TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – About 100,000 people hunt deer in Kansas each year, with nearly 80,000 deer being killed. In the next week and a half more deer will be hunted than anytime during the year.
“It’s a lot of fun, there’s nothing else like it. I mean you can’t get that from a video game,” said Lyndon deer hunter, Tate Wells.
“I think everyone should try it, obviously I don’t want everyone taking all my deer,” Wells said jokingly.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) limits rifle hunting to just 12 days. Up until now, hunters have only allowed been allowed to hunt using a bow or a muzzleloader.
KDWPT said this is what helps make the state a hunting destination and keeps deer population at a sustainable level.
“The word is out about Kansas and it is primarily because we have trophy-class whitetail bucks,” said Mike Miller, KDWPT assistant secretary of fisheries, wildlife, and boating.
Hunting is estimated to bring in 400 million dollars to Kansas. Whether in-state or out-of-state, hunters are helping boost the state’s economy, especially in small towns.
“They’ll stay at a motel or a hunting lodge, they’ll spend money on gas and food everyday,” Miller said.
The state also collects fees for deer tags and hunting licenses which fund KDWPT. But for hunters, it’s always worth the price.
“You can’t explain the physiological changes that occur in your body when you’re sitting in a tree stand, or you’re sitting in a blind, and a deer is approaching. The adrenaline rush, the excitement, that level, it’s a pretty incredible feeling,” Miller said.
Wells said the adrenaline is like no other.
“When you see a big buck and you pull back and want to shoot it, that’s a lot of fun, it gets you going, it gets your adrenaline going, then once you actually pull the trigger, I mean you’re speechless,” Wells said.
Wildlife officials estimate there are about 700,000 deer in the state.
Rifle season lasts through December 13.