TOPEKA (KSNT) – Big changes could be on the way for turkey hunters in Kansas depending on the results of an upcoming meeting of state wildlife officials.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Commission is set to meet later this month on April 27 to hold final discussions on several topics such as bag limits and permits for turkey season in the spring and fall and waterfowl season dates and bag limits, according to KDWP spokeswoman Nadia Marji. Commissioners will then hold a vote on each topic.

The fall turkey season stands to be completely removed during this upcoming discussion, according to Marji. The number of fall turkey hunters across the state has fallen greatly since 2015 at a rate of 20% per year. A decision made in 2019 reduced fall turkey season dates from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31 to Oct. 1 through Nov. 10 starting in the fall of 2020. Staff are currently recommending the fall season be suspended starting with the 2023 season.

The spring turkey season stands to have its bag limit reduced, according to Marji. Staff are recommending bringing bag limits down in Unit 1 (northwest) and Unit 2 (northcentral) from two birds to one. Another recommendation is the reduction of nonresident hunting participation by 25% in each unit through a draw system. Staff are also pushing for Unit 4 permits to not be valid in adjacent units. The proposed dates for the 2024 spring turkey season can be found below:

  • Youth/hunters with disabilities: April 1-16, 2024
  • Archery: April 8-16, 2024
  • Firearm: April 17-May 31, 2024

Marji also included the proposed 2023-2024 waterfowl season dates and bag limits up for discussion at the upcoming meeting:

  • Teal (High Plains): Sept. 16-24, 2023
  • Teal (Low Plains): Sept. 9-24, 2023
  • Youth, Veteran, Active Military (High Plains): Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2023
  • Youth, Veteran, Active Military (Low Plains Early): Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2023
  • Youth, Veteran, Active Military (Low Plains Late): Oct. 21-22, 2023
  • Youth, Veteran, Active Military (Low Plains Southeast): Nov. 4-5, 2023
  • Duck (High Plains): Oct. 7-Dec. 31, 2023 and Jan. 19-28, 2024
  • Duck (Low Plains Early): Oct. 7-Dec. 3, 2023 and Dec. 23, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024
  • Duck (Low Plains Late): Oct. 28-Dec. 31, 2023 and Jan. 20-28, 2024
  • Duck (Low Plains Southeast): Nov. 11, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024 and Jan. 13-28, 2024
  • White-fronted Geese: Oct. 28-Dec. 31, 2023 and Jan. 20-Feb. 11, 2024
  • Dark and Light Geese: Oct. 28-29, 2023 and Nov. 2, 2023-Feb. 11, 2024
  • Light Goose Conservation Order: Feb. 12-April 30, 2024

The commissioners will hold their public meeting at the Wyandotte County Historical Museum located at 631 North 126th St. in Bonner Springs, according to Marji. Public comment is encouraged on non-agenda items is encouraged following the public hearing portion of the meeting.

This will be followed by a general discussion period before the commissioners hear several proposed regulation changes that may be voted on at a future date, according to Marji. You can find the full agenda by clicking here.

All members of the public are welcome to attend in person or via Zoom. You can find login instructions for Zoom by clicking here or tune in live by clicking here. An interpreter for the hearing impaired can be requested by calling the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Those with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the commission secretary at 620-672-0702.

The next KDWP commission meeting will take place on June 22, 2023 at Acorns Resort in Milford, according to Marji.

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