Contact: Kent Keene, Lower Midwestern States Coordinator
On June 25, members of the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism (KDWPT) Commission (Commission) discussed newly proposed changes to Kansas’ coyote hunting regulations during their monthly meeting. These proposed changes include legalizing the use of night vision, thermal, and infrared optics during a special private lands season scheduled to occur from January 1 to March 31 every year. This equipment would only be legal for hunting coyotes during the specified season, and each person using night vision, thermal, or infrared equipment for hunting coyotes during this season must first obtain a $2.50 permit from the KDWPT. This permit fee would be used to cover administrative costs for KDWPT while measuring interest and demand for this new hunting opportunity.
In response to these proposed regulatory changes, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Lower Midwestern States Coordinator, Kent Keene, submitted a formal letter of support to members of the Commission. The letter focused on the CSF’s support of state fish and wildlife management agencies as the entity best equipped to make science-based wildlife management decisions at the state level. Though this regulatory change was originally requested by citizens interested in expanding coyote hunting opportunities, it was ultimately the KDWPT who, after consulting their professionally trained biologists, crafted the regulations that went before the Commission. This ability to make science-based management decisions, while incorporating input from the constituents they serve, maximizes the benefit for both Kansas’ fish and wildlife populations and the public, including sportsmen and women, who enjoy these resources.
Finally, this regulatory proposal represents increased opportunities for sportsmen and women while strengthening KDWPT’s support of hunting as a preferred tool for managing wildlife populations. 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. As such, CSF is pleased to support several of the provisions being considered within these proposed regulations and appreciates the increased opportunity that would be provided for Kansas’ sportsmen and women who serve as the primary funding source for state fish and wildlife conservation efforts.
CSF will continue to track the status of these proposed changes as they proceed through the regulatory process. For individuals interested in learning more about the proposed changes, visit the KDWPT’s website.
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?