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Kansas

Hunting

Migratory Birds Regulations

GENERAL MIGRATORY GAME BIRD REGULATIONS

LICENSES / STAMPS / PERMITS

All waterfowl hunters 16 and older must have a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp), and all hunters who are required to obtain a license must also have a Kansas Migratory Waterfowl Habitat Stamp (Kansas Waterfowl Permit) and a Kansas Harvest Information Program Permit (HIP) before hunting ducks, geese, or mergansers.

Kansas HIP Permit.......................... $2.50
Kansas Waterfowl Permit
....................$10
Federal Waterfowl Stamp
...............$26.50

Federal Duck Stamps must be signed across the face of the stamp and carried when hunting waterfowl. Federal Duck Stamps are available at the U.S. Postal Service and KDWPT offices. Hunters who purchase an e-stamp must carry their 45-day receipt when hunting waterfowl. Once the 45-day e-stamp receipt expires, hunters must carry their current, signed Federal Duck Stamp (a store purchase/credit card receipt is not valid as a duck stamp). Kansas Waterfowl Permits are available at all KDWPT offices and license vendor locations.

A Federal Waterfowl Stamp and Kansas Waterfowl Permit and are not required to hunt coots, migratory doves, rails, snipe, woodcock, or sandhill cranes.

A Kansas HIP Permit is required, unless license exempt.

METHODS OF TAKE

Bow and arrow, falconry, or shotgun no larger than 10-gauge. Shotguns must be incapable of holding more than three shells. Migratory doves may only be taken while in flight.

SHOOTING HOURS

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except those for sandhill crane, which are sunrise to sunset.

ILLEGAL METHODS

Sink boxes, live decoys, baiting, electronic calls, and pursuit with any motorized conveyance or sailboat are illegal. When hunting from a motorized craft or sailboat, the motor must be turned off or the sail furled and progress ceased. Decoys shall not be left unattended overnight on department-managed areas.

REFUGE AREAS

Many state and federal wildlife areas have refuges, as well as public hunting areas. These refuge areas may be closed to any activity during the hunting seasons. Check with local offices for refuge boundaries and closure dates.

FIELD POSSESSION

No person shall possess more migratory game birds taken in the United States than the possession limit or aggregate possession limit, whichever applies.

No person shall possess, have in custody, or transport more than the daily bag limit or aggregate daily bag limit, whichever applies, of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged, at or between the place where taken and either (a) their automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) their personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.

No person may receive, possess, or give to another, any freshly killed migratory game birds as a gift, except at the personal abodes of the donor or donee, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter who took the birds, stating the hunter’s address, the total number and species of birds and the date such birds were taken.

TAGGING/CUSTODY

No person shall put or leave any migratory game birds at any place (other than his personal abode), or in the custody of another person for picking, cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating the hunter’s address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were killed. Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor shall not be considered as being in storage or temporary storage.

No person shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are tagged as required.

TRANSPORTING

During transport, one fully-feathered wing and/or head must remain attached to migratory birds (except mourning/white-winged doves).

Migratory game birds given to another person, taxidermist, storage facility, or commercial processor must be tagged with the signature and address of the hunter and the number, species, and date taken. Migratory birds packed for shipping must be clearly marked with the name and address of the shipper and addressee, as well as the number and species of birds.

NON-TOXIC SHOT

Kansas requires non-toxic shot for hunting ALL migratory game birds except doves and woodcock. This includes ducks, geese, coots, mergansers, rails, sandhill cranes, and snipe. Legal shot is steel, bismuthtin, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-iron, tungsten matrix, tungsten-nickle-iron, tungsten-iron-nickel-tin, and steel shot coated with copper, nickel, zinc chromate, or zinc chloride.

It is illegal to possess lead shot while hunting migratory game birds except doves and woodcock or while hunting in a Non-Toxic-Shot-Only area. “Possession" means that lead shot cannot be in a hunter’s gun, pockets, blind, boat or in reach while in the process of hunting. Lead shot left in a vehicle is not considered “in possession.”

