TOPEKA (KSNT) – State wildlife experts say they are exploring issues related to the baiting and feeding of wildlife in Kansas.

Nadia Marji with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) said in a press release that mounting concerns within the scientific community regarding increasing numbers of transmissible diseases among wildlife have prompted a new study into baiting and feeding wildlife. These activities are the primary causes of the unnatural congregation of wildlife and the subsequent spreading of disease rates faster than would normally be expected.

Marji said KDWP biologists and disease experts began talking about this topic during a panel presentation on baiting wildlife with voices of authority from Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma. The presentation, which can be viewed online by clicking here, is set to be followed by a series of informational forums starting on Sept. 21, 2023. KDWP biologists and members of the scientific community will continue to look for input from the public and share research and best management practices going forward.

Baiting wildlife is described by the KDWP as: “The act of intentionally placing food, or nutrient substances, to manipulate the behavior of wildlife species.” Marji said this is not to be confused with backyard birdfeeders or food plots planted in coordination with local and regional agricultural guidelines.

Marji said the first KDWP Informational Forum on Baiting and Feeding Wildlife will be a joint event between the KDWP and the K-State Research and Extension Office. It will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21 at Kansas State University in Manhattan. Those wishing to attend can park on campus after 5:30 p.m. in the lot on the southwest corner of Claflin Road and Mid-campus Drive. Attendees can then proceed to K-State’s Leadership Studies Building where the meeting will be held in Room 114 of McVay Towne Hall.

While no official regulation changes are currently being recommended by the KDWP, Marji said wildlife biologists and disease experts intend to make baiting wildlife and disease transmission regular discussion items during commission meetings. The baiting of wildlife remains a legal activity on all private lands in Kansas.