’Tis the season to shoot some deer.
Firearms deer season opens Wednesday in Kansas, and experts say hunters should remember a few key points when trying to bag that big buck. Staying safe and legal are important during the hunting season, Jeff Cakin, Franklin County game warden, said.
“[Hunting seasons] help control the population,” Cakin said. “It gives everyone a fair and equal chance at hunting and harvesting an animal and to provide everyone with an overall good, safe time.”
During firearms deer season, hunters may use any semi-automatic, centerfire rifle or handgun greater than .23 caliber.
Tags or deer permits are not transferable in Kansas, Cakin said. In other words, someone cannot shoot a deer and place another person’s tag on it, which has been a common problem in recent years, he said. Also, when a hunter kills a deer, the tag should be filled out and attached to the carcass before moving the animal from the site of the kill. Every hunter, regardless or age, where they are hunting or what they are hunting with, is required to have a deer permit to legally hunt deer, he said.
Hunters also should be aware of where they legally are allowed to hunt. For instance, Cakin said if the property has any type of purple paint markings, hunters must have written permission from the owner to hunt there, and must have that written permission on their person at the time of hunting.
“Also, in order to hunt on a piece of property, you have to have permission to be on there,” the game warden said. “Just because it’s not posted with a ‘no trespassing’ or a ‘no hunting without written permission’ sign does not give people the right to hunt it.”
A common misconception, Cakin added, is that hunters are allowed to track an animal they have shot onto property where they do not have permission to hunt. Hunters must obtain permission from all property owners before going on property, he said. There is no law that supersedes the rights of a landowner with regard to hunting, he said.
If a person suspects someone is hunting on their property illegally, Cakin said, call him at (620) 450-7192.
“If they see anybody poaching, road hunting, trespassing, breaking the law, not being safe, call me any time they need to day or night,” he said. There are mandatory fines for wildlife violations, he said. Those fines are based on how a judge decides the offender should be punished.
For safety, Cakin stressed that hunters are required to wear a certain amount of orange blaze to enable visibility.
“Wear your orange,” he said. “They are required to wear orange caps and an orange vest or shirt during the firearms deer season, even when they’re in a blind. That’s a big safety thing.”
Hunters should always identify their targets before shooting and also consider wearing a harness when in a blind, Cakin advised.