NON-TOXIC SHOT ONLY

Non-toxic shot is the only shotgun load allowed on the following wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges:

Benedictine Bottoms WA, Cheyenne Bottoms WA, Cherokee Lowlands WA, Flint Hills NWR, Gurley Salt Marsh WA Herron Playa WA, Isabel Wetlands WA, Jamestown WA, Kirwin NWR, Marais des Cygnes NWR, Marais des Cygnes WA, McPherson Wetlands WA, Neosho WA, Otter Creek WA, Quivira NWR, Slate Creek WA, Stein Playa WA, Talmo Marsh WA, Texas Lake WA, Wild Turkey Playa WA, and other areas as posted.

DESIGNATED DOVE FIELDS

Non-toxic shot is required on designated dove fields at the following wildlife areas:

NORTHEAST

Bolton WA, Clinton WA, Dalby WA, Elwood WA, Hillsdale WA, Kansas River WA, Melvern WA, Milford WA, Oak Mills WA, Perry WA, Tuttle Creek WA

SOUTHCENTRAL/SOUTHEAST

Berentz-Dick WA, Big Hill WA, Cheney WA, El Dorado WA, Dove Flats WA, Elk City WA, Fall River WA, Mined Land WA, Grand Osage WA, Hollister WA, Spring River WA, Toronto WA, Woodson WA.

Dove fields requiring non-toxic shot are designated by posted notice. As long as signs are in place, non-toxic shot is required. Other fields may be added closer to opening day of dove season. For a complete list, visit ksoutdoors.com /Hunting/MigratoryBirds/Dove2.

FEDERAL LAWS ON METHODS OF TAKE AND BAITING

Migratory birds, on which open seasons are prescribed, may be taken by any method except those prohibited in this section.
No persons shall take migratory game birds:

a) With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machinegun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;

b) With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells. However, this restriction does not apply during light-goose spring conservation season.

c) From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water;

d) From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance;

e) From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased: Provided, that a craft under power may be used to retrieve dead or crippled birds; however, crippled birds may not be shot from such craft under power;

f) By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or captive live ducks or geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of wild migratory waterfowl;

g) By the use or aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. However, this restriction does not apply during light-goose spring conservation season;

(h) By means or aid of any motor driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird;

i) By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area, where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.

Baited area means any area on which salt, grain, or other feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, if that salt, grain, or other feed could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them. Any such area will remain a baited area for ten days following the complete removal of all such salt, grain, or other feed.

Baiting means the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.

It is legal to take migratory game birds including waterfowl, coots, and cranes, on or over the following lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas:

  • standing crops or flooded standing crops (including aquatics);
  • standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation; flooded harvested croplands; or lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation or normal soil stabilization practice;
  • from a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation;
  • from a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, as long as such camouflaging does not result in the exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of grain or other feed; or
  • standing or flooded standing agricultural crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as a result of a hunter entering or exiting a hunting area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds.

It is legal to take migratory game birds, except waterfowl, coots and cranes, on or over lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas, and where grain or other feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown, or solely as the result of a normal agricultural operation.

Manipulation means the alteration of natural vegetation or agricultural crops by activities that include but are not limited to mowing, shredding, discing, rolling, chopping, trampling, flattening, burning, or herbicide treatments. The term manipulation does not include the distributing or scattering of grain, seed, or other feed after removal from or storage on the field where grown.

Natural vegetation means any non-agricultural, native, or naturalized plant species that grows at a site in response to planting or from existing seeds or other propagules. The term natural vegetation does not include planted millet. However, planted millet that grows on its own in subsequent years after the year of planting is considered natural vegetation.

Normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation means a planting or harvesting undertaken for the purpose of producing and gathering a crop, or manipulation after such harvest and removal of grain, that is conducted in accordance with official recommendations of State Extension Specialists of the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Normal agricultural operation means a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation, or agricultural practice that is conducted in accordance with official recommendations of State Extension Specialists of the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Normal soil stabilization practice means a planting for agricultural soil erosion control or post-mining land reclamation conducted in accordance with official recommendations of State Extension Specialists of the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for agricultural soil erosion control.

