Contact: Kent Keene, Lower Midwestern States Coordinator
During their August meeting, members of the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism Commission (Commission) voted 5-2 to approve regulation changes to allow the use of night vision, thermal, and infrared optics to hunt coyotes on private lands. Hunters will be able to use these methods to hunt coyotes between January 1 and March 31 of each year after first purchasing a $2.50 permit from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism (KDWPT).
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Lower Midwestern States Coordinator, Kent Keene, submitted a formal letter to the Commission in June supporting these changes. In the letter, CSF reiterated its support of state fish and wildlife management agencies as the entity best equipped to make science-based wildlife management decisions at the state level. This management authority, when used in conjunction with input from the constituents they serve, allows state fish and wildlife management agencies to take steps that maximize the benefits for both Kansas’ fish and wildlife populations and the public, including sportsmen and women, who enjoy these resources.
Passage of the changes represents a new and unique opportunity for sportsmen and women who participate in coyote hunting in the Sunflower State while adding another method for managing coyote populations in Kansas. Though current research continues to highlight the challenges associated with coyote management, the use of these nighttime technologies, in conjunction with the other population management techniques (i.e., targeted trapping efforts), may allow KDWPT to further rely on hunters to achieve and maintain target coyote population objectives for the long-term benefit of Kansas’ wildlife populations.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?