HAYS -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission approved 2001 early migratory bird seasons at a public hearing here Thursday. The public meeting and hearing was conducted at the K-State Research Center auditorium. Season dates and limits approved by the Commission include the following:
* Dove -- Sept. 1 through Oct. 30, bag and possession limits of 15 and 30, respectively;
* Sora and Virginia rail -- Sept. 1 through Nov. 9, bag and possession limits of 25 and 25;
* Snipe --Sept. 1 through Dec. 16, bag and possession limits of 8 and 16;
* Woodcock -- Oct. 12 through Nov. 25, bag and possession limits of 3 and 6;
* High Plains early teal (west of U.S. 283) -- Sept. 15-22, bag and possession limits of 4 and 8;
* Low Plains early teal -- Sept. 15-30 (unless only 9 days are allowed by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service under season frameworks the USFWS will issue in August; Sept. 15-23 if 9-day maximum is imposed), bag and possession limits of 4 and 8;
* High Plains Zone youth waterfowl season -- Sept. 29-30, same bag and possession limit as regular season, no light goose hunting allowed;
* September Canada goose season -- Sept. 6-15 in designated zones in northeast and southcentral Kansas, bag and possession limits of 3 and 6.
Shooting hours for all early migratory bird seasons will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
In separate action, the Commission approved a new regulation which establishes an educational bird hunt permit. The permit would authorize the release of pen-raised birds, outside of established hunting seasons, for use in hunting skills education programs.
Commissioners discussed options for continuation of the upland bird youth hunting season. The youth season was authorized by the Commission for the first time last year, and allowed accompanying adult mentors to hunt during the two-day season. Department staff presented three options for continuation of the youth season this year. One option would continue the same provisions as last year, allowing accompanying adults to hunt alongside young hunters, with a bag limit of two cock pheasants and four quail per hunter. Another option would prohibit adult mentors from actively hunting with accompanied youth. Another option would allow both adult and youth to hunt, but would reduce the bag limit to one cock pheasant and two quail.
Since the proposed regulation did not get officially published in the Kansas Register the required 30 days in advance of the public hearing, a conference call has been scheduled for 10 a.m. July 24, for the Commission to take final action on the proposal. The public is invited to participate in the teleconference. Teleconference locations will include the department^s Office of the Secretary in Topeka, and the Pratt office. Interested persons may contact Commission Secretary Sheila Kemmis (620/672-5911) for more details on teleconference arrangements.