resident and non-resident deer hunters.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

For those who pull a tag and find a spot to go, the early muzzleloader season is greatly underutilized. Only 7,000 hunters carry a smoke pole during that season. Plus, deer are still in summer patterns at that time. Also, according to Kansas officials, very few hunters go afield during October. You can find yourself with little competition during this period, too.

Regarding trophy potential, the eastern half of the state cranks out Booners on a consistent basis. Anderson, Bourbon, Butler, Chautauqua, Cowley, Crawford, Doniphan, Greenwood, Jefferson, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Republic, Riley, Pottawatomie and Shawnee take top honors in that region. The south-central part of the state does well, too. Barber, Clark, Comanche, Harper, Kingman, Reno and Sumner are all contenders. Records aside, don’t forget about the prairie country in the southwestern region of the state. Few hunters consider it, and those who do find pleasant surprises along timbered creek drainages.

Finally, note that regulations changed this year to allow hunters to quarter an antlerless deer in the field without first electronically registering it. However, they must still check game, and retain proof of sex attached to a hind quarter until they do so. This change is to help prevent the spread of CWD by leaving high-risk carcass parts (with the most prions) at the kill site.

Kansas Harvests

  • Colette Coursey

    Elk , Kansas

  • Lisa West

    Cowley, Kansas

From the Realtree Trophy Den