By Joel Hodgdon, Central Midwestern States Coordinator
On April 4, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) Member Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer signed H 2558 into law effectively lengthening upland hunting opportunities in Kansas. Endorsed by the Kansas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the bill was unanimously approved by both the Kansas House and Senate and extends the controlled shooting area season in the state through April 30. The season had previously ended on March 31.
Licensed through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, controlled shooting areas are private fee-to-hunt establishments. The 138 licensed shooting area operations in Kansas draw in hunters from across the country, by providing opportunities to introduce new hunters to upland wing shooting for propagated and released species like pheasant, quail and chukar, both within and outside of the traditional hunting seasons.
“This legislation’s passage into law is a win for both hunters and the state’s economy,” said Caucus Co-Chair Representative Ken Corbet. “I applaud my colleagues in the legislature and the Governor for their bipartisan support of H 2558. This 30-day extension will help more sportsmen and women experience the excitement of upland hunting in Kansas.”
Kansas’s 527,000 hunters and anglers are major contributors to the state’s economy. Sportsmen and women in the state spend over $1.7 million a day on their outdoor pursuits, which generates a beneficial economic ripple effort of over $938 million.
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?