For more information about federal migratory bird laws visit: ksoutdoors.com//Hunting/Migratory-Birds/Federal-Migratory-Bird-Regulations.

EARLY MIGRANT SEASONS/LIMITS

MIGRATORY DOVE (MOURNING, WHITE-WINGED)

Season: Sept. 1-Nov. 29, 2020
Area Open:
Statewide
Daily Bag Limit:
15, single species or in combination.
Possession Limit:
45
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit
Migratory doves may only be taken while in flight.

EXOTIC DOVE (EURASIAN COLLARED, RINGED TURTLE)

Season: Year-round
Area Open:
Statewide
No bag or possession limit.
However, any taken during the migratory dove season in addition to a daily bag limit of mourning and white-winged doves must have a fully-feathered wing attached while being transported.
Stamps/Permits Required:
None

TEAL

High Plains, West of U.S. 283: Sept. 19-27, 2020
Low Plains, East of U.S. 283:
Sept. 12-27, 2020
Daily Bag Limit:
6
Possession Limit:
18
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Permit, Federal Duck Stamp

COMMON SNIPE

Season: Sept. 1-Dec. 16, 2020
Area Open:
Statewide
Daily Bag Limit:
8
Possession Limit:
24
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit

WOODCOCK

Season: Oct. 17-Nov. 30, 2020
Area Open:
Statewide
Daily Bag Limit:
3
Possession Limit:
9
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit

RAIL (VIRGINIA, SORA)

Season: Sept. 1-Nov. 9, 2020
Area Open:
Statewide
Daily Bag Limit:
25
Possession Limit:
75
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit

DOVE IDENTIFICATION

Mourning Dove
White-Winged Dove
Ringed Turtle Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove

Report banded birds online at www.reportband.gov. Hunters may keep bands and will receive information on where and when the bird was banded.
www.reportband.gov

LATE MIGRANT SEASONS/LIMITS

DUCK LIMITS

Daily Bag Limit: Six ducks, which may include no more than five mallards (only two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one scaup and one pintail.

The daily bag may comprise six of any other duck, such as six teal, six gadwall, or six wigeon.

Possession Limit: Three times the daily bag limit.

Birds such as pelicans, cormorants, grebes, herons, gulls, and other migratory birds not listed in this brochure are illegal to take or possess under federal and state law.

DUCK

High Plains Zone: Oct. 10, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 22-31, 2021
Low Plains Early Zone:
Oct. 10-Dec. 6, 2020 and Dec. 19, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021
Low Plains Late Zone:
Oct. 31, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 23-31, 2021
Low Plains Southeast Zone:
Nov. 14, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 9-31, 2021 Daily Bag Limit: 6 (see left)
Possession Limit:
Three times the daily bag limit.
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Permit, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

YOUTH, VETERAN & ACTIVE MILITARY

Only hunters age 15 and younger, veterans, and active military members may hunt during the season dates listed below.

High Plains Zone: Oct. 3-4, 2020
Low Plains Early Zone:
Oct. 3-4, 2020
Low Plains Late Zone:
Oct. 24-25, 2020 Low Plains Southeast Zone: Nov. 7-8, 2020
Daily Bag Limit:
Same as regular seasons.
Possession Limit:
Same as regular seasons. Stamps/Permits Required: Resident youth hunters do not need any stamps or permits. Nonresident youth need a nonresident hunting license, a Kansas HIP Permit and State Waterfowl Permit.

DUCK ZONES

Duck Zones

GOOSE SEASON/LIMITS

DARK GEESE (CANADA, CACKLING, WHITE-FRONTED, BRANT AND ALL OTHER GEESE EXCEPT LIGHT GEESE)

Canada, cackling, brant and all other geese except whitefronts and light geese
Season: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020 and Nov 4, 2020-Feb. 14, 202
Daily Bag Limit: 6
Possession Limit:
18
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Permit, Federal Duck Stamp

White-fronted Geese
Season:
Oct. 31, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 23-Feb. 14, 2021 Daily Bag Limit: 2
Possession Limit:
6
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Permit, Federal Duck Stamp

LIGHT GEESE (WHITE AND BLUE PHASE AND ROSS’ GEESE)

Season: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2020 and Nov. 4, 2020-Feb. 14, 2021 Daily Bag Limit: 50
Possession Limit:
Unlimited
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Permit, Federal Duck Stamp

Spring Conservation Order: Feb.15-April 30, 2021
Daily Bag Limit:
Unlimited
Possession Limit:
Unlimited
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Permit, Federal Duck Stamp
Equipment Restrictions:
Unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

LATE MIGRANT SEASONS/LIMITS

COOT

Season: Same as late migrant duck seasons
Area Open:
Statewide
Daily Bag Limit: 15 Possession Limit:
45
Stamps/Permits Required:
Same as ducks

CROW

Season: Nov.10, 2020-March 10, 2021 Area Open: Statewide
Limit:
No Limit
Stamps/Permits Required:
None

MERGANSERS

Season: Same as late migrant duck seasons
Area Open:
Statewide
Daily Bag Limit:
5 The merganser limit is five, including no more than two hooded mergansers
Possession Limit:
15
Stamps/Permits Required:
Same as ducks

EXTENDED FALCONRY

High Plains Extended Season: None
Early Zone Extended Season:
Feb. 24-March 10, 2021
Late Zone Extended Season:
Feb. 24-March 10, 2021 Southeast Zone Extended
Season:
Feb. 24-March 10, 2021
Daily Bag Limit:
No more than three migratory birds, including coot, dove, rail, crow, snipe, woodcock, and any migratory species – in combination such as one dove, one duck, and one woodcock or three doves.(Falconers may not exceed other limits on migratory birds. Be sure to check bag limits in this summary.)

SANDHILL CRANES (SPECIAL PERMIT REQUIRED)

SANDHILL CRANE ZONES

SANDHILL CRANE ZONES

PERMITS

In addition to a hunting license (if required), a federal sandhill crane hunting permit issued through and validated by KDWPT is required to hunt cranes. Crane permits obtained in other states are not valid in Kansas. The validated permit ($7.50) is available wherever licenses are sold.

All sandhill crane hunters must take an online crane identification test each year before obtaining a sandhill crane permit (see shaded box below). Non-toxic shot is required for sandhill crane hunting. Lead shot may not be possessed while crane hunting. Shooting hours are sunrise to sunset.

SEASON AND BAG LIMIT

West Zone Season: Oct. 17, 2020-Dec. 13, 2020
Daily bag limit
: 3
Possession Limit:
9
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, Sandhill Crane Permit

Central Zone Season: Nov. 11, 2020-Jan. 7, 2021
Daily bag limit:
3
Possession Limit:
9
Stamps/Permits Required:
Kansas HIP Permit, Sandhill Crane Permit

SANDHILL CRANE
WHOOPING CRANE
SANDHILL CRANE
WHOOPING CRANE
SNOW GOOSE

ATTENTION SANDHILL CRANE HUNTERS

Sandhill crane and waterfowl hunters need to be aware that whooping cranes are occurring more frequently in Kansas during fall migration. Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge are important stopover areas for whooping cranes, and hunters must be able to identify whooping cranes from other game. Whooping cranes and sandhill cranes are similar in size and shape, and can be difficult to distinguish in low-light conditions The penalty for shooting a whooping crane is a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in prison. For more information, visit: www.ksoutdoors.com/news/Hunting/Migratory-Birds/Sandhill-Crane. All sandhill crane hunters must complete an online crane identification test before obtaining a sandhill crane permit. The test can be found at: programs.ksoutdoors.com/Programs/Sandhill-Crane-Certificate

Sandhill cranes are generally even gray in color with a patch of red above the eye. Whooping cranes are generally white except for the distinct black wingtips. Juvenile whooping cranes will have a rust color throughout the white plumage. Whooping cranes are larger than sandhills.

When whooping cranes are present, areas may be closed.

When hunting sandhill cranes, be especially careful during low light or backlit conditions. The photos below show how difficult it can be to identify cranes in poor light conditions. If there is any doubt, don’t shoot!